Colonel Steven Girard received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University in May 1991 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Upon completion of The Basic School in April 1992, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1993.
After receiving his wings, First Lieutenant Girard reported to Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 303 for initial training in the AH-1W. In November 1994, First Lieutenant Girard was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 369. He was promoted to Captain in August 1995 and deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)) from November 1995 to May 1996 and again with the 13th MEU(SOC) from August 1997 to February 1998. Captain Girard completed the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS) 1 in March 1997.
Captain Girard then attended the Amphibious Warfare School (AWS) in August 1998. Upon his graduation from AWS in May 1999, Captain Girard attended the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) and graduated in June 2000. He was then assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21) where he conducted developmental flight test and evaluation programs on the AH-1W, UN-1N, and SH-60.
Captain Girard returned to the USNTPS in January 2001 and served as a Rotary Wing Instructor, teaching all facets of the curriculum. Captain Girard was promoted to Major in March 2001. Major Girard was transferred back to HX-21 in January 2002 to conduct developmental flight testing on the H-1 Upgrades Program. Major Girard served as the Developmental Test and Evaluation Platform Coordinator for the AH-1Z from May 2002 to October 2003. During this period, Major Girard completed all facets of developmental test and evaluation and he was responsible for all deficiency reporting concerning the AH-1Z. Major Girard was assigned the additional Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of 9958 and designated as Level II
qualified in the Test and Evaluation discipline. Major Girard also completed the Non-Resident Command and Staff Seminar course and earned a Masters Degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee in 2003.
Upon returning to the Fleet Marine Force in November 2003, Major Girard was assigned to HMLA-367 and served as the Logistics Officer and deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. Major Girard was reassigned to HMLA-169 in November 2004, where he served as the Administrative Officer and then as the Human Affairs Officer. He deployed again in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 05-07. Major Girard was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in October 2006 and then reported to the H-1 Program Office (PMA-276) as the Deputy Warfighter Program Officer.
In November 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Girard reported to PMA-276 as the Warfighter Deputy Program Manager for the AH-1W and UH/HH-1N helicopters where he was responsible for all acquisition programs and sustainment/logistics. This billet expanded into the Deputy Program Manager for Fielded Systems where he was responsible for the sustainment of over 280 fielded H-1s to include the initial fielding of the UH-1Y and AH-1Z. LtCol Girard transitioned to the Production Deputy Program Manager where he was responsible for the cost, schedule, performance and risk management of H-1 Upgrades production, managing over 50 individuals and over $300 million of APN-1 funding annually.
In January 2009, he was assigned the additional assignment as the AH-1Z Platform Team Lead, responsible for all aspects of the AH-1Z aircraft, with particular emphasis on preparing the AH-1Z for its operational evaluation and its Full Rate Production decision. He led the team through the AH-1Z’s final developmental integration and flight test period and into the AH-1Z’s Operational Evaluation on schedule where the AH-1Z was found to be operationally effective and suitable and was recommended for Fleet introduction. He also led the team in completing all acquisition requirements which resulted in the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics approving the Full Rate Production decision for the AH-1Z.
In January 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Girard was assigned to the V-22 program as the Joint In-Service Deputy Program Manger where his responsibilities are the improvement of V-22 readiness and the reduction of V-22 cost per flight hour. Lieutenant Colonel Girard was selected as the FY10 MCAA John Glenn Squadron Acquisition Officer of the Year in January 2011 and transitioned to the acquisition MOS in February 2011.
In January 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Girard took command of PMA-276 where he was responsible for all facets of the H-1 Program to include its five Type/Model/Series aircraft. He was promoted to Colonel in August 2013.
Colonel Girard took command of the Marine Aviation Detachment in June 2017
He is Level III qualified in his primary acquisition field of Program Management and Level III qualified in Test and Evaluation.
Colonel Girard’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Individual Air Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
He is married to the former Robin Scott of Houston, Texas and they have three children: Richard, Jackson and Rachel.