LtCol Daniel Fiust entered the Marine Corps through the Platoon Leader’s Class program and completed Officer Candidate School in August 2001. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt in April 2002 after graduating from the University of California-Davis with a B.A. in Economics and International Relations. In September 2002 2nd Lt Fiust reported to The Basic School. Upon completion of TBS he reported to Pensacola, FL for primary flight training, followed by advanced jet training at NAS Meridian, MS. He completed advanced jet training and was designated a Naval Aviator in August 2005. He then moved to Cherry Point, NC for FRS training in the AV-8B Harrier at Marine Attack Training Squadron 203.
After completing FRS training, Captain Fiust reported to Marine Attack Squadron 211 at MCAS Yuma in March of 2007. While with VMA-211, he served as the S-6 Officer-In Charge and the 11th MEU Detachment Powerline division Officer-In-Charge. In November 2007 he deployed with the 11th MEU aboard the USS Tarawa, flying combat missions in support of OIF. Upon redeployment in June 2008, Captain Fiust was assigned to the Nightmares of Marine Attack Squadron 513 for duty as the Assistant Operations Officer. In August 2009, Capt Fiust deployed to Japan in support of the 31st MEU and Unit Deployment Program (UDP). Upon redeployment, Captain Fiust served as the Operations Officer for the remainder of his tour.
Following his tour in Yuma, Captain Fiust attended TACP School and was certified as a Forward Air Controller (FAC). In November 2010 he reported to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center 29 Palms for duty as a Forward Air Controller and Battalion Air Officer. While with 3/4, Captain Fiust deployed to the Upper Gereshk Valley, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of OEF.
Upon redeployment in October 2011, Captain Fiust returned to MCAS Yuma and VMA-513. In March 2012 he attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 2-12 at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1. After WTI, Captain Fiust assumed the duties of Pilot Training Officer, Squadron WTI, and Director of Safety and Standardization. In December 2012, he deployed with VMA-513 to Japan in support of the 31st MEU and UDP.
In July 2013, Major Fiust reported to MAWTS-1 for duty as an AV-8B instructor pilot. In addition to his instructor pilot duties, Major Fiust served as the Fixed Wing Offensive Air Support Specialist in the MAWTS-1 ADT&E division, and as an augment adversary pilot with VMFT-401 flying the F-5F/N. While at MAWTS-1, Major Fiust deployed to CENTCOM as an augment pilot at the request of VMA-211 from November-December 2014, flying combat missions in support of OIR.
In July 2016, Major Fiust reported to Marine Attack Squadron 214 for duty as the 15th MEU Detachment OIC. Following workups, he deployed with the 15th MEU in July 2017 aboard the USS America. While deployed he served as the AV-8B Det OIC and Executive Officer for VMM-161 (REIN). During the deployment the detachment conducted combat operations in support of OIR from both shipboard and expeditionary land based locations. Upon redeployment in February 2018, Major Fiust assumed the duties of Operations Officer at VMA-214.
In August 2018, Major Fiust was selected by the FY19 LtCol Command Board for Command of VMAT-203. Promoted to his current rank in October 2018, LtCol Fiust reported to MAG 14 in April 2019 in preparation for his command tour.
LtCol Fiust has accumulated over 2,400 mishap free flight hours in his career, nearly all in tactical jets, including over 2,000 in the AV-8B. He is a graduate of the MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course and MAWTS-1 Air Officer Course, and has earned nearly every tactical qualification and instructor designation in the AV-8B Harrier, including Air Combat Tactics Instructor, Night Systems Instructor, Low Altitude Tactics Instructor, and Training Landing Signals Officer. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with Strike/Flight Numeral 2, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Third Award, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.