A graduate of Slippery Rock University, Colonel O’Connor was commissioned through the Officer Combined Course program at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia.
Following his graduation from the Infantry Officer Course, Colonel O’Connor was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During this tour, he served as a Rifle Platoon Commander and Weapons Platoon Commander where he deployed as part of the Unit Deployment Program and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit(Special Operations Capable).
In 1999, Colonel O’Connor was transferred to the 4th Marine Corps Recruiting District in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, promoted, and assigned the duties as an Officer Selection Officer.
After graduating from The Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia, in May 2003, Colonel O’Connor reported to 3d Battalion, 6th Marines, where he served as a Rifle Company Commander and Battalion Operations Officer. As a Rifle Company Commander, he deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving as the Battalion Operations Officer, Colonel O’Connor deployed to Al Qaim, Iraq in 2005-2006 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2006, Colonel O’Connor was transferred to the II Marine Expeditionary Force, Special Operations Training Group where he served as Group Chief Instructor, the International Training Branch Officer in Charge, and the Amphibious Raids Branch Officer in Charge. Upon completion of his duties in 2009 he reported to Marine Corps Command and Staff College where he earned a Master’s Degree in Military Studies and graduated with Distinguished Honors.
Colonel O’Connor deployed to Afghanistan for one year as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commander International Security Forces Afghanistan (COMISAF)/Command United States Forces-Afghanistan (COMUSFOR-A). Following completion of these duties in June 2011, he returned to Quantico to serve at The Basic School as the Director of Warfighting.
Colonel O’Connor assumed command of 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, in March 2012 Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Following his command tour, he served duties as the 3d Marine Regiment Executive Officer.
In 2014, Colonel O’Connor reported to the US Army War College where he earned a second Master’s degree. In July 2015, Colonel O’Connor reported to the USSOCOM J3 in Tampa, Florida where he served as the Special Operation Joint Task Force Division Deputy and Chief. In 2018 Colonel O’Connor returned to Camp Lejeune to serve as the II Marine Expeditionary Force Officer in Charge of the Expeditionary Operations Training Group.
Colonel O’Connor’s personal awards include; Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 2 gold stars in lieu of third award, and the Combat Action Ribbon with 1 gold star in lieu of second award.
Colonel O’Connor is married to the former Aurora Bronico of Harmony Township, New Jersey. They have two sons; Nathaniel (15) and Benjamin (12).