LtCol O’Connell is a native of Illinois. He is a 2003 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and received his commission via the NROTC program.
LtCol O’Connell’s command/officer in charge billets include: Platoon Commander, 2d Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Battalion (Bn) deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 2004-2006; 6th Company Officer, United States Naval Academy, 2008-2010; Bravo Battery Commander, 3rd LAAD Bn, 2010-2012.
LtCol O’Connell’s staff billets include: Battery Executive Officer and Assistant Operations Officer, 2d LAAD Bn, 2006-2007; Senior Air Coordinator for Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 38 deployed in support of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, 2012-2013; Lead Planner/MAGTF Plans Officer for Marine Forces Southern Command, 2015-2018; J35/J5 for Joint Task Force Leeward Islands, deployed in support of foreign humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, 2017. Executive Officer, 3d LAAD Bn, 2018-2019. Executive Officer, Marine Air Control Group 38, 2019-2020.
LtCol O’Connell is a graduate of the LAAD officer course and Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course. He is a distinguished graduate of Expeditionary Warfare School (non-resident), a distinguished graduate of USMC Command and Staff College with a Master’s degree in Military Studies, and a graduate of the School of Advanced Warfighting with a Master’s degree in Operational Studies. He also holds a Master’s degree (with distinction) from the University of Maryland as part of the Leadership, Education and Development program.