LtCol Tilelli was born in 1979 on Long Island, NY, where he attended school in the town of Oceanside. Following graduation from high school, he moved on to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. LtCol Tilelli gained acceptance into the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class program and attended junior and senior officer candidate training during the summers of 1998 and 2000, respectively. LtCol Tilelli earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Embry-Riddle and received a Marine Corps commission, both in the summer of 2001.
LtCol Tilelli attended The Basic School as a member of Alpha Company and completed the Basic Officer Course in May of 2002. Shortly thereafter, he reported to NAS Pensacola, FL for Aviation Preflight Indoctrination and was subsequently assigned to Primary Flight Training at NAS Whiting Field, FL. LtCol Tilelli received follow-on orders to Advanced Flight Training in the T-45C with VT-21 aboard NAS Kingsville, TX in 2003. On 26 March 2004, LtCol Tilelli was designated a Naval Aviator and received orders to MCAS Miramar, CA for Fleet Replacement training in the F/A-18 aircraft. He completed FRS training with VMFAT-101 in May of 2005 and was assigned to the “Lancers” of VMFA-212.
With VMFA-212, LtCol Tilelli served as the Embark Officer, Logistics Officer, Flight Officer, and Powerline Officer. He completed multiple Pacific theater training deployments and departed the squadron in 2008.
Following his first FMF tour, LtCol Tilelli joined 1st Battalion 8th Marine Regiment in Camp Lejeune, NC. He completed the Tactical Air Control Party Course and was assigned as the Battalion Air Officer. After multiple pre-deployment training events, LtCol Tilelli accompanied the battalion on a combat deployment in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Following his tour with the infantry, LtCol Tilelli returned to his primary MOS and was assigned to VMFA-122 aboard MCAS Beaufort, SC. With the “Werewolves”, he served as the Assistant Operations Officer, Quality Assurance Officer, Logistics Officer, and Administrative Officer. LtCol Tilelli deployed with VMFA-122 in support of both Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and the Western Pacific Unit Deployment Program.
At the conclusion of his time with the Werewolves, LtCol Tilelli attended the Marine Corps University Command and Staff College Resident Course, located on MCB Quantico, VA. As a student in Conference Group 11, he satisfied his Intermediate Level School PME requirement while also earning a Master of Military Studies Degree in June of 2014.
After completing Command and Staff, LtCol Tilelli received orders to MCAS Miramar, CA and immediately deployed in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and INHERENT RESOLVE. While deployed, LtCol Tilelli served as a Master Air Attack Planner with the USAF 609th Air Operations Center. Upon completion of the deployment, LtCol Tilelli returned to MCAS Miramar, CA and was assigned as the “Black Knights” Operations Officer at VMFA-314. This was followed by assuming the duties of Aircraft Maintenance Officer before and during the unit’s deployment to the Western Pacific. After a year as Aircraft Maintenance Officer, LtCol Tilelli finished his tour as the unit’s Executive Officer.
LtCol Tilelli reported to Marine Aircraft Group 11 in July of 2017 and was assigned as the Naval Aviation Enterprise Representative and Group Weapons and Tactics Instructor until July of 2018.
During the summer of 2018, LtCol Tilelli moved to Camp H. M. Smith, HA, where he served as the MARFORPAC Fixed Wing Air Officer and Joint Strike Fighter Requirements Officer. This tour was cut short upon notification of selection to command H&HS MCAS Beaufort, SC.
LtCol Tilelli’s designations include Weapons Tactics Instructor, Mission Commander, Flight Lead Standardization Evaluator, Division Lead, Single Seat Forward Air Controller (Airborne), and Low Altitude Tactics Standardization Instructor.
LtCol Tilelli’s personal decorations include the Air Medal – Strike/Flight (4th Award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3rd Award), Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and NATO Medal – ISAF Afghanistan.
LtCol Tilelli is married to the former Melissa Ferguson. They have two sons, Joseph and Nicholas, and one daughter, Brooklyn.