John "Tank" Voss

Capt. John "Tank" Voss

Naval Flight Officer and Bad Ass Tank Commander


John "Tank" Voss has spent over 30 years of his life dedicated to the United States Marine Corps Armor and Marine/Naval Aviation communities.

As a young 2nd Lt, he was designated as an MOS 1802: Marine M1A1 Abrams Platoon commander, and was assigned to C Company, 2d Tank Battalion, Camp Lejeune North Carolina.

During his tour as a tank officer, he rose through the ranks of Platoon Commander for all 3 Platoons in his company, JTAC, Company Executive Officer, and Battalion Fire Support Officer.

He additionally commanded the armor element (Team Rhino), of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable, 24th MEU (SOC).

In this role, as a 25 year old 1st Lt, he was the commander of a multi-national armor live fire and maneuver exercise during Operation Noble Shirley, 1996.

His command included:
4 x USMC M1A1HA Abrams
4 x Israeli Merkava 3 tanks
6 x USMC LAV-25 armored vehicles
12 x USMC AAV Amtracs with attached infantry in addition to all support and logistics vehicles.
The exercise included coordinated maneuver elements throughout the Israeli desert, and live fire of all tank and armored vehicles weapons, as well as Close Air Support from USMC AV-8B Harriers, Cobra gunships, and Israeli strike aircraft.

During this deployment, he additionally commanded armor operations in Tunisia, Turkey, and France.

On The Way!

Upon completion of his first tour at 2nd Tank Battalion, John Voss applied for flight school, and was given orders to change career fields, and go to Naval Flight Officer training in Pensacola, Florida.

After 2 years of flight school, John Voss, now callsign "Tank", earned his Wings of Gold and was assigned to fly in F/A-18D’s as a Weapons and Sensor Officer (WSO), MOS 7525.
 --- (think Top Gun "Goose", minus the dying!) ---

Training took place at VMFAT-101 "Sharp Shooters" at MCAS Miramar. Upon completion of training, "Tank" joined VMFA (AW)-242 Bats based out of Miramar.

Multiple stateside deployments and exercises were followed by a deployment scheduled for 6 months to Iwakuni, Japan. During this time, "Tank" traveled the South Pacific with his squadron, operating from Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Guam, Iwo Jima, Philippines, Micronesia, Bablethuap, Malaysia, and Thailand. Nearing the completion of their deployment, the world changed - 9/11/2001. The deployment was extended and the squadron eventually returned home.
Upon his return, he eventually transitioned to a staff officer role with Marine Air Group 11 (MAG-11), but was able to keep his flying status. In this way, "Tank" was able to fly with every D squadron at MCAS Miramar (121 Green Knights, 225 Vikings, 242 Bats), and work as an Instructor WSO for the training squadron (101 Sharp Shooters).

Mors ex Tenebris - Death From The Darkness

Leaving active duty in 2005, "Tank" was not ready to grow up and get a real job yet. He proceeded to plant roots at NAS Lemoore, California and took on the new title of F/A-18 Hornet/Super Hornet Flight Simulator Instructor.

For over 18 years, "Tank" has trained the newest generations of warriors (Pilots and WSO’s) for both the Marines and the Navy, and has given refresh training for senior aircrew coming back to the jet from non-flying billets.

Accused by his wife of "playing video games all day", "Tank" has continued to pour his military lessons learned and experiences into the minds of the men and women that fly the F/A-18.
To keep current as a civilian pilot, and to give back to his community, "Tank" volunteers as a pilot for the Kings County Air Support Unit flying missions in support of Kings County Sheriff Department, local Police Departments, California Highway Patrol, Department of Justice, DEA, and any unit requesting law enforcement aviation support.
To those Marine Tankers and Aviators
that paid the ultimate sacrifice
in the Defense of our Nation,
Till Valhalla!
Semper Fidelis,
Captain John "Tank" Voss (USMC)

Served with John?

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