Mr. Caughlan is a Desert Storm veteran, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2001 at the grade of Colonel. In his Marine Career, he was an aviator and an installation commander. In his civilian career, he was the founding executive director of San Diego Fleet Week until returning to government service as the Chief of Staff for Marine Corps Installations WEST- MCB Camp Pendleton.
Tom was commissioned in 1971 and served as an artillery officer, aerial observer and series commander until completing flight school in 1977. He became a CH-46 pilot serving in west coast squadrons and deploying several times to the Western Pacific and Kuwait. As a colonel, he was the first Marine Commander of MCAS Miramar, becoming the Chief of Staff when the CG's shifted his flag from El Toro to Miramar. After retirement, he became the first Executive Director of San Diego Fleet Week. In 2008, he returned to the colors as the civilian chief of staff for Marine Corps Installations West and Camp Pendleton. Tom also is one of the founders of San Diego Military Affairs Council, and is president of the SDMAC Foundation, whose mission is to provide scholarships to veterans in STEM curricula at San Diego State and CA State San Marcos.