Lt. Col. Stephan is an alumnus of The Citadel, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in May 2000. He reported to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. in 2001 after attending The Basic School and Infantry Officer Course. While at 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines he served as a rifle platoon commander, weapons company executive officer and weapons company commander. During this time he deployed Okinawa, Japan, where he conducted bilateral winter training with the Japanese Self Defense Force. Later, at the onset of the war in Iraq, he again deployed with the battalion for the invasion of Iraq. Returning from Iraq in 2003, he spent his remaining time with the battalion training and deploying Marines in support of the Marine Corps’ Anti-terrorism Battalion.
In 2004, Lt. Col. Stephan reported to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Bridgeport, Calif., where he served as the officer in charge of the Mountain Leaders and Unit Operations Courses. While on staff at the training center he had the opportunity to attend a variety of civilian mountaineering and international military courses. Highlights of the tour included training U.S. and British Royal Marine battalions for deployments to Afghanistan, climbing Mount McKinley (Denali) in Alaska, and being certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America.
At the completion of his tour at the training center, Lt. Col. Stephan attended Expeditionary Warfare School in 2007 and subsequently reported to 1st Battalion, 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. While serving as a company commander he again deployed to Iraq, participating the troop draw down and transition to full control by the new government of the Republic of Iraq. Returning from Iraq in 2009, he was reassigned to serve as the battalion’s operations officer and immediately re-deployed to Afghanistan as part of the troop surge. Assigned to a remote area of northern Helmand Province, the battalion conducted full spectrum civil and military counter-insurgency operations in partnership with the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Stephan reported to Recruiting Station Louisville, Ky. where he served as the commanding officer after returning from Afghanistan in 2011. In 2014, he completed his recruiting tour and was reassigned to the Marine Corps University where he completed Command and Staff College and the School of Advanced Warfighting. In June 2016 he transferred to 2d MLG to serve as the plans officer. He assumed his current duty as the commanding officer of Second Battalion, Second Marines in June 2017.