By Elsa Maxey
Right before coming home, Lt. Colonel Christopher Toland, was busy demobilizing marines at Ellington Field. Once on home ground, he was presented a proclamation at a city council meeting by Mayor Allen Owen on behalf of Missouri City for his duty to country, while he visited his parents. “We have a young man who grew up in Quail Valley and is one of the 900 marines,” said Mayor Owen referring to Lt. Toland, who returned from Iraq among other marines that made it home to the Houston metro area.
Lt. Col Tolan served several tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, also other battle grounds. Back here, he attended Fort Bend ISD schools and graduated from Dulles High School in 1988. He then went on to earn a B.S. degree in political science from Texas A&M University with a minor in marketing.
Commissioned in 1995 in the United States Marine Corps, Lt. Col. Toland spent four years on active duty, continued his service and now serves as a reserve officer. Lt. Col. Toland has been a platoon commander, company executive officer, company commander and he is currently the Executive Officer of The Lone Star Battalion, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment headquartered at Ellington Field in Houston.
His training includes the completion of numerous military schools. In 2005, Lt. Col. Toland conducted a seven month combat deployment to Anbar Province in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and he recently returned from a seven month deployment to Helmand Province in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He has also participated in annual training exercises in Morocco, Ghana, and various U.S. bases– Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Hood, Camp Bullis, Camp Pendleton, Bridgeport Mountain Warfare Training Center, Naval Air Station Falon, and Hawthorne Army Depot.
Lt Col. Toland is a recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal (2), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2), and the NATO Non-Article 5 Medal.