Kris Elliott was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1957. He grew up there spending his summers in Cape May, N.J. or in Jackson, Wyoming. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June, 1975 and attended the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School in August 1975, receiving an appointment to Annapolis from the Secretary of the Navy the following year.
He graduated from the Naval Academy and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Marine Corps on May 28, 1980. After completing The Basic School, 2ndLt Elliott reported to NAS, Pensacola for Naval Flight Officer training. Attaining his wings in October 1982, 1stLt Elliott went to MCAS, Yuma, AZ for follow-on training to become a Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) in the F-4J/S Phantom II.
His first fighter squadron was VMFA-451 Warlords in MCAS, Beaufort, SC where he served in the Logistics and Maintenance Divisions. He went on several deployments with the Warlords including a WestPac rotation to Japan, Philippines, Okinawa and Republic of Korea (ROK).
While assigned to the Warlords, 1stLt Elliott received his certification as an air combat tactics instructor, after only 16 months of operational flying. Then Capt Elliott served shortly with the Thunderbolts of VMFA-251 and H&MS-31 before the F-4S was retired for the F/A-18 in Beaufort.
His next assignment was on the general's staff in 2nd Marine Air Wing, MCAS, Cherry Point, NC. Returning to fighters in 1986, Capt Elliott joined the Red Devils of VMFA-232 in Kaneohe Bay, HI. There he became the S-4 Officer and a Weapons Tactic Instructor (TopGun), after certification at Marine Air Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) in Yuma, Arizona. As the F-4 was replaced he reported to VMFA-235 Death Angels and then went to H&MS-24 Aggressors to became the Operations Officer flying the TA-4F Skyhawk.
In 1989, Capt Elliott left Hawaii for army airborne school in Ft Benning enroute to 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (1st ANGLICO) in Camp Pendleton, CA. While assigned to 1st ANGLICO, Capt Elliott was Assistant Operations Officer, a Team Leader, Brigade/Platoon Commander and finally Operations Officer. In a tour lasting over three years, he participated in eight exercises with several U.S. Army, special operations and allied units, to include: 82nd Airborne Division, 101st Air Assault, 10th Mountain, 7th ID, 25th ID, 3rd Armored; 2nd Ranger Batt, 1st Special Forces Group (SFG); British Marines, ROK Marine Corps, Royal Thai Army and the Thai Marine Corps. While serving with the Thai Marines he earned his Thai Marine jump wings after completing their jump school. During this time he also served in several major operations, the most significant leading the 1st Platoon, 1st ANGLICO against Iraqi forces in the 1st Persian Gulf War, while attached to the Saudi Arabian Army and Provisional Arab Coalition, with elements of SEAL Team 5 and 5th SFG.
Capt Elliott left active service and began law school in San Diego in 1993. While attending law school, Maj Elliott participated in the reserves as the Assistant Air Officer, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and then transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 46 as Assistant Operations Officer and Safety Officer. Promoted to major in December 1993, Maj Elliott transitioned to Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) in the F/A-18D, eventually regaining his air combat maneuvering certification, participating in CQ operations on the USS Lincoln and amassing over 200 flight hours in the Strike Hornet. Graduating from law school in 1995 he sat for both the California and Washington state bars and was admitted to practice law in those two jurisdictions in 1996; returning to active duty in the Marine Corps that same year. Reassigned to the Headquarters for the Marine Corps Reserves in New Orleans in 1997, his first assignment was to supervise Counterdrug Operations for the Marine Reserves, which constituted the entire effort of support from the Marine Corps to the “War on Drugs” at that time.
In 1998 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and became the Deputy G-5 and eventually the Assistant Chief of Staff G-5; focusing his efforts and time on the implementation of the Base Realignment and Closure committee results of 1993, 1995 and 1997. These relocations and closures required considerable political interaction and the settling of numerous and significant environmental legal issues across the nation. Additionally, he passed the Louisiana bar in 1998 and attended classes part-time at Tulane Law, receiving a Legal Letters Masters in Admiralty in 2000. While attending Tulane he was an editing member of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal and was published in that law review, winning the Maritime Law Center Award for most outstanding casenote in 2000. Aviation-wise, LtCol Elliot was now flying the “right seat” of the C-12 King Air after going through Flight Safety training in Wichita, KS.
As an Article 27(b) certified Marine judge advocate, LtCol Elliott conducted numerous investigations for the Marine Reserve command and the Naval Trial Service Office, Pensacola. He was an Article 32 Investigations Officer (military magistrate) in over a dozen alleged offenses: rape, kidnapping, several drug distribution cases, larceny, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, negligent homicide and sexual harassment. Additionally, LtCol Elliott was assigned as legal advisor to General Officer Boards of Inquiry, in which senior officers (colonels) were compelled to show cause for retention in the Marine Corps. In February 2002, he assumed the duties of Officer in Charge-Senior Defense Counsel of the New Orleans Branch Office of the Naval Legal Service Office for the Central Region, headquartered in Pensacola, FL.
As the Senior Defense Counsel, LtCol Elliott personally defended or supervised the defense of Marines, sailors and Coast Guardsmen in dozens of cases from General Courts Martial to Admin Separations; from Texas to Florida, and in between. Every court martial case he personally defended ended with a dismissal of all charges or a victory from the court martial panel or judge. LtCol Elliott represented two individuals charged with capital rape; in one case the charges were dismissed after the Article 32 Hearing; in the second case, LtCol Elliott, along with assistant defense counsel, was able to have the charges dropped shortly before commencement of the GCM, due to tirelessly investigating the circumstances and proving to the government beforehand the charges were trumped up. His success ran to Boards of Inquiry as well; personally representing 6 officers in six separate BOIs for alleged misconduct, he was able to have two senior officers retained after a finding of no misconduct or minor misconduct. Considerable effort in the case of a third officer prevented a BOI and allowed the lieutenant colonel to retire from the Marine Corps at that rank.
LtCol Elliott retired from active duty in April 2003, and began practicing maritime law initially with the law firm of Fowler, Rodriguez and Chalos. He then became special counsel to the admiralty group for the law firm of Frilot Partridge in May 2004, as well as gaining admission to the Florida bar that same year. During this period of civilian practice, Mr. Elliott attained significant litigation experience in cargo disputes, vessel collisions, U.S. Customs defenses, NTSB reviews, Coast Guard restrictions and insurance defense in personal injury: longshore and Jones Act seaman actions.
Opening for business in October of 2005, Kris Elliott focused initially on providing legal representation to U.S. military personnel worldwide, in all military justice actions and all board actions; whether medical, competency, administrative separations, or correction of military records. Incorporating in 2006 as The Elliott Law Firm, P.A., the firm has successfully expanded its service to criminal defense for civilians; personal injury for longshoremen and seamen, or other maritime passengers; and the defense of airmen and mechanics in FAA/NTSB inquiries and actions.
LtCol Elliott accumulated almost 2200 total military flight hours in four different aircraft, 35 parachute jumps and numerous designations and certifications as an aviator, flight instructor, aviation safety officer (aircraft accident investigator), jumpmaster, special ops commander, and a judge advocate. He has a private pilot’s license with PIC instrument flight time in complex single engines and multi engine GA aircraft. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device for valor in combat and three stars in lieu of subsequent awards, Navy Achievement Medal with one star in lieu of subsequent award and the Combat Action Ribbon. Mr. Elliott has been sought out and quoted in the AP as an expert in aviation and military legal matters.
As a lawyer he has countless hours of practical courtroom experience and administrative boards; he is an aggressive and thorough interrogator in witness examinations and depositions. As a judge advocate he has been involved as an investigator or defense attorney in dozens of legal matters from investigating serious alleged felonies to defense in capital rape to representation in numerous review boards. He is experienced in maritime personal injury (PI) cases, as well as aviation PI, FAA defense and NTSB reviews. He is licensed to practice in four states: California, Washington, Louisiana and Florida; along with admission to some dozen plus federal district courts and courts of appeal, not to mention the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeal for the Armed Forces.