During his career, Col Vaughn served duty overseas in Japan, Iraq, Korea, Bahrain and Thailand. He served in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in Fallujah, Iraq as one of the first ever Battalion Judge Advocates, attached to Third Battalion, First Marines in 2004, where he was wounded in combat in November 2004. He served as Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea and as Deputy Chief for Operational Law for U.S. Forces Korea and the Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces Command in 2009-2011 and as Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command (FWD) in 2012-2013 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Manama, Bahrain. He served as Military Assistant to the Department of Defense General Counsel, Office of the Secretary of Defense, in 2013-2015 and as Commanding Officer, Region 3 (East Asia and Pacific), Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, in 2015-2017 commanding Marine Security Guards at 23 posts across 17 countries. He then served as Associate Counsel for Manpower, Office of Counsel for the Commandant, Headquarters Marine Corps, in 2017-2019 before serving as Senior Advisor/Marine Corps Fellow, Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance, U.S. Department of State in 2019-2020. Most recently he served as Staff Judge Advocate for Third Marine Aircraft Wing from 2020-2022. Col Vaughn also served as criminal Defense Counsel, Prosecutor, Environmental Attorney, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Civilian Personnel Law Attorney during his career.
Col Vaughn also graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2006 with a Master of Laws in Labor and Employment Law and the College of Naval Command and Staff, U.S. Naval War College--where he earned a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies in 2012. He retains the additional military occupation specialty of Regional Area Officer (North East Asia).
Col Vaughn is the recipient of the 2005 American Bar Association, Young Lawyer Division “Outstanding Young Military Service Lawyer Award” for the Marine Corps and the 2015 Judge Advocate Association "Career Armed Services Attorney Award" for the Marine Corps, in addition to multiple personal military and State Department awards.