Colonel Pavelko graduated from Penn State University and was commissioned in May 1994. Upon graduation from The Basic School in Quantico, VA he was assigned to flight school in Pensacola, FL and designated a Naval Aviator in September 1997.
Col Pavelko reported to HMLAT-303 at Camp Pendleton, CA, for training in the AH-1W with a follow-on assignment to HMLA-169 Vipers in March 1998. While assigned to HMLA-169, he served as the squadron Tactics Officer, Pilot Training Officer, Embark Officer and in various operations and logistics assignments. He attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course and designated a WTI in April 2001. During this tour, he deployed with HMM-165(Rein) as part of the Aviation Combat Element for 11th MEU(SOC); with HMLA-169 as part of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) to Okinawa, Japan; and again with HMLA-169 for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF-1).
In July 2003, he reported to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) where he served as an Instructor Pilot, the Rotary-Wing Offensive Air Support (RW OAS) Specialist, AH-1W ANTTP Model Manager, and the AH-1W Division Head.
In July 2006, Col Pavelko reported to Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, in Quantico, VA where he earned his Masters of Military Studies.
In June 2007, Col Pavelko reported to MAG-29 as the Future Operations Officer where he deployed to Iraq in support of OIF 07.2-08.1. Returning from Iraq in February 2008, he transferred to HMLA-269 Gunrunners as the Operations Officer. In August 2008, he deployed to Iraq with HMLA-269 for OIF 08.2-09.1, returning in February of 2009. In May 2009, he assumed the duties of squadron Executive Officer. In August 2009, he deployed to Iraq for OIF 09.2. In March 2010, Col Pavelko transferred back to MAG-29 as the Operations Officer. In June 2011, he assumed the duties of MAG-29 Executive Officer.
In January 2012, Col Pavelko reported to Helicopter Training Squadron Twenty-Eight (HT-28) at NAS Whiting Field, FL. He served as the Executive Officer then Commanding Officer of HT-28 from June 2012 to December 2014.
In July 2015, Col Pavelko reported to Air War College, Air University, at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL where he earned his Masters of Strategic Studies.
In July 2016, Col Pavelko reported to United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL where he served within J7 Joint SOF Development directorate. In July 2018, Col Pavelko returned to Training Air Wing FIVE at NAS Whiting Field, FL for his current assignment.
His personal decorations include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (2nd award); the Air Medal, for individual action, with Combat "V" device and gold star (2nd award); the Air Medal, strike/flight, with numeral "9"; and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star (2nd award).