Forrest "Gump" Young
United States Navy
CDR Forrest Young, a native of Maryland, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1995 with a degree in History. He was winged in Kingsville, TX in 1997, and ordered to the VFA-125 "Rough Raiders" at NAS Lemoore, CA to train in the F/A-18C. He subsequently reported to the VFA-137 "Kestrels" in October 1998 and deployed twice with CVW-2 in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH aboard USS Constellation (CV 64).
In October 2001, CDR Young attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) with follow-on assignment to Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific where he directed the west coast Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program (SFARP).
In January 2004, CDR Young transferred to the VFA-27 "Royal Maces" assigned to CVW-5 in Atsugi, Japan as the squadron training officer. He completed multiple deployments aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in support of various international exercises as well as transitioning the squadron to the F/A-18E.
In June 2006, he joined the VFA-105 "Gunslingers" as a department head, deploying with CVW-3 for the 2007/2008 cruise aboard USS Truman (CVN 75) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
In July 2009, CDR Young graduated from the Naval War College in Newport, RI receiving a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. While in Newport he was selected to attend the Naval Operational Planners Course at the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School.
In September 2009, CDR Young reported to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Washington DC office. From there he was detailed to the National Counterterrorism Center. While assigned to USSOCOM he completed the Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA.
CDR Young reports back to the "Gunslingers" as Executive Officer with more than 2,300 flight hours in the F/A-18A-F and over 700 arrested landings. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medals (3 awards), Navy Commendation Medals (3 awards), Navy Achievement Medals (3 awards) and numerous other campaign and unit awards.