CDR. Thomas R. Winkler, USN
Strike Fighter Squadron EIGHT SEVEN
Commander Tom "Duck" Winkler grew up in Washington, DC and attended Gonzaga College High School. He went on the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and graduated in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in history. He received his commission through the NROTC program in May of 1996. Commander Winkler was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1999 and reported to the Rough Raiders of VFA-125 in Lemoore, California for training in the F-18C Hornet.
Commander Winkler’ initial fleet assignment was to the Marauders of VFA-82 in Beaufort, South Carolina. From April 2001 to March 2004 he completed two combat deployments aboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT and USS ENTERPRISE flying during the first months of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.
In April 2004 CDR Winkler reported to the Sharpshooters of VMFAT-101 in San Diego, California for duty as an instructor Pilot and Landing Signals Officer. In August 2005, CDR Winkler transferred to Pensacola, Florida for a two year assignment with the Blue Angels of the Flight Demonstration Squadron.
In January 2008, Commander Winkler reported to the Rampagers of VFA-83 in Virginia Beach, Virginia where he served as the Administrative Officer, Safety Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Operations Officer. During his tour with the Rampagers he deployed twice aboard the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
In May 2010, Commander Winkler reported to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California for French language training. From February 2011 to June 2012 Commander Winkler studied as an exchange officer at the French War College in Paris, France.
Commander Winkler reported to the VFA-87 Golden Warriors and assumed duties as Executive Officer in December 2012.
Commander Winkler has accumulated over 2700 flight hours and 500 carrier arrested landings. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) and various unit and campaign awards.