Commander Martin N. Fentress, Jr., a native of Norfolk, VA, graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 2000 with a B.A. in Economics. He received a commission through the Navy’s Officer Candidate School at NAS Pensacola, Florida in February 2001. He then reported to VT-4 at NAS Pensacola for primary and intermediate flight training. In February 2002, he selected the E-2C Hawkeye and reported to VAW-120 for fleet replacement NFO training. He received his wings as a Naval Flight Officer in December 2002.
In May 2003, CDR Fentress reported to the BEAR ACES of VAW-124. He deployed September 2005 with Carrier Air Wing EIGHT aboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. During this tour, CDR Fentress graduated from Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN Air Intercept Control (AIC) course.
In May 2006, CDR Fentress reported to Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN, as the AIC officer, Command & Control subject matter expert, and NSAWC Journal Editor.
CDR Fentress returned to VAW-124 in April 2009 as the Training Officer. He led a three-aircraft detachment in support of Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE, providing Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
In June 2011 CDR Fentress reported to the BLUETAILS of VAW-121. He deployed twice with Carrier Air Wing SEVEN aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. CDR Fentress was selected as the 2012 Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award recipient.
CDR Fentress reported to United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM), Resources Directorate (J1/8), in December 2013 as the Strategic Resources Analyst. He later served as Executive Officer to the Director, Resources Directorate.
CDR Fentress returned to the Hawkeye/Greyhound Fleet Replacement Squadron, VAW-120, as Executive Officer in December 2015. He completed this tour in August 2017 prior to assuming the position of Executive Officer at VAW-121.
CDR Fentress has accumulated over 2,000 flight hours in the E-2 Hawkeye, F/A-18 B/D/F, and F-16B. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal, and various campaign awards and unit commendations.