Commander Neal A. Young

Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115

26 October 2020 CDR Neal Young was born in Homestead, FL, grew up in Islamorada, FL, and graduated from the University of West Florida in 2000, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He attended Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL and began flight school in November 2002. He earned his Naval Aviator Wings of Gold in June 2005, and in July of the same year, he reported to the Gladiators of VFA-106 for initial fleet training in the F/A-18C Hornet. After completion at VFA-106, CDR Young reported to the “Valions” of VFA-15 at NAS Oceana, Virginia flying the F/A-18C.

During his tour as a Valion, CDR Young completed one full work-up cycle and deployed with CVW-8 onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, participating in Operation Enduring Freedom. From this tour, CDR Young was selected to attend the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, “TOPGUN”, graduating in September of 2009. Following his completion of TOPGUN, CDR Young reported to Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic (SFWSL) in Virginia Beach, VA as a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI). There he served as the director of the Advanced Tactics and Training Program. During his work-ups for TOPGUN and his time at SFWSL, CDR Young became fully qualified to fly and instruct in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

In March 2012, CDR Young reported to the “Dambusters” of VFA-195 in Atsugi, Japan where he completed a two-year tour as the Training Officer flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet. During this time, he made two six-month deployments onboard the USS George Washington, patrolling the INDOPACIFIC area of responsibility. During this tour, CDR Young was selected as the U.S. Navy Tailhook Association’s Strike Fighter Tactics Pilot of the Year.

In February 2014, CDR Young remained in Atsugi and began his Department Head tour at the “Eagles” of VFA-115, also flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet. He worked in various roles at VFA-115 as the Safety, Operations, and Maintenance Officer. With the “Eagles” he would make three full deployments, onboard both the USS George Washington and the USS Ronald Reagan.

Following his Department Head tour, CDR Young transferred to U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) located at Yokota AFB. He served as an action officer in the J37, Training and Readiness division as well as the Future Operations Chief for the J35. During his time as the J35 Chief, he was responsible for Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations throughout Japan as well many VIP visits, including the President and Vice President of the United States.

CDR Young has accumulated more than 2,800 flight hours and 600 carrier arrested landings. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal (2 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal and various service awards and ribbons.
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