Commander Will Parkhurst was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended the University of Florida, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Statistics and his commission through the NROTC program in 2000. Selected for naval aviation, he completed Primary Flight Training at VT-3 on NAS Whiting Field, FL and received his “Wings of Gold” in 2002 after completion of Advanced Flight Training with the 32 FTS at Vance AFB, OK.
Commander Parkhurst was selected to fly the E-6B Mercury and following training with the VQ-7 “Roughnecks” at Tinker AFB, OK, he reported to VQ-4 “Shadows” in 2003 for his first operational assignment, completing numerous deployments in support of USSTRATCOM TACAMO and ABNCP Strategic Deterrence missions.
After completion of his first fleet tour, Commander Parkhurst was selected for duty as Flight Instructor at VT-3 on NAS Whiting Field, FL. Once again reporting to the “Red Knights” in 2006, Commander Parkhurst qualified as Instructor Pilot in the T-34C Turbomentor, earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Trident University International, and was recognized as Instructor of the Year in 2008.
Commander Parkhurst reported to the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN as Tactical Action Officer in 2009, also serving as Assistant CDC Officer. He volunteered for Individual Augmentee orders to Afghanistan in 2010, and deployed to US Forces-Afghanistan at New Kabul Compound, Afghanistan as the J7 Aviation Training Plans Officer. During this tour, Commander Parkhurst graduated from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, AL.
Completing his tour of duty in Afghanistan, Commander Parkhurst reported to the VQ-4 “Shadows” in December 2011 for his operational department head tour. During this tour, he served as Quality Assurance Officer, Training Officer, Administrative Officer, and Maintenance Officer. During his tenure in the Maintenance Department, Chief Naval Air Forces awarded VQ-4 the Maintenance Excellence Award, and recognized the squadron’s maintenance as among the top 10% of all Navy and Marine Maintenance organizations during the 2014 CNAF Aviation Maintenance Inspection.
Following his department head tour in 2014, Commander Parkhurst reported to Training Air Wing FOUR as the Aviation Safety Officer, where he qualified as Flight Instructor in the T-44C Pegasus aircraft. Serving as the TW-4 ASO with four subordinate squadrons, and as the Fixed-Wing Instructor Training Unit ASO, Chief Naval Air Training recognized the Safety Management Systems at TW-4 with the highest possible marks of “Outstanding” for all units and inspected areas during two Training, Standardization, and Safety Inspections spanning a three-year period.
Commander Parkhurst has accumulated over 4,300 military flight hours and completed more than 1300 Student Military Aviator sorties in five aircraft. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, is a FAA-certified civilian single and multi-engine Flight and Instrument Instructor, Airline Transport Pilot, and FAA Aviation Safety Officer. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Commendation Medal (4 awards), Navy and Marine Achievement Medal (3 awards) and various unit, campaign and service awards. Commander Parkhurst is joined by his wife Vicki, daughters Emily (5) and Grace (3), assuming duties as Chief Staff Officer of Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae in December 2017.