Captain Douglas M. Peterson grew up in Derwood, Maryland and graduated from Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland, in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies. He was commissioned at Officer Candidate School, NAS Pensacola, Florida in March 1997. In September of 1999 he was designated a Naval Aviator and received orders to the Rough Raiders of VFA-125 for replacement pilot training in the F-18A-D Hornet at NAS Lemoore, California.
In November 2000, CAPT Peterson reported to the Warhawks of VFA-97, flying the FA-18A aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in mid-2001 for what became the initial combat operations over Afghanistan during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. A second deployment in 2003 aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) supported Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Other assignments include: VFA-125 instructor pilot, FA-18A-D NATOPS Program Manager, and VFA-125 Instructor of the Year for 2006, Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW-14) Assistant Operations Officer (USS Ronald Reagan, CVN 76). VFA-97 Operations and Maintenance officer, FA-18C (USS Nimitz, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM), US European Command J5 Strategy Division (Stuttgart, Germany), Strategy Development Branch Head.
CAPT Peterson returned to NAS Lemoore in January 2013 to report to the WARHAWKS, flying Lot 36 FA-18E Super Hornets. He served as Commanding Officer of VFA-97 from Nov 2014 to Mar 2016, deploying aboard USS John C Stennis (CVN 74). During this tour the WARHAWKS earned the Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) Top Hook and Bombing Derby trophies, as well as back-to-back Hornet Ball Sports Trophies. In April 2016, CAPT Peterson reported to Task Force 63 in Naples, Italy as Deputy to the Commodore of SIXTH Fleet’s Logistics Task Force.
CAPT Peterson has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours and over 750 carrier arrested landings. His personal decorations include a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, and four Strike/Flight Air Medals.