Capt. (Ret.) Eric Fippinger hails from Seattle, Washington. Hailing from the Coffee Capitol of the World, he found his teen years in the 90s riled with rock, school, minor incidents with the law and finally a decision to become a Marine officer. He worked his way up through school in a Navy ROTC unit and eventually completed a Civil Engineering degree and the Platoon Leader’s Course in 1996. Somehow, a fascination with becoming a pilot caught his fancy. After finishing The Basic School he got his wish and was sent to Basic Flight School in Pensacola, FL, earning his “Wings of Gold” as a Naval Aviator.
He found himself shipped to the other end of the country to VFAT-125 (Rough Raiders) as he was assigned to be a Hornet Jockey. After completion of the school his first assignment was as a pilot at VMFA-242 (Bats) flying a F/A-18D. Further tours included VMFA-225 (Vikings), and a combat tour with VMFA-314 (Black Knights) in 2001 as one of the first operational squadrons in the area for Operation Enduring Freedom aboard the USS John C. Stennis. He would stick with the Knights for some time, becoming endeared to them. But he was eventually found medically unfit to continue flying and opted to medically retire as by then his initial obligation as an officer had expired. He went back to the civilian world, trying to remember all those things past of being a civil engineer but it never quite took and he missed flying too much.