Chris “Flounder” Earl


Flounder was born in Denver, Colorado and moved around the state prior to settling in Boulder with his family where he graduated from Boulder High School in 1980. Recruited by the University of Colorado to wrestle, but decided to attend a year of prep school at Mercersburg PA, was recruited and made the decision to attend the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 1985. Following graduation from the Naval Academy, entered flight school at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL and was winged a Naval Aviator following jet training in Beeville, TX.

As a Naval Officer, he entered the fleet flying A-7 Corsair II aircraft in VA-146 flying primarily off USS Nimitz and deploying to the Indian Ocean. In 1990, he transitioned to the FA-18 still as a member of VFA-146, where following completion of various training evolutions and graduation from TOPGUN training, deployed to the Persian Gulf and participated in combat flight operations during Operation DESERT STORM. At the end of 1991 he was transferred to VX-4 and participated in Operational Test and Evaluation of the FA-18, F-14 and various missile and avionics systems associated with fighter aviation. In 1994, Flounder proceeded to his Department Head tour in VFA-87, supported the Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic during stand-up and initial training of fleet aviators, flew combat operations in Bosnia and Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, held positions as the Admin, Safety, Operations and Maintenance Officer and made two deployments. In 1998, he proceeded to United States Space Command and in 2001 joined VFA-97 as the Executive Officer and fleeted up to Command where he flew combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and became the first Navy FA-18 squadron to transition to the Unit Deployment Plan, in support of the Marine Corps. Flounder retired from the Navy in 2005 and has been a defense contractor ever since at NORAD and United States Northern Command.

Flounder is married with three wonderful kids. He is an active member of his community coaching football, wrestling, baseball, fast-pitch softball and also participates in his local community church. He is a graduate of Leadership Pikes Peak, Signature Class of 2012.