Rear Adm. Doug “Woody” Beal is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a 1986 graduate of Purdue University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He was commissioned through Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1987 and earned his Wings of Gold in 1988.
Beal served in Attack Squadron (VA) 52, flying the A-6E Intruder and deploying to the Western Pacific aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). After a tour as flag lieutenant for Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons at Naval Air Station China Lake, California, Beal transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet and served as the strike operations officer for Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), flying missions in support of Operation Restore Hope (Somalia) and Operation Southern Watch (Iraq).
He affiliated with the Reserve component in 1999 flying the F/A-18 Hornet with the Hunters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 201. In 2002 he deployed with VFA-201 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) for the squadron’s historic combat cruise, supporting the initial phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Subsequently assuming command of VFA-201, he served in additional command tours including: Training Air Wing 5 Reserve Component Command, U.S. 2nd Fleet Carrier Strike Group Augment Unit, Naval Reserve Strike Force Training Atlantic Headquarters and Naval Reserve U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Maritime and Air Operations Headquarters. He was then assigned as the USFF reserve chief staff officer.
Beal has accumulated 3,844 military flight hours, 55 combat sorties and 472 carrier-arrested landings. He has earned a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Science in National Security Studies from the National War College. Beal is grateful to have served with outstanding Sailors, colleagues and friends whose exceptional teamwork and performance have enabled him to wear the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Individual Action with Combat Distinguishing Device and Strike Flight awards), Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and Battle ‘E’ awards.