Commander (ret.) Joseph “Monty” McMonigle was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Archbishop Kennedy High School in 1988. He attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida where he earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Aeronautical Science in 1993. Following graduation, he became a flight instructor, metro traffic pilot, and charter pilot in Philadelphia.
In 1995, he was accepted into the Navy’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) program in Pensacola, FL and was commissioned May 1995. His subsequent training command tours included Corpus Christi TX, Meridian MS, and Kingsville TX. He earned his wings in June 1997 and reported shortly thereafter to the GRIM REAPERS of VF-101 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for F-14D Tomcat flight training.
Upon completion of the F-14 Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) syllabus in November of 1998, he reported to the BOUNTY HUNTERS of VF-2. CDR McMonigle twice deployed to the Persian Gulf onboard the USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64) and he flew combat missions over Iraq in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. It was during this tour that he was introduced to Cher, a graduate student from Iowa who he married in 1999.
In December of 2001, he reported to the SAINTS of VFC-13 in Fallon, Nevada where he served as an adversary instructor pilot in the F-5 Tiger aircraft. His time in Fallon was marked by such achievements as TOP GUN adversary course graduate, Aviation Safety Officer School graduate and designation as Threat IR Missile Subject Matter Expert. While attached to VFC-13, he was also selected for the Full Time Support (FTS) program and most notably he became a father to two beautiful children, Max and Katie Scarlett.
In September of 2005, he arrived at NAS Key West in support of VFC-13 DET KEY WEST where he was integral in establishing a permanent Navy Adversary squadron during one of the worst hurricane seasons in Key West history. In November 2006 he became a plank owner of the new Key West VFC-111 Sun Downers, where he served as the Safety Officer, Administrative Officer, and Operations Officer.
Commander McMonigle transferred in February of 2009 to the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) in Millington, TN where he was the FTS Placement Officer. As the Placement officer, Joe helped shape the careers of Naval Officers and assisted in filling the manning requirements for Navy Reserve Commands. While in Tennessee, he was board selected for Command of a Navy Fighter squadron and upon completion of his staff tour he returned to the SUN DOWNERS of VFC-111 at Key West, FL, for his position as the Executive Officer in September of 2010.
He subsequently assumed Command of the Sun Downers on the 28th of January 2012 and led the squadron to continued success. During his command tour, he personally brought new technology to the aging aircraft to include; Traffic Collision Avoidance, Terrain Avoidance, and an improved suite of radio and navigation equipment, all through an innovative Civilian off the shelf proposal. The Sun Downers are the largest squadron within the Reserves by aircraft and they fly more adversary sorties than any other command. Commander McMonigle stepped down as the CO on the 4th of May 2013 and was relieved by CDR David Faehnle.
Monty’s last assignment was as the Operational Support Officer, Deputy N1, and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Officer for Commander Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia in Naples Italy. Although triple tasked, his research and innovation in the field of culture change made him invaluable to the Navy’s sexual assault prevention efforts.
Monty retired from Naval service on August 1st, 2015. He currently resides in Key West, Florida where he plans on raising his two children, Max and Scarlett. He is again working as a Pilot at Draken international where he aids in training the U.S. Air Force pilots of tomorrow.
Commander McMonigle has over 2,500 flight hours in Navy Aircraft and has accumulated 153 arrested landings. He is a graduate of Navy Fighter Weapons School’s Adversary Course and has been awarded the Air Medal (2 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (3 Awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (3 Awards), and numerous other personal, and unit awards.