If Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tommy Young, senior aerial delivery officer, 11th Quartermaster (QM) Company, is not providing oversight for his parachute packing facility on Fort Bragg, you will find him out on the water, just about every weekend, fishing for bass.
Committed to his assignment as a rigger since 2003, Young has pledged allegiance to protecting the safety and lives of fellow Soldiers.
“The most important component of my job is ensuring the safety of the paratroopers,” Young said. “The biggest thing for me is paying attention to every detail … making sure that everything that leaves this facility is safe and that every jumper gets out of the plane safely.”
Young does not take this responsibility lightly or for granted. He explained the pinnacle of his job is working with the riggers of the 11th QM Co. pack shed, supporting the 82nd Airborne Division and all things parachutes, so the 82nd Abn. Div. can jump out of airplanes.
Having been with the 11th QM Co. since August 2018, Young became a senior aerial delivery officer after his return from deployment in Korea. Alongside his accomplishments as a rigger, Young calls on his High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) certification, which allows Soldiers to insert into a location at significantly higher altitudes, as one of his most thrilling and greater achievements to date.
However, for Young, an undertaking of greater implication has been the sport of fishing.
“I have been a boater and fishing my whole life,” Young said. “I grew up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have only been bass fishing for about three and a half years now. I love bass fishing, I prefer it the most.”
Young said a notable highlight of his time overseas, was bass fishing with the Koreans, and being the only American presence to fish the Korean Largemouth bass fishing tour.
As a sponsored angler, Young competed in the Warriors on the Water (WOW) military appreciation bass fishing tournament, May 10, on one of his favorite places to fish, Jordan Lake, North Carolina. Honored to display a subdued American flag on the sides of his “Bass Cat Cougar” fishing boat, Young takes pride in not just serving his country, but giving back in every way he can to service members.
“I fished as a co-angler with WOW two years ago,” Young said. “Now I am back as a boater and I am able to provide for a Soldier an opportunity to get on the water in a boat and away from structure and worry. That is the greatest thing for me.”
Competing just about every weekend, fishing provides him with clarity of mind. He said the second time he went bass fishing, he returned to the water with a professional angler and he was hooked immediately.
“Fishing is a place where you can go, it is peaceful,” he said. “When you are on the water, it is a time where you can let any problems go. Just to get out there and let go of your worries and only focus on catching fish.”
Young recalled his experience with the visiting professional anglers and his experience at WOW.
“Shaw Grigsby, a well known bass fisherman in the industry ... meeting someone like him, who is on television is like being a kid in the candy shop,” he said. “It was so awesome that these professionals took the time to come and tour our facility and help out with what we do and see what we do on a daily basis.”