Dec 2 2021
Lt. Col. Frank Savarese | Flying an F/A-18 Hornet, Playing Baseball at the Naval Academy, and how he Co-Founded Hero Barbell Co.
This episode of The Athlete Entrepreneur features my good friend and co-founder of Hero Barbell Co., Lt. Col. Frank "Squiggy" Savarese. Lieutenant Colonel Savarese was born the son of a Marine attack pilot. He graduated the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelors of Science in History and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 2002. In June 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Savarese finished his initial training at VMFAT-101, and reported to the Death Rattlers of VMFA-323 for follow on training. He also deployed aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (II) in 2007 and again in 2009 in support of theater security operations in the western pacific. He was designated Air Combat Tactics Instructor in December 2008. Departing from the Snakes in July 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Savarese received orders to become a Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor and reported to VMFAT-101. While with the Sharpshooters, he was selected to attend the United States Navy’s Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and was designated a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor in June 2011. Lieutenant Colonel Savarese received orders in August 2012 to report to Marine Aviation Training Systems Site (MATSS) Iwakuni, and relocated his family to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. While assigned to MATSS Iwakuni, he served as MATSS operations officer and as the MAG-12 standardization evaluator. In July 2013, he received orders and reported to the Bats of VMFA(AW)-242 and serve as the pilot training officer. He attended Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-14 was designated a WTI in October 2013. For his efforts as training officer, he was recognized as the 2015 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Aviator of the Year. Subsequently, Lieutenant Colonel Savarese reported for duty as Air Officer, 11th Marine Regiment in April 2015. Upon graduating Tactical Air Control Party School and being designated a Forward Air Controller (FAC), he attended WTI again as an air officer. While at WTI, he received the India 14 award, distinguishing him as top FAC. During his tour with 11th Marines, he was responsible for Joint Terminal Attack Controller training throughout 1st Marine Division.In October of 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Savarese reported to the Death Rattlers of VMFA-323 for his department head tour. During this tour, he served as the maintenance officer in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, and deployed with Carrier Air Wing 11 aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in June 2017. He returned in December of 2017 and served as the executive officer until his departure in March of 2019. After departing the Death Rattlers for a second time, he reported to Commander Naval Air Forces (CNAF) to serve as the Tactical Aircraft Integration (TAI) officer. For his continued efforts to integrate both the Navy and Marine Corps, he was recognized as the 2019 USMC Tailhooker of the Year.His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Strike/Flight), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of third award), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (gold star in lieu of second award). Throughout his flying career, he has accumulated over 2300 mishap free F/A-18 hours, over 150 combat hours, and 364 carrier-arrested landings.LtCol Savarese is happily married to the former Jamie Alameda of Yuma, Arizona. They have four children, Charlotte (10), Reid (8), Frances (4), and Margot (1).