Captain David A. Culler, Jr., a second generation Naval Aviator, was born in High Point, NC. He graduated from the University of New Mexico in December 1987 with a BA degree in Political Science. Commissioned in 1988, he earned his Naval Flight Officer wings of gold in 1989. He joined his first fleet squadron, VF-142 "Ghostriders" in 1990 onboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in support of Operation Desert Shield. He made two deployments with VF-142 and graduated from the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in June 1992.