A Brief Bio, As Of March 2009 -
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Although not a native born Floridian, I call Florida home. My parents
were in Wilmington, North Carolina, during WWII…
which explains my having been born in
in August, 1944.
My Father was serving there in the US Coast Guard, prior to being shipped out to
the Pacific and being “forced” into the US Navy. That was the practice back
then, as the Coast Guard operated as a personnel pool for Navy expansion.
My Father is more than a hero to me. In June 1931, he was on a Coast Guard
cutter that was conducting life saving training off of the coast of
North Carolina. A shipmate who couldn’t swim fell
overboard without a life preserver, and my Dad jumped in the water and kept the
two of them afloat until the ship could turn around and recover them.
For that, he was awarded the Silver Life Saving Medal. There are two medals
awarded for saving a person from the perils of the sea – the Gold and Silver
Life Saving Medals. The Gold medal is for actions involving a greater level of
danger to the rescuer, and the Silver is for a life saving action of lesser
peril to the rescuer. In addition to my Dad, there are several other
distinguished recipients of the Silver Life Saving Medal – Chester Nimitz, and
George Patton. In my opinion, Nimitz and Patton are in good company. For more
information on the Silver and Gold Life Saving Medals, you might want to see
On 7 December 1991, by order of the Commandant of the US Coast Guard, the galley
and residence building at the US Coast Guard Station Ponce Inlet, Florida, was
dedicated to Lt(JG) Earl L. Tingle, Sr., for his bravery and service to the US
Coast Guard for 25 years. I’m very proud of my Dad.
I grew up on
New Smyrna Beach, Florida,
and attended the same school my mother had attended some 30 years earlier. I
didn’t graduate from that school, as my parents decided that I needed more
discipline, so they sent me to Riverside
Military Academy, where I squeaked by
and graduated in 1962.
I barely made it into college, where I promptly flunked out – college wasn’t
ready for me. I had previously worked as an electrician apprentice, so I fell
back up on that for a couple of years. In 1965, the war in
was going strong, and I knew I was subject to being drafted, even though I was
married at the time. So, I enlisted for the Army Security Agency, as a
teletypewriter repairman. In the reception station processing, I scored enough
on my tests to qualify to take the Officer Candidate Test, and, fortunately, I
made enough on that to be selected for OCS.
I completed Advanced Infantry Training at Ft Ord, California, and then went on
to Signal OCS at Ft Gordon, Georgia, graduating on 20 April 1967, with Class
My assignments include Germany, Vietnam,
Panama, the Pentagon, Ft
Bragg, and Fort Gordon, where I retired
In Germany, I was a Platoon Leader in
the 34th Signal Battalion, and later Battalion S2. I served 2 years
there before being PCS’d to Vietnam, as a “replacement.”
At the reception station we were told to go stand under the unit patch, if we
were assigned to a specific Division. To me, the yellow patch with the horse
looked better than any of the rest, so I stood under that patch even though I
was unassigned – that’s how I got into the 1st Cav.
I had a great year with the 1st Bn, 5th Cav as the
Battalion SigO, S2, and later as a company commander. I
received the Combat Infantryman Badge about half way through my year with the 1st
of the 5th.
My next assignment was an Airborne assignment, in Panama, where I picked up my
Master’s Parachutist Badge.
The Pentagon was a challenging assignment, but very career enhancing. Following
the Pentagon assignment, I commanded the 447th Signal Battalion at Ft
Gordon. At that time, at Ft Gordon, all the permanent party instructors – about
1,800 of them, were assigned to the 447th. After the Pentagon, that
was a very rewarding tour of duty. All in all, throughout my career, while I
certainly had a couple of lame assignments along the way, my 1st Cav
and Airborne assignments were the most professionally rewarding.
After retiring I took a break for a couple of years, and discovered travel by
Harley among other things. After 911, I reassessed my position and decided I
still had something to offer my country, so I started looking for a position in
government service. Luckily, I was hired as a contractor in the same office at
Ft Gordon, the same office where I’d served as a Colonel just prior to
I worked there for 5 years, and in
August 2007, I shifted to part time, and that’s what I do now… except that I
work part time from my house in
Beach, which is ¼ mile south of Ponce Inlet Coast Guard Station and the Lt(JG)
Earl L. Tingle, Sr. Building.
I have 3 sons, 2 of whom are stepsons, and in February
2009, my oldest son, Earl L. Tingle, III, aka Buddy, and I had a father/son
Harley ride to
– that was a great adventure.
I am engaged to Vicky Martin, and she shares the house
with me in New Smyrna. We enjoy our grandchildren and friends, and we wish they
could visit more often, but like all of us when we were younger, they have many
competing endeavors. I’m particularly proud of my 2 newest grandchildren –
Jonathan and Jessica. They are an absolute joy to be around – both are very
For the foreseeable future – New Smyrna Beach and the open road will be home.
This page originally posted 04 March,