Commander Philip D. Zarum is a native of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts. A graduate of University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH with a BA in Geology, he was commissioned in August of 1996. He entered flight training in November of 1996 and was designated a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) in January of 1998.
Following EA-6B fleet replacement NFO training with Electronic Attack Squadron ONE TWO NINE (VAQ-129), Cmdr. Zarum reported to the “Lancers” of Electronic Attack Squadron ONE THREE ONE (VAQ-131) in May of 1999. During this tour he completed two full deployments encompassing operations in the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
In January of 2002, he returned to flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 2003. Following F/A-18F fleet replacement pilot training with Strike Fighter Squadron ONE TWO TWO (VFA-122), Cmdr. Zarum reported to the “Bounty Hunters” of Strike Fighter Squadron TWO (VFA-2) in October of 2004. During this tour he completed a deployment to the Western Pacific aboard the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72).
In June of 2007, following EA-6B fleet replacement pilot training with Electronic Attack Squadron ONE TWO NINE (VAQ-129), Cmdr. Zarum joined the “Scorpions” of Electronic Attack Squadron ONE THREE TWO (VAQ-132) as a Department Head. He served as Safety, Maintenance, and Operations officer. He deployed on the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) in support of the Partnership of the Americas and Unitas exercises and forward deployed to Al Asad Airbase in Iraq flying combat missions in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Rounding out his tour, he was instrumental in assisting the squadron in the transition from EA-6Bs to EA-18G “Growlers.”
In October of 2010, Cmdr. Zarum reported to the Naval War College in Newport, RI, graduating in November of 2011 with a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies with a focus on the Greater Middle East.
Following Pilot refresher at fleet replacement squadron’s VAQ-129 and VFA-122, in February of 2012, Cmdr. Zarum reported to the “Vampires” of the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron NINE (VX-9). He served as the command’s Electronic Warfare Branch Head, operationally testing the improvements to three type/model/series aircraft, the EA-6B, EA-18G, and the F/A-18E/F and their associated weapon systems.
In March of 2015, Cmdr. Zarum reported to USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH (CVN 77), as the Strike Operations Officer. He was responsible for the planning and scheduling of all ship’s operations including integrating its evolutions with the carrier strike group.
Cmdr. Zarum reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella in May of 2017. He served as the Operations Officer and C-26 station Pilot providing support for Mediterranean, NAVCENT, AFRICOM, U.S. FIFTH and SIXTH Fleet units and the 37 tenant commands. In July of 2020 he reported aboard NROTC Norwich University as the Executive Officer.
Cmdr. Zarum has accumulated over 4000 flight hours and 400 carrier arrested landings in the EA-6B, F/A-18E/F, EA-18G, and C-26. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various unit, service, and campaign awards.