Luther to honor Tory Hegrenes with 2012 Young Alumni Award

May 16, 2012

Tory Hegrenes, a U.S. Navy lieutenant and flight officer, has been named the recipient of the Luther College Young Alumni Award for 2012.

The Young Alumni Award recognizes Luther alumni who have graduated in the past 15 years and who have rendered notable service to their profession and society in their vocation or avocation.

Award recipients have demonstrated significant professional achievement, leadership abilities and distinctive service to Luther or society. Their record of commitment, leadership, character and ethic exemplify the college mission.

The award will be presented to Hegrenes at the college's Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 20. His citation will be read by Gregg Luther, a 1990 graduate of Luther and president of the college's Alumni Council.

A native of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Hegrenes graduated from Luther in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics.

He received his commission through the Navy Officer Candidate School in 2002. After completing flight training in 2003, Hegrenes became a naval flight officer.

In 2003 Hegrenes served as an F-14 Tomcat radar intercept officer. He was assigned to the "Red Rippers" of Strike Fighter Squadron ELEVAN where he served as aircraft division officer and weapons training officer.

During this tour, Hegrenes completed a three-month deployment on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, flying combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Hegrenes graduated from the Navy's Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in 2007 with follow-on orders to Strike Fighter Weapons School, Atlantic (SFWSL). There he served as Close Air Support and Special Operations Integration subject matter expert. He was the branch head of the Navy's East Coast Forward Air Controller Airborne division.

After completing Strike Fighter Weapons School, Atlantic, Hegrenes joined the "Jolly Rogers" of Strike Fighter Squadron 103. He completed a seven-month deployment aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

He currently serves with the "Fighting Blacklions" of Strike Fighter Squadron 213 in Virginia Beach, Va. He is the safety/combat readiness department head, flying the FA-18 Super Hornet.

Hegrenes has received numerous decorations including two Strike Flight air medals, two Navy Commendation medals, the Navy Achievement medal, the National Defense Service medal, The Afghanistan Campaign medal, the Global War on Terror Service medal, Navy Expert Pistol medal and various unit awards.

In 2010 Hegrenes was named the 2010 Commander, Naval Atlantic Air Forces Atlantic Naval Flight Officer of the Year. The nomination by his commanding officer, W. K. Kimmel, stated, "Lt. Hegrenes is an outstanding Naval Officer and Strike Fighter aviator. His success in teaching, mentoring, managing and leading his subordinates and peers is a testament to his dedication to my command and its mission."

In his citation, Rear Admiral R. J. O'Hanlon citied Hegrenes for his "tactical prowess and leadership that resulted in the flawless execution of 42 combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom."