Colonel Fuerst served in the United States Navy as an SH-3 Sea King Air Crewman and Search and Rescue Swimmer from June 1983 until June 1987. Following his US Navy enlistment he attended Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, graduated in May 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Upon graduating from The Basic School he reported for flight training in Pensacola, Florida, designated a Naval Aviator in December 1993 and reported to New River, North Carolina for follow on training in the CH-46E.
Col Fuerst was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter (HMM) Squadron 263 in New River from June 1994 to June 1998. His primary duties included assignment as the Adjutant, Family Readiness Officer, Pilot Training Officer, Weapons and Tactics Instructor and Tactics and Plans Officer. During this period, he participated in two Landing Force Sixth Fleet Deployments with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Col Fuerst reported to MCAS Yuma, Arizona for duty with Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) where he served as a CH-46E Instructor Pilot from July 1998 to June 2001.
In June 2001, he was assigned to the 2D Marine Regiment as the Regimental Air Officer. In July 2002, Col Fuerst joined VMMT-204 (the MV-22B Osprey Fleet Replacement Squadron) as the Operations Officer and was designated an MV-22B pilot in September 2004.
In July of 2005, Col Fuerst was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation, Weapon Systems Requirements Branch (APW), as the Medium Lift Requirements Officer for the CH-46E and the MV-22B.
In September of 2008, Col Fuerst began refresher training in the MV-22B, became the Commanding Officer of HMM-365 in January of 2009 and transitioned the squadron to VMM-365. In June of 2010, VMM-365 deployed to Camp Leatherneck, in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, participating in Operation Enduring Freedom. After giving up Command of VMM-365 Col Fuerst returned to Camp Leatherneck as the Current Operations Officer for 2D MAW (Forward) through July 2011.
Col Fuerst attended The National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces from August 2011 to June 2012, completed a tour on The Joint Staff, J-35 in July 2014 and was the Aviation Plans and Policies (APP) Deputy Branch head within Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation from July 2014 to June 2016.
Col Fuerst is a graduate of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, Amphibious Warfare School, Tactical Air Control Party School, Command and Staff College and holds a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from The National Defense University. Col Fuerst’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (gold star in lieu of third award), the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of second award) the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of second award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and a Navy Good Conduct Medal. Col Fuerst has accumulated over 3000 mishap free flight hours in rotary wing, tilt rotor and fixed wing aircraft.