A native of Cary, Illinois, Cmdr. Don Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his commission as an Ensign through Reserve Officer Training Corps at Illinois Institute of Technology in May 2003. He completed primary flight training with the 33rd Flying Training Squadron at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, followed by advanced helicopter training in Milton, Florida, with the "Eightballers" of Helicopter Training Squadron (HT) 8. Designated a naval aviator in the summer of 2005, he executed orders to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia as an MH-53E replacement pilot.
Taylor transferred to Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas, for sea duty with the "Blackhawks" of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15. He performed duties as the legal officer, Detachment Two mine countermeasures division officer, Detachment Two tactics officer, maintenance division officer, and Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) officer. While assigned to HM-15, Taylor completed a deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in Bahrain for Operation Iraqi Freedom and served as the detachment officer in charge for HAWKEX 2008, in Panama City, Florida. He participated in humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations to the citizens of Galveston, Texas, and Lake Calcasieu, Louisiana, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in September 2008.
In October 2010, Taylor served as one of the last squadron personnel to help close the doors of HM-15 at NAS Corpus Christi as the squadron made its homeport change to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
In October 2010, Taylor transferred to Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, for duty as a T-6A Texan II instructor pilot with the "Eightballers" of Training Squadron (VT) 8. He served as a flight commander, training officer, and standardization/NATOPS officer where he taught primary flight training to young officers of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and various allied nations, and logged over 1,200 hours in the T-6A. In December 2012, Taylor selected as a Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) Full Time Support (FTS) officer.
In July 2013, Taylor joined the "Red Knights" of VT-3 at NAS Whiting Field, Florida, where he served as the reserve component department head, Training Wing 5 T-6B standardization officer, and squadron operations officer, while flying the "B" Model of the T-6 Texan II. Taylor then served as the commanding officer of Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Wichita, Kansas. In 2017, Taylor graduated the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
In August 2019, he joined the CNATRA staff as the reserve operational support officer.
Taylor has achieved advanced and instructor qualifications in the MH-53E, T-6A, T-6B and has accumulated over 3,200 flight hours, including more than 2,500 in the T-6 Texan II. His personal awards include two Navy Commendation Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, and numerous service and campaign ribbons.