Roy Hodgson selected Forster as third goalkeeper behind Joe Hart and Ben Foster.
Michael Carrick, Andy Carroll and Kyle Walker have been left out of the squad. Carrick has paid the price for a poor season with Manchester United while West Ham striker Carroll has been named on the standby list after a season ravaged by injury. Tottenham defender Walker misses out due to a pelvic injury.
As expected, teenage left-back Luke Shaw makes the cut ahead of Ashley Cole, who retired from international football on Sunday night after being told he had not made the squad.
Rickie Lambert, who has scored 14 goals this season, gets the nod ahead of Carroll.
Former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, who now plays for Toronto FC, is only good enough for a place on the standby list.
Carrick rejected the chance to be on the standby list for Euro 2012, but he has accepted the same position this time around. Carrick is joined in Hodgson's contingency planning by Tom Cleverley, who has not made the 23 despite starting nine consecutive games under Hodgson at the start of the 2012-13 season.
Hodgson has selected just four strikers for the tournament in Brazil, which kicks off on June 12.
Wayne Rooney will be the leading striker, with Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Lambert in support. Frank Lampard, 35, makes the cut, but otherwise there is a youthful look about England's midfield selection.
Ross Barkley, 20, has been selected, alongside Liverpool teenager Raheem Sterling.
Arsenal duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are in the 23 despite their recent injury concerns.
Adam Lallana, who has three caps, has been rewarded for a fine year with Southampton by being included.
James Milner also is favoured ahead of the likes of Adam Johnson and Ashley Young - neither of whom made the squad or standby list.
There were no surprises in defence.
Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were Hodgson's four centre-halves.
Leighton Baines goes to Brazil as first-choice left-back, with Shaw in reserve.
Glen Johnson goes to the tournament as England's only recognised right-back.
There was a place on the standby list for Everton teenager John Stones, who only made his first Premier League start in January.
Uncapped Liverpool right-back Jon Flanagan was also on the standby list.
Those standby players will fly to Portugal with the squad next Monday for a week-long training camp.
Hodgson admitted the decision to leave out Cole was "an unbelievably hard" call.
"Ashley is a player that I and the rest of my staff appreciate," he said.
"He is a magnificent player and what he's done for England is second to none. Luke Shaw has had a wonderful season. He has captured headlines with his form and ability.
"One player has 107 caps and one has many caps to come. It was a hard job to ring Ashley and I can only be unbelievably grateful for the gracious way he accepted the decision.
"Circumstances will prove whether the decision to take the younger player was the right one or not."
While Hodgson's selection is notable for its youthful appearance, Chelsea's veteran midfielder Lampard - who turns 36 in June - has made the cut and will feature at his third World Cup.
"Frank is a very important part of our set-up and you shouldn't think about players in terms of age, but of position," Hodgson added.
"When you're in midfield you have many more positions to choose from.
"Frank has been captain on many occasions and has been vice-captain to Steven Gerrard.
"He still plays an important role for his club and we think his leadership qualities and his abilities will help us in the summer."
The inexperience of the England squad's newest members - including Sterling of Liverpool, who lost his place towards the end of the qualifying campaign - will not pose a problem in Brazil, according to Hodgson.
He added: "You get experience by getting the opportunity.
"It's wrong to focus totally on the fact there are those who are inexperienced because everyone is inexperienced until they get the chance to do the job.
"I think they've played so well and been so effective in their club teams that they've really imposed their ability on my thinking.
"I'm sure if I'd picked a squad after the final qualifier in October it would have looked quite different but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.
"You can't ignore what people are doing on a week-to-week basis and your decision is based on who is the best man for the job.
"In October I didn't think Raheem Sterling was having the impact he has had since."
Several England players have been struggling with injuries in recent months, including Rooney, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jagielka, but Hodgson said the only player whose fitness remains a slight concern is Manchester United defender Jones.
Hodgson also revealed that teenage Everton defender Stones - currently on the stand-by list - would replace Jones in the final squad if he does not recover from his shoulder problem in time.
He said: "We wouldn't have selected anybody in this 23 if we seriously thought we would be on tenterhooks with regards to their fitness and I have to rely on the doctors and physios at the various clubs where the players play, and of course our own doctors and physios.
"The only one who I would say still seriously poses a question is Phil Jones, he had his shoulder injury a week ago today.
"Everyone tells me and my own research tells me that it points to a three-week injury to be back fit and playing, but we can't guarantee that and as a result I will be taking John Stones and Jon Flanagan with us on this trip as stand-by and John Stones will be Phil Jones' replacement if, by the end of June, we are not confident Phil Jones will be fit, but everything tells me he will be."