Commander Dan Brookes joined Navy ROTC at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1994. He graduated in 1996 with a BA in History and was selected for Naval Flight Officer training. He reported for flight training in Pensacola, Florida and received his wings in the spring of 1998. After completing Electronic Warfare School, he was assigned as an Electronic Counter-Measures Officer for the EA-6B “Prowler” in Whidbey Island, Washington.
In 1999, he joined his first operational electronic attack squadron, VAQ-133, where he completed three expeditionary combat deployments to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, supporting Operations SOUTHERN and NORTHERN WATCH. He accumulated 800 flight hours and 50 combat missions during his aviation career.
In 2002, he reported to the U.S. Naval Academy for Instructor duty in the Leadership, Ethics and Law Department. He taught freshman and junior leadership courses to over 150 students each year, served as a freshman academic advisor and led the Mountaineering Club as an Officer Representative for over 400 student members who participated in various outdoor activities throughout the northeast United States.
In 2004, he was selected for lateral transfer to Information Warfare and was assigned to Ft. Meade, Maryland. He first served as a Deployment Officer in Charge for deployments supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and then as a Branch Chief for the Director of Corporate Planning, Requirements and Performance. During the last six months of his Ft. Meade tour, he served as the Deputy OIC for Cryptologic Services Group, Baghdad, proving strategic intelligence and support to Multi-National Forces-Iraq while serving as Operations Officer for numerous Direct Support teams providing tactical counter-insurgency support to Brigade Combat Teams, Division Headquarters and other forces during the 2007 “Surge” of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
In December 2007, he reported to the Naval Network Warfare Command in Norfolk, Virginia where he served as global network operations Battle Watch Captain, supporting several high priority cyber threat response events. He then served as C4ISR requirements officer and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) subject matter expert and action officer for completion of the U.S. Fleet Forces MDA CONOPS.
During the summer of 2010, he reported to the U.S. Naval War College, College of Naval Warfare, in Newport, Rhode Island where he conducted advanced research studies, earned his Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, and conducted post-graduate cyber research.
CDR Brookes returned to Norfolk, Virginia in April 2012 where he joined Commander Carrier Strike Group TEN as the Deputy Information Warfare Commander aboard the HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN-75), completing a nine-month combat deployment to U.S. FIFTH and SIXTH Fleets, supporting Operations ACTIVE ENDEAVOR, ENDURING FREEDOM and Information Operations throughout the Arabian Gulf.
CDR Brookes was selected for cross-detailed Executive Officer assignment and reported to U.S. Naval Computer Telecommunications Station, Bahrain during the summer of 2014.