Commander Brian Knowles graduated with Merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. Following his graduation and commissioning, CDR Knowles transferred to Pensacola, Florida for flight training. He winged as an unrestricted Naval Aviator in May of 1998 and transferred to San Diego California as a Fleet Replacement Pilot in the SH-60F and HH-60H helicopters.
During April of 1998, CDR Knowles reported aboard Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron EIGHT (HS-8) based at Naval Air Station North Island, California and deployed twice in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74).
Transferring in April of 2002 to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) in Fallon, Nevada, CDR Knowles qualified as a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor and served as the program manager for the Navy’s Rotary Wing Weapons School. As the program manager, he authored and expanded the weapons school curriculum and provided a new standard for graduate level flight training for all Navy H-60 communities.
In November of 2004, he reported to the staff of Carrier Air Wing THREE, in NAS Oceana, Virginia as the Combat Search and Rescue / Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer. In August and September of 2005, CDR Knowles served as part of the Naval Air Liaison Element in support of relief operations following the aftermath hurricane Katrina. Later in September of 2006, he graduated from California State University with a Masters degree in Business Administration.
After selection as an Aviation Department Head in 2006, CDR Knowles reported to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron SEVEN (HS-7) based in Jacksonville, Florida. While attached to the “Dusty Dogs”, he deployed as the Administrative Officer and Operations Officer aboard USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN-75) from late 2007 until the spring of 2008.
Following his department head tour, he transferred to US Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska and served as the Strategic Cyberspace Plans Branch Chief. He attended the Joint Network Attack Course at the Center for Information Dominance in Corry Station, Florida, and detached temporarily to the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland to develop the implementation plan for US Cyber Command.
In June 2011, CDR Knowles joined HELSEACOMBATRON SEVEN (HSC-7), based in Norfolk, Virginia as the Executive Officer and in August 2012 he assumed command of HSC-7. CDR Knowles decorations include two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards. He has flown over two thousand four hundred hours in fixed and rotary wing aircraft.