Commander Michael D. Nordeen’s military service began with his enlistment in the United States Army in 1992. He was later admitted to the West Point Class of 1998 where he graduated with honors, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy.
Designated a Naval Aviator in June 2000, he reported to Fighter Squadron THREE ONE in September 2001 for his first operational tour. During his time with Fighter Squadron THREE ONE, he received designations as a wing qualified landing signals officer, a forward air controller (airborne), division lead, and mission commander. He participated in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, SOUTHERN WATCH, and the initial phase of IRAQI FREEDOM. He was awarded the Tomcatter Trophy for leadership and esprit de corps during his tenure at Fighter Squadron THREE ONE.
Following his first operational assignment, Commander Nordeen was selected for the Olmsted Scholar Class of 2005. He studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute before earning a Master of Science in International Economics from the Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and an MBA with greatest distinction from Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Belgium in August 2007. He is a fluent Russian speaker.
He then reported to United States Central Command as Aide-de-Camp to the Commander in September 2007 and received a Diploma in Command and Staff from the United States Naval War College in January 2008. Following the Commander’s retirement in March 2009, he attended the Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College and completed his tour at USCENTCOM as an executive officer to the Deputy Commander. He is designated a Joint Qualified Officer.
Following FA-18 transition training with Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX, Commander Nordeen reported to Strike Fighter Squadron THREE TWO in April 2010 where he deployed aboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN and led missions in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and NEW DAWN.
His most recent assignment was to the Navy staff where he represented Navy equities throughout the Defense Department’s 2013 Strategic Choices and Management Review and the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review.
He has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Individual Action Air Medal with Combat V, Strike Flight Air Medal (3), Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, and the Navy Achievement Medal (3) in addition to other awards and campaign medals. He has accumulated nearly 2000 hours of flight time in F-14 and FA-18 aircraft and over 350 carrier arrested landings.