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 CDR Brian Kesselring

Commander

Brian C. Kesselring

United States Navy

Executive Officer

VFA-81

       Commander Brian “G” Kesselring is a native of Fargo, North Dakota. He graduated from Concordia College in 2000 earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Physics, Mathematics, and Business Administration.  While at Concordia he also competed in basketball as well as track & field. Upon graduation, he joined the Navy, was commissioned via OCS in 2001, and designated as a Naval Aviator in 2003.

     Following his initial F/A-18 training with the Gladiatorsof Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX, CDR Kesselring reported to the “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO FIVE in 2004. Here he was honored to serve as Line Division Officer and senior Landing Signals Officer among his other duties. During this tour, he participated in two combat deployments in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM onboard USS Harry S. Truman.

     In 2008 he reported to “TOPGUN,” the Navy Fighter Weapons School at NAS Fallon, Nevada. After completing the Strike-Fighter Weapons and Tactics Instructor (SFTI) course he served on the “TOPGUN” staff as the Navy and Marine Corps’, “F/A-18 Air-to-Air Employmentsubject matter expert.

     Next, CDR Kesselring reported to the "Tophatters" of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE FOUR in 2011 where he served as Training Officer. During this tour, he completed a combat deployment onboard USS John C. Stennis in support of Operations NEW DAWN and ENDURING FREEDOM.

     In 2012 CDR Kesselring joined the Tomcattersof Strike Fighter Squadron THREE ONE as a squadron Department Head. During his tour, he completed a combat deployment onboard the USS George H.W. Bush in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and INHERENT RESOLVE. Upon returning from deployment, he was awarded the CSFWL LCDR Michael Longhardt Awardfor leadership.

     After departing VFA-31, CDR Kesselring returned to sea with Carrier Air Wing ONE as Assistant Operations Officer during its 2015 combat deployment onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

     In August of 2015, CDR Kesselring reported to the Naval War College where he earned a Master of Arts in National Security Strategy, JPME Phase II, and participated in the “Halsey A” Group focusing on wargaming versus peer competitors.

     CDR Kesselring joined the Sunlinersof Strike Fighter Squadron EIGHT ONE as Executive Officer in March of 2017. He has accumulated over 3,250 flight hours, and over 650 carrier arrested landings. He credits his various personal and unit awards to the outstanding men and women he has had the privilege of serving with throughout his career. CDR Kesselring is married to his wonderful wife Ashley who currently serves as a Marine Corps Officer and is a native of DeBary, Florida.