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Commander, Naval Air Forces > VRC-40 > CO

Michael C. Bratley

Commander, U.S. Navy


Commander Mike “Dan-O” Bratley is a native of Kennewick, Washington.  Following his father’s lead (a Submarine qualified Master Chief) he volunteered for Submarine duty enlisting in the U.S. Navy on September 3rd 1985. 

Petty Officer Bratley served in the USS Florida (SSBN-728) completing 6 deployments, served as a Navigation Team Training and Inertial Navigation instructor at Trident Training Facility and was attached to the Navy’s Deep Submergence Unit. ET1/SS Bratley was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program in December of 1993.

Officer Candidate Bratley graduated with dual Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Idaho and was commissioned on December, 22nd, 1995.  His completion of the advanced strike syllabus culminated with his carrier qualification in the T-45C aboard the USS George Washington (CVN-73) and designation as a Naval Aviator in May 1999.  After accepting short notice orders in July 1999 due to emergent service needs, Lieutenant Bratley reported to VAW-120 for E2-C Fleet Readiness Training. 

Lieutenant Bratley reported to the Seahawks of VAW-126 in June of 2000 deploying aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in support of Operations Southern Watch (2000) and Iraqi Freedom (2003).  In July 2003 he again reported to VAW-120 as an instructor pilot serving as E-2C Pilot Training Officer, Assistant Maintenance Officer, Landing Signals Officer and was eventually hand-selected for transition to the C-2A community. 

In May 2006 Lieutenant Commander Bratley received orders to the VRC-40 Rawhides deploying as Officer-in-Charge of Detachment Four in June 2007 attached to the USS Enterprise (CVN 65). After returning from deployment he assumed the duties of Maintenance Officer. During this tour LCDR Bratley received his Conning Alongside and CDO Underway qualifications aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and completed JPME Phase I training.

LCDR Bratley reported to Joint Forces Command (later reorganized under Joint Staff J07), Joint Center for Operational Analysis in December 2008 serving as a Lesson Learned Analyst.  While attached to JCOA he attended Joint Forces Staff College and completed an MS in Management as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland.

CDR Bratley has 2,631 flight hours in 6 different aircraft and over 400 arrested landings on 8 aircraft carriers.  His awards include the Air Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards) and numerous campaign and unit awards.  CDR Bratley resides in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife Kimberly.