Rear Admiral Bret C. Batchelder
Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight
Batchelder is a native of Colorado. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Salve Regina University. He was commissioned through Aviation Officer Candidate school in November 1984 and was designated a naval aviator in May 1986.
Batchelder’s sea assignments include Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 as a junior officer embarked on USS Midway (CV 41) and as a department head deploying on USS Constellation (CV 64); as executive officer and commanding officer of VFA-105 deploying on USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75); and as deputy commander and commander, Carrier Air Wing 11 deploying on USS Nimitz (CVN 68). He participated in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Batchelder currently commands Carrier Strike Group EIGHT and Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group.
Ashore, Batchelder served as a flight instructor with Training Squadron (VT) 7 and as an adversary pilot with VFA-127. He attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College; served as the FA-18 air combat placement officer with the Navy Personnel Command; as executive officer of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101; on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C.; and as the head of Aviation Officer Distribution, again at the Navy Personnel Command. Additionally he was the director, Operations Division, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller), FMB-1/Fiscal Management Division, N-821. Most recently he commanded the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command as part of U.S. Transportation Command.
He has accumulated over 5,000 hours in Navy jet aircraft, with over 100 combat missions and 1,100 carrier-arrested landings.
Batchelder is authorized to wear the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), the Air Medal (2 individual,1 with Combat “V”, 7 Strike/Flight), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two with Combat “V”), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.