|LCDR Brian A. Bethea
LCDR Brian A. Bethea, a native of Fairmont, North Carolina, enlisted in the United States Navy in October 1992. He graduated from RTC Great Lakes in December 1992 as an undesignated Seaman. From 1993 to 2000, Seaman Recruit Bethea would advance to First Class Petty Officer and serve aboard USS PONCE (LPD 15), USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) and Naval Legal Service Office North Central, at the Washington Navy Yard. During his tour onboard KEARSARGE, he deployed to the Mediterranean in support of U.S. operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to include the rescue of Air Force Pilot Capt Scott O’Grady and to West Africa in defense of the American Embassy in Sierra Leone as part of Operation ASSURED RESPONSE.
In January 2000, Petty Officer Bethea was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program. He attended Norfolk State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and received his commission as a Surface Warfare Officer in December 2001.
At Sea, LCDR Bethea’s completed his initial sea duty assignment onboard USS SAIPAN (LHA 2); whereby he served as Boiler’s Officer, Main Propulsion Division Officer, Legal Officer and Force Protection Officer. During this tour, SAIPAN deployed multiple times to Fifth and Sixth Fleet and supported NATO's Standing Naval Forces Atlantic and Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM.
As a Department Head, LCDR Bethea served as the Chief Engineer in USS KAUFFMAN (FFG 59) and subsequently in USS MONTEREY. While onboard KAUFFMAN, he completed deployments to the SOUTHCOM AOR in support of counter-drug operations, and the UNITAS GOLD, and PANAMAX 09 exercises. While onboard MONTEREY, he completed the first ever European Phased Adaptive Approach Sixth Fleet BMD Deployment.
Ashore, LCDR Bethea completed a tour aboard Engineering Assessments Atlantic as a Propulsion Assessor. As a post-Department Head, LCDR Bethea studied at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS completing JPME Phase I and two Master’s Degree programs with concentrations in Military Arts & Science and National Security Strategy and Policy. While at CGSC, he would also complete all requirements for the Joint Operational Planner - Additional Skill Identifier (ASI). LCDR Bethea’s most recent tour was at COMLOGWESTPAC/CTF 73 in Singapore as the Surface Operations & Plans Officer (N31/51).
Personal awards include the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars, the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars and various other unit and service awards.