Captain Thomas “Jethro” Bodine was commissioned in May 1998 through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering - Summa Cum Laude. After winging as a Naval Flight Officer in July 1999, he reported to the VF-101 “Grim Reapers” in NAS Oceana, VA for training in the F-14 Tomcat.
Captain Bodine’s first fleet assignment was with the VF-14 “Tophatters,” deploying in 2001 aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM. Upon his return, he transitioned to the FA-18F Super Hornet and was reassigned to the “Black Aces” of VFA-41 based in NAS Lemoore, CA. In 2003, he deployed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
In October 2003, Captain Bodine attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in Fallon, NV, remaining on staff as a TOPGUN instructor. While on staff, he served, most notably, as the Subject Matter Expert in Radar Theory and Tactical Crew Coordination and as the Standardization Officer.
In 2007, Captain Bodine reported to the VFA-102 “Diamondbacks” in Atsugi, Japan as the Training Officer. Deploying aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and the USS George Washington (CVN 73), he participated in a wide range of international security cooperation exercises including Rim of the Pacific, Talisman Saber, Annual Exercise, and Valiant Shield. During this tour, Captain Bodine was awarded the 2007 Order of the Daedalians United States Navy Exceptional Pilot Award.
Returning to NAS Oceana, VA in 2008, Captain Bodine was assigned to the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103 as a Department Head. While assigned to VFA-103, he twice deployed aboard the USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. During his tenure, he served as the Safety Officer, Administrative Officer, and Maintenance Officer.
Post Department Head tour, Captain Bodine attended the United States Naval War College graduating with Distinction with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. Following War College, he was assigned to the Navy Personal Command in Millington, TN, serving as the East Coast Strike Fighter Placement Officer from February 2012 to April 2014.
Prior to reporting to operational command, he was personally selected to serve as the Executive Officer of the West Coast FA-18 Fleet Replacement Squadron, the “Flying Eagles” of VFA-122. Following, Captain Bodine proudly served as the Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of the “Fighting Redcocks” of VFA-22 in Lemoore, CA from May 2015 to August 2017.
Subsequently, Captain Bodine served as the Navy’s first Federal Executive Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and prior to his current assignment he served as the Navy TACAIR Operations Research Analyst within the elite Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Directorate of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Captain Bodine has accumulated more than 3,100 total hours, 750 carrier-arrested landings, 550 combat hours, and 105 combat sorties. Personal awards include Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal - Strike/Flight (5 awards); Air Medal – Individual Action (2 awards both with Bronze Star and Combat Distinguishing Device); Joint Services Commendation Medal; Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards); Navy Achievement Medal; and various unit, campaign, and service awards. Captain Bodine has been married to Jenn Bodine, the love of his life, for 21 years and is a native of Decatur, Alabama.