Lt. Cmdr. Brad Penley, a native of Hickory, North Carolina, graduated in 2007 from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Oceanography and was a member of the varsity men’s swim team. After being selected as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer, he completed the rigorous training pipeline of Navy Dive School, EOD School, Army Airborne training, tactical training, and parachute free-fall training. He is a graduate of the Special Operations Low-Intensity Conflict program and Financial Management program at the Naval Postgraduate School.
His operational tours include service as a platoon commander at EOD Mobile Unit 3, where he conducted two combat deployments to Afghanistan and was followed by a TV network show, “Bomb Patrol Afghanistan,” film crew on his combat deployment to Faryab Province, Afghanistan. He was the company commander of EOD Mobile Unit 12 for three EOD platoons conducting mine countermeasures operations in the Arabian Gulf. As the EOD liaison officer for Carrier Strike Group 9, he took part in the first-ever three-aircraft-carrier “swap,” changing three crews and three ships in under six months to three different geographic locations. As operations officer for EOD Mobile Unit 1, he deployed to Commander Task Group 56.1 in Bahrain.
Ashore, he reported in December 2018 as executive officer of Naval Dive and Salvage Training Center, Panama City, Florida.
His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action ribbon, and Army Meritorious Unit Achievement medal.