Capt. Bradley D. Converse
Capt. Bradley D. Converse, a native of Shepherd, Michigan, graduated from the University of Michigan in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology. After flight school in Enid, Oklahoma and Meridian, Mississippi he was designated a naval aviator in Jan. 2002.
He completed training in the FA-18C with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 in Virginia Beach, Virginia and in Nov. 2002 joined VFA-27 in Atsugi, Japan. He deployed with the “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) for several Western Pacific patrols as well as a combat deployment in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also participated in the squadron transition to the FA-18E. During his tour he served as avionics branch officer, public affairs officer, schedules officer, NATOPS officer, and quality assurance officer.
In Oct. 2005, Converse was selected to attend the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and reported to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) in Fallon, Nevada. After graduation, he joined the TOPGUN staff as an instructor pilot. During his tour he served as the U.S. Navy’s Defensive Electronic Countermeasures subject matter expert for tactical aviation and Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) liaison officer. He ended his tour on the TOPGUN staff as the training officer.
Converse reported to the “Gunslingers” of VFA-105 in Virginia Beach, Virginia in Oct. 2008. He served as training officer during an extended deployment workup period. In May 2010 he was assigned as a department head to VFA-81. While with VFA-81, he served as admin officer, maintenance officer, and operations officer, earning the 2010 Michael Longardt Leadership Award and the 2011 Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award. Embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), he completed two combat cruises in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.
In 2013, Converse earned a Master of Arts Degree (with distinction) in National Security and Strategic Studies as well as Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I while attending the U. S. Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island. He then served as military faculty with the Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University, in Norfolk, Virginia where he taught Cyberspace and Information Operations and earned JPME Phase II along with being designated a joint qualified officer.
Converse reported to the VFA-131, the “Wildcats,” in July 2016 as the executive officer embarked in USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. He assumed command in Dec. 2017 and earned the 2017 Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award.
Following squadron command, he reported to Aviation Assignments Division, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-43) as TACAIR post-command commander detailer and head aviation detailer. In November 2020, Converse was selected for major command at sea. He reported to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 as deputy commander in Dec. 2021.
Converse has accumulated over 3800 flight hours and 700 carrier landings. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (individual award with Combat V and five strike flight awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), as well as other individual, unit and campaign awards.