Mark Bruington Captain, United States Navy
Captain Mark Bruington is the 38th Commanding Officer of the Naval Research Laboratory, assuming command on August 1, 2014. As NRL's Commanding Officer, he directs the activities of approximately 2,500 scientists, engineers, and support personnel in their mission to conduct leading-edge research and provide new technological capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps. Prior to his assumption of command of NRL, he was the Principal Director, Programs at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, charged with DoD humanitarian assistance, building partnership capacity and Foreign Military Training and Equipping U.S. partner nations.
Captain Bruington, a native of California, received his commission through the Aviation Officer Candidate School program after graduating from San Francisco State University with a B.S. in Physics. He received his naval aviator wings in 1992 and is a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), Class 117. He also holds an M.S. in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, M.S. in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and is level III certified in Program Management and Test & Evaluation from the Defense System Management College.
His sea tours include an assignment in the A-6 Intruders with the VA-165, "The Boomers," aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. He next transitioned to the F-14 Tomcat and reported to VF-11, "The Red Rippers," aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74); again in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. Following the events of September 11th, he joined VF-211, "The Fighting Checkmates," again aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), in the initial phases of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, where he led numerous strikes in support of coalition troops in Afghanistan. He next transitioned to the Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer community.
His shore tours include instructor duty at USNTPS, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) as the squadron's Safety Officer and F-14 project officer. Next he served as the Vehicle Systems Integrated Product Team (IPT) lead F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program office in Arlington, VA. Following this tour, he attended ICAF where he earned distinguished graduate honors then as part of the OPNAV N88 staff. Returning to Patuxent River, he next served as the Deputy Program Manager, PMA-265 for the F/A-18 E/F & EA-18G air vehicle and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F programs.
Captain Bruington has flown more than 70 combat missions above Iraq and Afghanistan, flown 41 different types of aircraft while amassing 3,200 flight hours and over 500 carrier-arrested landings. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, four Air Medals, and numerous personal, campaign, and unit level awards.