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Commander Adam “Gilligan” Bryan
Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137
A native of Canton, Connecticut, Commander Bryan graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Upon commission he reported to flight school in Pensacola, FL with follow on assignments to NAS Corpus Christi and NAS Kingsville. He earned his Navy Pilot Wings in July 2007. In August of 2007, CDR Bryan reported to the VFA 106 “Gladiators” for initial fleet training as an FA-18C Pilot.
CDR Bryan began his operational flying in June of 2008 with the “Blue Blasters” of VFA-34. While a “Blue Blaster”, he made two deployments aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), participating in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation NEW DAWN. During this tour CDR Bryan completed squadr
on and Wing LSO qualifications and was selected to attend U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). In 2011 he was selected as the George Bush First Tour Naval Aviator of the Year.
CDR Bryan reported Naval Air Warfare Development Center (NAWDC) in March of 2011 and graduated from TOPGUN as a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI). After graduation he remained on TOPGUN and completed training and certification as the U.S. Navy Surface-to-Air Threat and Countertactics subject matter expert for FA-18 employment. In 2013 he was selected as the TOPGUN Training Officer where he led the staff through training SFTIs for both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.
In 2014 CDR Bryan returned to the fleet as the Training Officer of the VFA-81 “Sunliners”. While assigned to the Sunliners, he completed one deployment aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR) and was named the 2015 Chief of Naval Air Forces Atlantic Pilot of the Year. In 2016 he reported to the “Wildcats” of VFA-131 and served as Safety Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Operations Officer. During this tour he deployed on USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of OIR and led the squadron’s transition to the FA-18E Super Hornet.
Following his department head tour, CDR Bryan served as an action officer, U.S. AFRICOM, J-8 Directorate. While on the U.S. AFRICOM Staff, he led the Command’s Integrated Priority List and Budget Review process directly supporting warfighter requirements and influencing future budgets across the DoD. He selected for squadron command in March 2019 and reported to VFA-137 as Executive Officer in December of 2021.
CDR Bryan has accumulated over 2,600 flight hours in five aircraft and 480 carrier arrested landings, including 92 combat missions. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal (five awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), and Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various service awards and ribbons.
Last Updated: 16 March 2023