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A native of Queens, New York City, CDR Brendan Gray graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2002 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation and a USCG Third Mate’s License. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 2004 and reported to VAQ-129 at NAS Whidbey Island for fleet replacement training in the EA-6B Prowler.
CDR Gray began his operational career in 2005 with the Shadowhawks of VAQ-141 when they executed the first full split-site deployment for Navy EA-6Bs, operating from both USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and Al Asad Air Base Iraq, flying combat missions in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Subsequently he deployed with VAQ-141 to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in 2007 and again to USS Theodore Roosevelt for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in 2008. CDR Gray served as Legal Officer, Aircraft Division Officer and Personnel Officer while the Shadowhawk team earned multiple Battle E awards.
In 2009 CDR Gray reported to the Electronic Attack Weapons School (EAWS) at NAS Whidbey Island, graduated from the Prowler Tactics Instructor (PTI) course and served as an EA-6B PTI until he was hand-selected to transition to the EA-18G. CDR Gray completed transition flight training with VFA-106 and returned the following year as part of the initial EAWS EA-18G instructor cadre. CDR Gray was a subject matter expert in Anti-Radiation missiles, the APG-79 radar, and CNO Special Projects.
In 2013 CDR Gray once again returned to VAQ-141, this time part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces in NAF Atsugi, Japan as a Department Head where he completed four patrols aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in support of USINDOPACOM operations. As a Department Head he served as Safety Officer, Administrative Officer, Operations Officer and Maintenance Officer helping the Shadowhawk team to earn back-to-back CNAP Battle E Awards. Following his Department Head tour, CDR Gray attended the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI where he earned JPME Phase 1, and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, graduating with distinction in 2016.
CDR Gray then reported to the NATO Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS) at RNAS Yeovilton in the United Kingdom. Serving as Air Operations Officer in the Operations Branch, and Senior US National, CDR Gray was responsible for Electronic Warfare training in the NATO EW Force Integration Program and Operation RAMSTEIN GUARD exercises. He returned to NAS Whidbey Island in 2019 for refresher training in the EA-18G and was honored to report once again to EAWS, this time as Executive Officer in May 2020.
CDR Gray has accumulated over 2,300 flight hours in six aircraft and 434 carrier arrested landings, including 87 combat missions. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal (3 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (2 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various service awards and ribbons.
Last Updated: 15 October 2021