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Commander Chad D. Bartkus
Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97
Commander Chad Bartkus, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Pittsbugh in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering. He commissioned through Officer Candidate School and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 2007. That year, CDR Bartkus reported to the “Flying Eagles” of VFA-122 in Lemoore, California for initial training in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
CDR Bartkus began his operational flying in February 2008 with the “Fighting Redcocks” of VFA-22. During that tour he made two deployments aboard USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) and one deployment aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
In June 2011, CDR Bartkus graduated TOPGUN and reported to the “Outlaws” of Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific as a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor. CDR Bartkus returned to the fleet in 2013 as Training Officer with the “Kestrels” of VFA-137. During his two years with the Kestrels he embarked aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) in support of RIMPAC.
CDR Bartkus reported to the “Fist of the Fleet” of VFA-25 in August 2015 as a Department Head. While with the Fist of the Fleet, he deployed aboard USS HARRY TRUMAN (CVN 75) in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE
Following his department head tour, CDR Bartkus reported to the “Flying Eagles” of VFA-122 in November 2018 to serve as Training Officer. In October 2020 CDR Bartkus transitioned to the F-35C Lightning II with the “Rough Raiders” of VFA-125.
CDR Bartkus reported to the “Warhawks” of VFA-97 in May 2021 as the Executive Officer of the Navy’s second operational F-35C squadron.
CDR Bartkus has accumulated over 2,800 flight hours and over 600 carrier arrested landings. His personal decorations include the Strike/Flight Air Medal (4 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards) along with various unit and service-related awards.
Last Updated: 9 August 2022