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6/365 – Honoring – Lcdr James Bridenstine

January 17, 2012

James Bridenstine was sworn-in to the U.S. Navy on February 14, 1998 at the Navy Officer Programs Office in Oklahoma City. He subsequently went to Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida in the summer of 1998 and was commissioned as an Ensign on August 30, 1998. He then went into the Navy’s pilot training pipeline where he flew various airplanes in Pensacola, Florida; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Meridian, Mississippi. After qualifying to take-off and land on aircraft carriers, Ens. Bridenstine received his Wing of Gold in May 2000. He was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade in August 2000. In July 2002, LTJG Bridenstine deployed with an E-2C squadron, VAW-113 (the Black Eagles) aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). On September 1, 2002, LTJG Bridenstine was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant; soon thereafter, he flew his first combat missions into Afghanistan from the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Northern Arabian Sea. The USS Abraham Lincoln subsequently mobilized to the Persian Gulf where LT Bridenstine flew missions in Operation Southern Watch (Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The USS Abraham Lincoln departed from the Persian Gulf when Saddam Hussein’s statue came down in Baghdad, Iraq.

LT Jim Bridestine

Upon his return, LT Bridenstine had flown 52 combat missions and was awarded an Air Medal for missions flown, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for a specific high-risk mission that destroyed numerous enemy targets, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and numerous campaign medals. In 2004, LT Bridenstine left VAW-113 and transition to the F-18 Hornet. He flew F-18s at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada. LT Bridenstine flew “red air” for TOPGUN instructor pilots who were transitioning to the F-16 Viper. In May 2007, LT Bridenstine was honorably discharged from the Navy to earn an MBA from Cornell University. After receiving his MBA, LT Bridenstine was sworn into the U.S. Naval Reserve and assigned to VAW-77 (the Nightwolves); as a Naval Reservist, he regularly flies counter-drug missions in Central and South America.

In December 2008, Jim Bridenstine was selected to be the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.  While in that position, he created the largest air show in Tulsa history and launched Tulsa’s campaign to acquire a retiring space shuttle. Bridenstine resigned from the Tulsa Air and Space Museum in August 2010 to spend time training for counter-drug missions with VAW-77. He has subsequently flown counter-drug missions in various parts of the world and was selected to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in July 2011. James Bridenstine is an on-call employee of a major consulting firm that provides services to the Department of Defense.  He is a member of the Association of the United States Navy, the Tailhook Association, and South Tulsa Baptist Church. Lcdr Bridenstine and his wife, Michelle, will celebrate their 7th anniversary in November 2011.  They have three children: Walker (5), Sarah (3), and a third due in February. Michelle received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma.

Please note that he is also running for U.S. Congress in Oklahoma district #1 against the current incumbent John Sullivan.  Sullivan is a 10 year incumbent who has raised the debt ceiling 11 times, voted in the Supercommittee, voted in TARP, and who has one of the worst voting attendance records in the U.S. Congress.  Jim’s website is at

DISCLAIMER – This story is in no way a political endorsement. This is NOT a political forum, our goal here is simply to honor our veterans. 

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2012 1:19 pm

    Thanks for your service & here’s hoping you unseat Sullivan.

  2. January 18, 2012 3:56 pm

    Lt. Cmdr Bridenstine thank you for your service. This was a wonderful article. I was very happy to read it.

  3. Jennifer permalink
    January 18, 2012 6:15 am

    Lt. Cmdr. Bridenstine,

    Thank you for your service and thank you for your story. I wish you the best in your bid for public office and hope you are able to make a difference yet again in the near future 🙂

  4. January 17, 2012 9:43 pm

    Thank you and thank you to all vets and their families for the sacrifice they make.

  5. January 17, 2012 8:33 pm

    Lt. Cdr. Bridenstine, THANK YOU for your service to our country!! Your courage and dedication to the Naval service is greatly appreciated. And, your service to the United States will hopefully continue as a member of the United States Congress. Good luck in your campaign. If I were a resident of district #1 in Oklahoma, you would have my vote. Godspeed!!


  1. Senate Conservative Fund Touts Oklahoma’s Jim Bridenstine to Replace Tom Coburn in Senate |

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