Colonel Bradley C. Close
Commanding Officer

 

Colonel Bradley C. Close graduated from Texas A&M University in 1986 and later graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS) and was commissioned a Marine 2ndLt in 1988. He attended The Basic School (TBS), The Infantry Officer Course (IOC) and was selected for the Naval Flight Officer (NFO) Program. He transferred to NAS Pensacola for flight training in 1989 and was designated an NFO in 1991. Assigned the EA6B PROWLER aircraft, he completed Electronic Warfare training at NTC Corry Station, FL before transferring to VAQ- 129, EA6B Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), NAS Whidbey Island, WA, for Electronic Countermeasures Officer (ECMO) training. In 1992, he reported to Marine Tactical Electronic Countermeasures Squadron Two, (VMAQ-2), MCAS Cherry Point, NC. He deployed twice to

MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in support of WESTPAC operations, made numerous CONUS deployments and completed a Masters from Boston University during this tour. He held billets in Embark, Legal and as the Admin Department Head.As a captain in t1995, he attended the Amphibious Warfare Schoole (AWS) in Quanitco, VA and served as Platoon Commander for OCS in 1996. He was then assigned to 2nd Air/Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (2DANGLICO), Camp Lejeune, NC. Trained as aForward Air Controller (FAC), Supporting Arms Coordinator, Fire Support Liaison Officer and a Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist, he supported USMC, Joint and coalition operations and deployed with the 24th MEU (SOC) to the Mediterranean Sea. He supported Operation JOINT GUARD in the Adiattic Sea and Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and DESERT THUNDER in the Persian Gulf. He held billetsas a Supporting Arms Liaison Team (SALT) Leader, ANGLICO MEU Detachement Commander, MEU Special Teams Parachute Officer and an Assistant Operations Officer for the 24th MEU (SOC).

 

After returning to NAS Whidbey Island as a Major in 1998 for EA6B refresher training, Col Close reported to VMAQ-4, MCAS Cherry Point, and served as Department Head in the Electronic Warfare and Safety and Standardization offices. He deployed to Aviano, Italy in 1999, supporting combat operations during Operation NOBLE ANVIL and ALLIED FORCE. After deploying to Iwakuni, Japan and in 2000 and 2001 he was selected as the XO for Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron Two (MWHS-2), 2DMAW, MCAS Cherry Point.

Col Close attended the Naval Command and Staff College, Newport Rhode Island in 2002 and earned a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and a Masters in International Relations from Salve Regina University. Col Close transferred in 2003 to US Central Command, MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL, Operations, (J-3) Plans Division. He served as the USCENTCOM Special Operations and Special Activities Plans Branch Chief and Director of Personnel Recovery in support of Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM and the Global War on Terrorism. He deployed to Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa during this staff tour and also completed Joint Professional Military Education Ph II.

Col Close reported to NAS Pensacola in March 2006 to assume duties as VT-86, Advanced Jet NFO Training Squadron Executive Officer and Commanding Officer. In October 2008, Col Close reported to Training and Education Command (TECOM), at Quantico, Virginia, as the Aviation Training Branch (ATB) Standards Section Head. In June 2009, he became the Director of Aviation Training Division (ATD). In July of 2011 he took command as the last Commanding Officer of Marine Aviation Training Support Group 53 (MATSG-53). Leaving Command in July of 2013 he served as Marine Forces Central Command, Chief of Staff until August 2016. He was selected and is currently serving as Command Officer, Florida A&M and Florida State University NROTC in Tallahassee, FL. Col Close has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Combat "V" and an Air Medal Strike/Flight award, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards) and Navy Achievement Medal. Colonel Close is married to the former Ms. Mary Frances Birrane from VA and they have three sons, Bradley, Patrick and Connor.