Thomas “Jethro” Bodine joined the United States Navy in 1998 and received his naval flight training at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, and at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in Fallon, Nevada, eventually becoming a TOPGUN instructor. To date, he has accumulated more than 3,100 total flying hours, 750 landings on aircraft carriers, 550 combat hours, and 105 combat missions.
Commander Bodine has been deployed numerous times: in 2001 aboard the USS Enterprise in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom; in 2003 aboard the USS Nimitz during Operation Iraqi Freedom; in 2007 aboard the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS George Washington in a variety of international security operation exercises; and twice aboard the USS Eisenhower during Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2013, he was selected for operational command.
Prior to his arrival at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as a 2017-2018 Navy Federal Executive Fellow, Bodine proudly served as the Commanding Officer of the Lemoore, California based strike-fighter squadron "FIGHTING REDCOCKS" of VFA-22 which operates the FA-18F Super Hornet, the Navy's most lethal strike-fighter aircraft.
Bodine has received the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, and for his outstanding aviation skills and leadership, the Order of the Daedalians US Navy Exceptional Pilot Award in 2007. He received a BS summa cum laude in electrical engineering from the University of Mississippi and a MA with distinction in national security and strategic studies from the US Naval War College.