Captain Bruce Hay, a native of Hyde Park, N.Y., received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Economics. He then reported to NAS Pensacola, Fla., for initial flight training and was designated a naval flight officer on Friday the 13th, March 1992.
After fleet replacement training to qualify as an electronic countermeasures officer (ECMO), Captain Hay reported to VAQ-139 for the first of three tours with the Cougars. As a junior officer he earned the inaugural Cougar Leadership Award. As a department head he made the historic 10-month deployment with the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) during Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as the first EA-6B Prowler night vision device landing in Bagram, Afghanistan.
As the commanding officer, he led the Cougars to the Chief of Naval Operations Battle Efficiency Award, Safety “S,” Tactical Excellence Award and consecutive retention honor rolls while supporting combat operations in Operation Enduring Freedom. Post command, Captain Hay was the Operations Officer for USS Nimitz (CVN-68) where he was awarded a peer nominated Navy and Marine Corps Leadership Award.
Ashore, Captain Hay was assigned to VAQ-129 as an instructor; aide to the commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific in Singapore; USSTRATCOM Support Team Lead at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, Furture Aircraft Carrier Requirements Officer at Chief of Naval Operations (N98).
Captain Hay has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals both with combat distinguishing devices as well as other unit and campaign awards. He has over 2,600 flight hours in the EA-6B and 802 carrier arrested landings. Captain Hay is married to his high school sweetheart, Susie, and they have one canine child.