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Jenks High School – Distinguished Graduate, Oklahoma Swimmer of the Year
Rice University – Triple Major – Economics, Psychology, Business
Cornell University – Masters of Business Administration
Lieutenant Commander (Sel) Jim Bridenstine is currently a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he flies the E-2C Hawkeye in Central and South America in support of America’s war on drugs. Early in his active duty career, Jim Bridenstine flew E-2C Hawkeyes off the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. It was there that he flew combat missions and gathered most of his 1,900 flight hours and 333 carrier arrested landings. Jim participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Southern Watch in Iraq, and Operation Shock and Awe in Iraq. While on active duty, Jim Bridenstine transitioned to the F-18 Hornet and flew with the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN.
After leaving active duty, Jim Bridenstine earned an MBA from Cornell University and returned to Tulsa to be the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. He was responsible for the museum’s air shows, special events, human resources, and financial management. He created the QuikTrip Air and Rocket Racing Show and launched Tulsa’s campaign to acquire one of three retiring space shuttles.
In addition to flying counter drug missions in the Navy Reserves, Jim Bridenstine is a consultant with a large consulting services firm.
Jim Bridenstine is married to Michelle (Ivory) Bridenstine. They have three children, Walker (5), Sarah (3), and they are expecting another child in February.
Jim Bridenstine and his family are members of South Tulsa Baptist Church.
Other Honors / Authorized to Wear
Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal x 2
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Expert Pistol Medal
Battle Efficiency Ribbon
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