Rear Adm. Bruner graduated from Arizona State University in 1980 with a degree in civil engineering from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School in May 1981. After he was selected to serve in the Navy's submarine force, he attended Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Fla., and Prototype Training in West Milton, N.Y.
While serving at sea, he worked as a reactor controls assistant, as chemistry and radiological controls and main propulsion assistant, as well as a weapons officer aboard the USS Pollack. He then served as navigator and operations officer aboard the USS Mariano G. Vallejo, and as executive officer aboard the USS Newport News. He served as commanding officer of the Gold crew of the USS Florida from July 1998 to March 2001.
Bruner has a master’s degree in oceanography and meteorology from the Naval Post Graduate School. He has worked at the U.S. Naval Academy as a company officer; as an action officer on the submarine directorate of the Navy Staff; as the Pacific fleet's submarine commanding officer instructor and as executive assistant to the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Bruner has been a commander of Submarine Squadron Seven at Pearl Harbor. His most recent assignment was as commander of Submarine Group 10 at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.
Among the awards Bruner is most proud of are the numerous Battle Efficiency awards his shipmates have earned over the years.
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