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Lieutenant Commander Bridgewater of Carrollton, Illinois, enlisted in the Army and served from 1985 to 1989 as a Cannon Crewman in the 1st Armored and 101st Divisions.
He was commissioned through Officer Candidate School after graduating from Lindenwood College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management.
Lieutenant Commander Bridgewater’s sea duty assignments include Electrical and Auxiliaries Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant onboard PCU Decatur (DDG 73), Navigator and Administration Officer onboard USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), Engineer Officer onboard USS McFaul (DDG 74), Officer in Charge, LCS Anti-Submarine Warfare Detachment Two, and Combat Systems Officer onboard Destroyer Squadron Two One.
Lieutenant Commander Bridgewater’s shore duty assignments have been as lead instructor for DDG Engineering at Surface Warfare Officer’s School in Newport, Rhode Island, the Naval War College earning a Master’s degree in National Security Policy and Strategic Studies, and as a volunteer for a Global War on Terror Support Assignment completing a twelve month tour in Baghdad with Multi-National Forces-Iraq, Combined-Joint Operations Division, as a Liaison Officer to the Iraqi Prime Minister’s National Operations Center. LCDR Bridgewater was then assigned to the OPNAV staff as the lead action officer for Navy to Navy Strategy Talks and the Afghanistan/Pakistan Strategy Cell in the Strategy and Policy Division (N51).
His personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards), the Army Achievement Medal (4 awards) and various campaign, service and unit awards. He has deployed numerous times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lieutenant Commander Bridgewater is married to the former Lisa Merkle of Carrollton, Illinois and they have two daughters, Shelby and Paige.