Cmdr. O’Brien graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in history, from the University of Arkansas with an M.S. in operations management and from the U.S. Naval War College with an M.A. in national security and strategic studies. A career SH-60B and MH-60R pilot with over 2,000 flight hours, his operational flying tours include multiple deployments to the Eastern and Western Pacific aboard U.S. Navy frigates and cruisers. Cmdr. O’Brien is a designated Seahawk weapons and tactics instructor and served on staff assignments at the Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Pacific and at Navy Personnel Command.