Commander Michael B. Yesunas
United States Navy
Cmdr. Yesunas graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1995 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in English. After graduation, he was an English instructor and the wrestling coach at the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island. Cmdr. Yesunas went to Pensacola for flight school in April 1996, and after primary training with VT-6 and advanced training with HT-8, he earned his wings of gold in October 1997.
After training in the H-46 Sea Knight he reported to his first sea tour with the Gunbearers of HC-11 in San Diego, in August 1998 as the squadron Legal Officer. He spent 18 months at sea on the USS Rainier (AOE-7) and the USS Camden (AOE-2) as the detachment Operations Officer while responding to Iraq's failure to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1441 and Operation Determined Response to rescue the USS Cole (DDG-67).
In April 2001, Cmdr. Yesunas returned to HC-3 in San Diego as a flight instructor. While there he transitioned to the MH-60S Knight Hawk and was the squadron Standardizations Officer. Also during this tour, he received his Master’s Degree in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego.
In February 2004, he then went on to HC-8 in Norfolk as the NATOPS Officer. During his tour he received his Officer of the Deck qualification on the USS Tortuga (LSD-46) in support of Hurricane Katrina rescue operations. He also deployed on the USNS Spica (T-AFS-9) and the USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) providing logistics support to 2nd, 6th, and 5th fleet Areas of Responsibility.
In February 2006, Cmdr. Yesunas reported to HSC-26 in Norfolk. He was the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the detachment that successfully completed the OPEVAL on the USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1). He also deployed as the OIC of the World Famous Desert Hawks in Bahrain, and was the squadron Operations Officer in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
From August 2008 until April 2011, Cmdr. Yesunas was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium. He worked in the Crisis Response Planning and Force Generation cells focusing on ISAF and maritime operations.
Cmdr. Yesunas most recently served as the Commander of Provincial Reconstruction Team Kunar, Afghanistan from February to November 2012. He assumed command of Naval Magazine Indian Island in March 2013.
Cmdr. Yesunas has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy/Marine Corps Achievement medals and various other personal, unit, and service awards. He is married to Susan and has three children.