Guest of Honor


We are proud to announce the BNR 2021 Guest of Honor is United States Marine Corps Fighter Pilot Lieutenant Colonel Brian Dennis! A tried and true United States Marine Mustang and highly decorated Combat Veteran. He is also The NY Times Best Selling author of Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a MiracleNubs

 

Discover the true story of a Marine and the fiercely loyal dog he befriends during the Iraq War. Over 100,000 copies sold!

 

Nubs, an Iraqi dog of war, never had a home or a person of his own. He was the leader of a pack of wild dogs living off the land and barely surviving. But Nubs's life changed when he met Marine Major Brian Dennis. The two formed a fast friendship, made stronger by Dennis's willingness to share his meals, offer a warm place to sleep, and give Nubs the kind of care and attention he had never received before. Nubs became part of Dennis's human "pack" until duty required the Marines to relocate a full 70 miles away—without him. Nubs had no way of knowing that Marines were not allowed to have pets.

So began an incredible journey that would take Nubs through a freezing desert, filled with danger to find his friend and would lead Dennis on a mission that would touch the hearts of people all over the world. Nubs and Dennis will remind readers that friendship has the power to cross deserts, continents, and even species.

MILITARY BACKGROUND

United States Marine Corps

  • Commanding Officer, Training Squadron THIRTY-FIVE, Instructor Pilot

    Aug 2018 - Aug 2020  

    Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

    Chief Executive of an organization responsible for all facets of one of the US Navy’s busiest and most productive pilot training squadrons. 
    • While leading this unit, it was selected as the number one squadron in Naval Aviation Training in 2019 for production excellence, efficiency, and safety.
    • Supervised and ensured squadron’s overall performance and training; mentored and trained more than 50 instructor pilots while producing more than 200 winged Naval Aviators for the fleet.

     

  • Executive Officer, F/A-18 Fighter Pilot

    Nov 2015 - Aug 2018   

    Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, Japan

    Managed and led a staff of 22 military officers and civilian employees directing a major tactical aviation unit comprised of six squadrons, more than 40 aircraft, and over 3,000 personnel.

  • Lead Planner/Advisor, United States Special Operations Command

    Jun 2012 - Nov 2015    

    Tampa, Florida, United States

    Hand-picked to serve 4-star USSOCOM Commander Admiral William McRaven as an integral part of his staff, advising him on complex matters such as global special operations employment, tactical air employment, and Marine special operations integration; selected to go forward to Afghanistan as a special operations liaison lead in the most volatile region of the country.
    • Researched, coordinated, authored, and reviewed remarks for the Commander’s speaking engagements to include congressional…

  • Student, Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University

    Aug 2011 - Jul 2012    

    Quantico, Virginia, United States

    Attended intermediate-level, joint professional military education course to prepare for future leadership billets including command and staff assignments in joint, multinational or higher-level Marine Air Ground Task Force organizations or Service Headquarters; awarded Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies and National Security.
    • Assimilated concepts and theories while relating them to the profession of warfighting through active seminar participation, written assignments, oral…

     

  • Senior Fighter Pilot, Operations Officer, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314

    May 2008 - Aug 2011    

    San Diego, California, United States

    Served as a senior tactician, mentor, instructor, Safety Officer, Maintenance Supervisor, and Operations Officer in a US Marine F/A-18 Hornet squadron while executing two deployments overseas.
    • As a senior instructor, directly supervised, mentored, and taught 16 junior officers while helping them develop as leaders and advance in qualifications in the F/A-18; MAWTS-1 Tactics Course graduate.
    • While serving as the Maintenance Supervisor of the unit, was responsible for the care…

  • Team Leader, Border Transition Training Team

    United States Marine Corps

    Aug 2007 - Mar 2008 

    Al Anbar, Iraq

    Trained, mentored, and led a 12-person US military training team deployed to Western Iraq, responsible for partnering with and training/advising an Iraqi Army battalion while securing a large portion of the Syrian and Jordanian borders.
    • Conducted more than 100 combined combat missions enforcing border security with our partnered Iraqi units.
    • Trained and mentored more than 600 Iraqi soldiers over a 7-month period, raising their assessed readiness level significantly, resulting in fewer…

  • United States Marine Corps

    • Fighter Pilot, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323

      Jul 2003 - Jan 2007   

      San Diego, California, United States

      Served as a tactician, instructor, squadron pilot, Safety Officer, Schedules Writer, and Power Plants Officer in Charge in a US Marine F/A-18 Hornet squadron while executing a deployment from an aircraft carrier.
      • As squadron pilot and instructor was responsible for training and mentoring new Marines and pilots.
      • As Safety Officer was responsible for establishing safety programs and protocols in the squadron resulting in zero mishaps, passing all required inspections with zero…

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    • Series Commander, Recruit Training Depot

      Oct 2001 - Jul 2003  

      San Diego, California, United States

      Responsible for training, mentoring, and leading a cadre of 20 Marine Drill Instructors tasked with receiving and training raw recruits into United States Marines over a 13 week syllabus.
      • Taught classes to recruits and Drill Instructors on leadership, law of war, human performance, and physical fitness.
      • Was directly responsible to the commander for character development, quality control, and the overall competence of more than 800 newly graduated Marines from Recruit Training.

  • Student/Naval Aviator in Training

    Nov 1997 - Aug 2001    

    Quantico, Virginia/Kingsville, Texas/San Diego, California

    Completed Officer Candidates School, The Basic School, Primary Flight Training, Intermediate Flight Training, Advanced Flight Training, and F/A-18 Hornet training.
    • Received the Commandant’s Trophy as the top graduate of Marine Officer Candidates School.
    • Graduated 5th in a class of 300 lieutenants at The Basic School.
    • Recognized and awarded for excellence at all phases of flight training.

 

Jul 1991 - Jul 1995    

Jacksonville, North Carolina, United States

Served various functions in the Marine Corps’ elite Recon community, completing multiple international deployments and attending rare training opportunities allowing development as a warrior, teacher, and leader.
• Attended airborne training, combat diver training, French Foreign Legion Jungle Tactics Course, and a variety of character and leadership development courses.
• Served in multiple billets as a small unit leader in difficult and stressful environments, responsible for the development and training of subordinates.
• Qualified expert in teaching marksmanship, water survival, physical fitness, hand-to-hand combat, field craft, and amphibious reconnaissance.

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