Mike Benitez is a proven leader with an eclectic range of both experience and expertise in team-building in his 20-plus years of U.S. military service in the Marine Corps and Air Force. An F-15E Strike Eagle Weapons Systems Officer, he collectively has over 2,500 flight hours—with over 1,000 combat hours in fighter jets and helicopters.
Mike’s experience includes integration and training with over a dozen different nation’s armed services, a track record of developing innovative constructive multi-lateral solutions to significant challenges in high-stakes situations, and the ability to subsequently translate them into actions at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.
He has been awarded over two dozen commendations and medals for distinction and leadership, including the Distinguished Flying Cross—one of the highest awards for aviation the U.S. military that can bestow.
Mike holds a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a graduate of several programs, including the prestigious U.S. Air Force Weapons School and the United Arab Emirates Advanced Tactical Leadership Course. He also has participated in numerous fellowships, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Foreign Policy Initiative, and as a Department of Defense legislative fellow assigned to U.S. Senator Mike Rounds.