Dates of Service: 7/22/2011 - 7/26/2013
Matthew Bonner was born in Seaford, New York and raised in Meredith, New Hampshire. He graduated from The Citadel in 1993 with a degree in history and earned his commission as ensign in the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit there. His first duty station was the guided missile cruiser Normandy (CG-60), which deployed to the Mediterranean in support of NATO operations in Bosnia. He then served in the transport dock Pensacola (LDS-38) as navigator, during which time the ship participated in the evacuation of non-combatants from Albania, another NATO operation. He then came ashore as aide de camp at the Armed Forces Staff College, then served as a staff officer with the Afloat Training Group, Atlantic. In October 1999, he returned to sea as chief engineer in the guided missile frigate Nicholas (FFG-47), which was involved with a number of NATO exercises and deployed with the Enterprise Battle Group. In 2001, he reported as chief engineer in the guided missile cruiser Leyte Gulf (CG-55) and deployed shortly thereafter as part of the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group shortly after 9/11 and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom. He served ashore on the Naval Staff in the Pentagon from 2003 to 2005, then became the commissioning executive officer of the guided missile destroyer Farragut (DDG-99). He was a student at the Naval War College in 2007 and then served on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon from 2008 to the middle of 2011.
Bonner assumed command of Constitution on July 22, 2011 and oversaw the navy’s commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812 in Boston. During his tour, the ship celebrated the 200th anniversary of the defeat of HMS Guerriere by conducting the ship’s second unassisted sail in over 131 years. The ship continued its impressive legacy by earning the Golden Anchor for retention excellence, five-star accreditation for the galley, as well as back-to-back Project Good Neighbor awards for the crew’s efforts in community service.
After Constitution, Bonner returned to the Joint Staff in the Pentagon and served as the assistant deputy director of operations in the National Military Command Center (J-33). Following this tour, he was promoted to captain and served as the deputy director of the Intelligence, Plans, and Security Directorate at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Following his tour at DTRA, he reported as Commodore, Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron (MPSRON) Two, permanently forward deployed to Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory. His final tour before retiring in 2021 was on the Secretary of the Navy’s Council of Review Boards.
U.S. Navy Photo