In September of 1961, Brett Martin was born to Roger and Georgia Martin and was raised on a 400-acre livestock and grain farm near Hornick, Iowa. His father Roger was a Sergeant First Class in the Second Division during the Korean War and was a member of American Legion Post 666, of Smithland, IA, where he was a past commander. His mother Georgia was actively involved in St John’s Lutheran’s Church as an organist and Sunday school teacher for over 55 years. She also sold real estate and worked for the Postal Service until she retired. Both of his parents are recently deceased.
During Brett’s youth he helped his family work their farm and was actively involved in the church’s youth group, 4-H, where he showed horses and feeder cattle, and in school where he participated in sports, band, speech, newspaper, and the drama club. In1979, Brett was selected to attend Iowa Boy’s State and later graduated from Woodbury Central High School in 1980. He went on to attend Morningside College for one year and worked various job until he enlisted in the U.S Navy in 1986.
Upon graduating with honors from Aerographer’s Mate Al School he reported for duty at the Naval Oceanography Command Detachment, Naples, Italy. During his tour he was assigned duties as Anti-Submarine Warfare Assistant to the Staff Oceanographer, Captain Area Anti-Submarine Warfare Forces, U.S. Sixth Fleet. While in Italy, Brett earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of New York. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School in May of 1992.
Following Surface Warfare Officer School and Engineering Officer of the Watch School, he was ordered to the destroyer USS HARRY W. HILL (DD 986) where he made two Persian Gulf deployments and achieved his Surface Warfare Officer and Engineering Officer of the Watch qualifications.
Brett then reported to United States Strategic Command, Offutt AFB in March 1996 where he assumed duties as Senior Watch Officer, Mobile Consolidated Command Center, and Airborne Training Officer. In August 1998, he was selected to serve as Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commander in Chief, Lieutenant General Phillip Ford. He served in this position until May 2000.
He then attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he received a dual Master of Science in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography in December 2002. He then reported to USS BOXER (LHD 4) where he served as the ship’s Oceanographer and Senior Watch Officer. During his time onboard USS BOXER he made two surge deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I, as Senior METOC Officer for Amphibious Task Force West and Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
From March 2005-2007, He served as the Officer-In-Charge Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Professional Development Detachment, Pacific. From 2007-2009 he served at Commander Third Fleet as Fleet Oceanographer, Operations Officer, and Executive Assistant to Commander Third Fleet, Vice Admiral Hunt. He then assumed duties as Commanding Officer Strike Group Oceanography Team, San Diego in November of 2009 until the command was disestablished in November 2010, when he assumed duties as Executive Officer, Fleet Weather Center San Diego.
In April 2011, Brett reported to Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command where he has served as Director for Undersea Warfare, Assistant Chief of Staff for Warfare Programs and Integration, and Maritime Operations Director. In March of 2016 Brett reported to Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS where he served as the Military Deputy for the Marine Geosciences Division.
In July of 2019 Brett was sworn in as the 7th District Commander for the State of Iowa American Legion, and currently holds that position.
After wearing the cloth of our nation for 31 years he retired from active duty on 31 December 2017. Brett resides in Council Bluffs and is actively involved in the American Legion Post 725 in Treynor, Iowa, the Kanesville Riders Honor Guard, and is a board member of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans at Mississippi State University.
Brett’s military decorations include: Legion of Merit Medal (gold star), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two gold stars), Navy Commendation Medal (four gold stars), Joint Service Achievement Medal (one oak leaf cluster), Navy Achievement Medal (three gold stars), and various theater, sea and service medals.