Rear Adm. Bruner graduated from Arizona State University and received his commission from Officer Candidate School (OCS) in May 1981. Following OCS and selection for submarine warfare, he attended Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Fla., and Prototype Training in West Milton, N.Y.
Bruner's initial sea tours include reactor controls assistant; chemistry and radiological controls and main propulsion assistant and weapons officer aboard USS Pollack (SSN 603), where he completed three Western Pacific deployments. He served as navigator and operations officer aboard USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN 658)(GOLD), where he completed five strategic deterrent patrols, and as executive officer aboard USS Newport News (SSN 750) completing a Mediterranean deployment in support of Operation Sharp Guard. Bruner was commanding officer of USS Florida (SSBN 728)(Gold) from July 1998 to March 2001. During his tour he completed four strategic deterrent patrols. Florida was selected as the top SSBN in the pacific fleet for 1999 and 2000, and the top SSBN in the Navy for 2000.
Significant shore and staff duty include Naval Post Graduate School, where he graduated with Master of Science degrees in Oceanography and Meteorology; the Naval Academy as a company officer; an action officer on the submarine directorate of the Navy Staff; Pacific Fleet Submarine Prospective Commanding Officer instructor; as a division chief on the Joint Staff, and executive assistant to the assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. Bruner was next assigned as commander of Submarine Squadron Seven at Pearl Harbor. He then served as chief of staff of commander, Carrier Strike Group 5/Task Group 70 and 75 in Yokosuka, Japan, and was then assigned as director, Operations Division, Office of Budget for the Department of the Navy. His most recent assignment was Commander, Submarine Group 10.
Among the awards Bruner is most proud of are the numerous Battle Efficiency awards his shipmates have earned over the years.