Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi is a native of Pleasant Ridge, Michigan and a graduate of the University of Detroit with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and holds master's degrees from the University of Michigan in Nuclear Engineering and Industrial Engineering.
His operational tours include service aboard both attack and ballistic-missile submarines, including USS James Madison (SSBN 627), USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) and USS Santa Fe (SSN 763). He commanded USS Alexandria (SSN 757) and was commodore of Submarine Squadron Four in Groton, Connecticut.
Ashore, he served as executive assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations; executive assistant to the Chief of Naval Personnel; chief of staff for Submarine Group Two; deputy nuclear community program manager; special assistant to Naval Reactors for Office Matters; and cruise-missile planner for theater operations at United States Strategic Command.
His previous flag assignment include commander, Naval Service Training Command where he was privileged to serve with a staff that was recognized with a Navy Unit Commendation, at the time only five had been previously awarded to shore commands in the last 30 years.
Bernacchi’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit (seven awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and various personal, unit and service awards. He was recognized by the Naval League of the United States in 2007 with the John Paul Jones Award for inspirational leadership.