FDD sponsors educational opportunities for mid-career U.S. national security professionals. Alumni of these programs are not FDD employees and join FDD’s National Security Network (NSN).
National Security Network Participant
FDD’s National Security Fellow
2017 - 2018
National Security Network Participant

Mike Benitez

U.S. Air Force


Last updated: May 18, 2017

Mike Benitez is a U.S. Air Force Officer and combat veteran serving on Capitol Hill in the Office of Senator Mike Rounds. After eight years as an enlisted Marine and completing deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, he became an Air Force F-15E Weapons System Officer and completed three more combat deployments. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and the United Arab Emirates Advanced Tactical Leadership Course, he most recently served as the lead instructor in a unit supporting nuclear, conventional, and special operations missions in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. A veteran with over 250 combat missions in four different aircraft types, he has earned several military decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. Collectively, he has led the partnership and integration of over a dozen different ally air forces in both training and combat. He earned his Master’s degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a former fellow for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

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