Michael Baretela '87
Class of 1987
Captain Michael Baretela, a 1987 Rush-Henrietta graduate, is Commanding Officer of the United States Navy’s Strategic Systems Program Office for Shipboard Systems. He is responsible for on-site technical management for all shipboard systems for the Trident Strategic Weapon System. Captain Baretela has been awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
After graduating from Rush-Henrietta, Captain Baretela attended the University at Buffalo. In 1991, he received a degree in mechanical engineering. Upon joining the U.S. Navy, he completed nuclear propulsion and basic submarine officer training. He was assigned to the northwestern United States, where he served as an electrical officer and assistant weapons officer on an Ohio-class submarine.
In 1996, Captain Baretela reported to Arlington, Va., where he was assigned to the Weapon System Operation and Evaluation Branch. In 1998, after receiving a master’s degree in engineering management from Catholic University of America, he began work in the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs. Serving as Advanced Systems Project Officer, Captain Baretela focused his efforts on the development of fiberoptic gyroscopes used in strategic navigation systems.
In 2000, Captain Baretela received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also received the Armed Forces Communication and Electronic Systems Achievement Award for outstanding academic achievement.
In 2009, Captain Baretela reported for duty as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was responsible for ensuring that every tactical ground vehicle in Iraq was equipped with Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare systems. He led a team of more than 300 military and civilian personnel dispersed at 33 locations throughout Iraq and Kuwait to install, maintain, and update these defense systems on more than 22,000 vehicles.
He and his wife, Tracie, have one daughter, Katie.