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Bradley Hilltopics

Spring 2010 • Volume 16, Issue 2  

Alumni Profiles

MICHAEL HANSEN ’83: Trigonometry? There’s an app for that! | NATALIE BARTUSEK BONETTI ’94: Bronze Star for Major Bonetti | DEAN BATOGOWSKI ’97: Recipe for success | After Hours barbershop quartet | JIM KELCH ’80: On air in Cincinnati | SUSAN FINN CARTER ’95: Top teacher | ANDREW NELCH ’05: Green engineer

 

Bronze Star for Major Bonetti

By ERIN WOOD ’09

MAJ. NATALIE BARTUSEK BONETTI ’94MAJ. NATALIE BARTUSEK BONETTI ’94 was a “mother hen,” as she puts it. As the 332nd Expeditionary Force Support Squadron commander at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, the former Bradley dietetics major was accountable for 25,000 coalition personnel between July 2008 and July 2009. “I was in charge of a lot of the quality-of-life services — dining facilities, lodging, recreational activities, fitness centers, and USO events,” she said. “As a commander, you’re charged with guarding the lives and morale of your troops. This is even more challenging in a warzone, where rockets and mortars are fired at you.”

After her yearlong deployment in Iraq, Bonetti was presented with a Bronze Star last October at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana, where she and her husband Peter are currently stationed. “I was selected to go to Iraq because my superiors felt I was ready to command a squadron in a combat environment,” she said. “Receiving this honor means I fulfilled my obligations and met Air Force expectations during my service there.”

Bonetti’s duties in Iraq included leading more than 200 airmen during four consecutive four-month Air Expeditionary Force rotations and executing the Base Operating Support-Integration. In short, she was charged with integrating Army and Air Force base support functions, so they could jointly carry out their mission in Iraq. The major facilitated a 500 percent increase in programs and managed more than $100 million in assets. “It has been the most rewarding part of my military career,” Bonetti said. “You feel like you are truly contributing to something greater than yourself.”

Bonetti holds a master’s degree in organizational management from George Washington University. She received Bradley’s Outstanding Young Graduate Award in 2006. She is currently inspector general of the Air Force’s 341st Missile Wing, managing the Complaints Resolution Program. Prior to her deployment, she was the deputy director of protocol at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Earlier, she completed the Air Force dietetics internship and was one of only 50 from a field of 8,000 selected to intern at the Pentagon for two years.