40 Under 40 – Will Brooks

CDR Will Brooks is a resident of Alexandria, VA and received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) from Medina, OH. He graduated from USNA in 1999 with a B.S. in Systems Engineering and completed studies in nuclear power for service as a submarine Officer. He served aboard the USS Asheville, SSN-758, out of Pearl Harbor, HI, Bremerton, WA, and San Diego, CA. While stationed at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in Bremerton, WA, he also completed a deterrent patrol aboard the USS Alabama, SSBN-735, out of Bangor, WA.

After completing his sea tour, CDR Brooks was selected to teach Navy ROTC at the University of Minnesota as a Naval Science Instructor. While there he completed work on a Master’s Degree in Public Policy with a concentration in global affairs. After this tour CDR Brooks joined the Navy Reserves as an Intelligence Officer, where he joined a Naval Reserve unit at the Office of Naval Intelligence (NR-ONI-0766), working as the division officer for the Submarine Warfare Operations Division (SWORD).

In 2011, CDR Brooks was involuntarily recalled to active duty, serving in Basrah, Iraq with a Joint Task Force, where he served as an Intelligence Officer (J2) and an Assistant Operations Officer (J3A) supporting Special Operations units. Upon return in 2012, he joined NR-ONI-0566, serving as a Manpower and Training Department Head. In November 2014, CDR Brooks joined the Defense Intelligence Agency, serving in the Naval Attaché Unit (NR-DIA-0166) completing annual training tours at the Defense Attaché Offices in Brasilia, Brazil and Panama City, Panama. CDR Brooks was selected to become the Executive Officer of the USAFRICOM J2 reserve unit in December 2016.

In his civilian career, he moved to Washington, D.C. in 2006 after leaving active duty and worked as a Military Legislative Assistant for Rep. Jim Kolbe from Arizona’s 8th District, advising the Congressman on national security, defense, veterans, and judiciary issues. After Rep. Kolbe retired, CDR Brooks worked at the Reserve Officer’s Association (ROA) in 2007, a non-profit organization supporting legislative issues for the National Guard and Reserve forces. CDR Brooks served as the ROA Director of Naval Services, lobbying on Capitol Hill and writing for the Officer magazine.

In 2008, CDR Brooks completed training at the FBI Academy to become an FBI Special Agent, working at the Washington, DC Field Office (WFO) in Counterterrorism. Currently, he is a Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) with the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters leading investigations on the west coast.

Will’s Zete journey is especially interesting, in that although he didn’t follow the traditional recruitment route, his experiences still ended up being just as meaningful:

“My path to becoming a Zete was not the traditional route. Having attended the U.S. Naval Academy, I was precluded from joining a fraternity while a Midshipman. After graduating in 1999, serving in the Submarine service, and transitioning from active duty to the reserves in 2006, I found myself in Washington, D.C. and luckily met many Zetes. It was through these connections that I gained not only a professional network and vital mentoring that furthered both my Navy and FBI careers, but also lifelong friends and a second family.

I have been very fortunate in my career to have had the humbling experience to lead our Country’s finest in both the Navy and the FBI. The challenging leadership roles I have found myself in range from the ocean’s depths aboard nuclear powered submarines, to combat zones in Iraq on national security missions, to the front-door steps of suspected terrorists in the U.S. to execute arrest and search warrants. I am most thankful to all the great mentors and friends within Zeta Psi that I have made along the way, that helped make these childhood dreams become a lifetime of experiences.”

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