BRIAN M. BOURGEOIS, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Brian Bourgeois '01

Date of birth: October 27, 1978

Date of death: December 7, 2021

Age: 43

Lucky Bag

From the 2001 Lucky Bag:

2001 Bourgeois LB.jpg

Brian Bourgeois

Katy, Texas

Who'd'a thunk it? Not my roommates or my boys… Grandma, know my guardian angel worked a lil over time, but Looord, did we make some memories. Before I get started, Mi Mi and Paw Paw, happy 50th and I hope that megan and I can live as happily as you two. Well.. here goes.

SoCo sponsored tighty whitey sprints in O.C./ODF; Gotta love Loyla, who knew a face crunched like that?; Baltimore, jj, it's 4 in the morning, hope it was worth it; FB2000???… thanks chuck; I'M NOT FROM TEXAS! How many mids own dogs? Taking a nap on 50; Chris-it all started on a sailboat, wish you were here OTTO, safeties-for-life; Mardi Gras, Cancun, Florida, New York, Hawaii, boy we covered some ground; No, we're twins honest-UA; finger lickin' good, summer school legends; #13 NFB BROTHERHOOD How close are we? 1016-Its not for us; Spanky-Wanky; haaaaiir helmet; The Hole; spots, Mouse Hunt Champ; "Booj, wake up, don't you have class?" Rules don't apply…; I'm at football; 4 years w/Pat, How? aaaaaaayyyyyyyyyeeee!!! ta'dem Louisiana boys!

I want to thank my family and family-soon-to-be for their support, David, Marlene, Brad, Sarah, and Megan Bourgeois… Pat, Gute, Buck thanks fellas.

2001 Bourgeois LB.jpg

Brian Bourgeois

Katy, Texas

Who'd'a thunk it? Not my roommates or my boys… Grandma, know my guardian angel worked a lil over time, but Looord, did we make some memories. Before I get started, Mi Mi and Paw Paw, happy 50th and I hope that megan and I can live as happily as you two. Well.. here goes.

SoCo sponsored tighty whitey sprints in O.C./ODF; Gotta love Loyla, who knew a face crunched like that?; Baltimore, jj, it's 4 in the morning, hope it was worth it; FB2000???… thanks chuck; I'M NOT FROM TEXAS! How many mids own dogs? Taking a nap on 50; Chris-it all started on a sailboat, wish you were here OTTO, safeties-for-life; Mardi Gras, Cancun, Florida, New York, Hawaii, boy we covered some ground; No, we're twins honest-UA; finger lickin' good, summer school legends; #13 NFB BROTHERHOOD How close are we? 1016-Its not for us; Spanky-Wanky; haaaaiir helmet; The Hole; spots, Mouse Hunt Champ; "Booj, wake up, don't you have class?" Rules don't apply…; I'm at football; 4 years w/Pat, How? aaaaaaayyyyyyyyyeeee!!! ta'dem Louisiana boys!

I want to thank my family and family-soon-to-be for their support, David, Marlene, Brad, Sarah, and Megan Bourgeois… Pat, Gute, Buck thanks fellas.

Loss

Brian died on December 7, 2021 of injuries sustained in a training accident involving a fast rope on December 4th. The accident occurred in the Norfolk, Virginia area. He was the commanding officer of SEAL Team 8.

Other Information

Brian was an economics major at the Naval Academy. He was a football coach at the Naval Academy Preparatory School following graduation until May 2002.

From the US Naval Institute:

He served aboard USS Black Hawk (MHC-58) after spending a year teaching at the Naval Academy Preparatory School and attending Surface Warfare Officer School.

He returned to Surface Warfare Officer School after his two-year tour, and then entered Naval Basic Special Warfare Training in August 2004.

He joined his first Special Warfare Unit in February 2006. He joined his last Special Warfare Unit on Nov. 9, 2020. Bourgeois was promoted to commander on Sept. 1, 2017.

He received a masters degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2016. At graduation, he received the Pat Tillman Leadership Award: "Award is presented to acknowledge student officers who have distinguished themselves in Security Affairs in Department of Defense Analysis."

From the Navy.mil Press Office:

Naval Special Warfare is committed to supporting Bourgeois’ family and Sailors who lost a teammate during this difficult time.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bourgeois family – and we will ensure our community remains in support of and in relationship with Brian’s family and his children, for life,” said Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. “Brian was one of our very best leaders, who possessed all the attributes that make our force effective.  We will miss his charismatic leadership and faithful stewardship of our standard.  His legacy carries on in teammates he served with, led, and mentored.”

The SEAL Team 8 executive officer has temporarily assumed command.

The details of the tragic accident are currently under investigation and findings will be made available at the appropriate time. Initial indications show that the tragedy occurred during a fast-rope training evolution.

"We are working with SEAL Team 8 to provide every form of support we possibly can to Brian's family and teammates," said Capt. Donald G. Wetherbee, commodore, Naval Special Warfare Group 2. "An incident like this weighs heavily on us all. Brian was as tough as they come, an outstanding leader, and a committed father, husband and friend. This is a great loss to everyone who knew him. He will be greatly missed." 

Bourgeois received his commission from the United States Naval Academy in May 2001 and humbly served the Navy and Naval Special Warfare community for over 20 years.

From aiatt.org:

Commander Bourgeois is a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana and has served for 20 years. Brian enters into command of SEAL Team EIGHT after serving as the NSWG-2 Operations Officer. Prior to his return to NSWG-2, he served at USSOCOM in the J8 Directorate. His tour included time in the Maritime and Special Programs Assessments, then finished as the Executive Officer to the J8 Director. Before his Joint tour at SOCOM he deployed twice as a Troop Commander to the continent of Africa in support of Operation ODYSSEY DAWN and ENDURING FREEDOM, then again as an Executive Officer to lead the transition from SOCCE-HOA to SOCFWD-EA. His Platoon Command time at SEAL Team FOUR included multiple deployments against the Counter Iranian target set in Iraq. From 2002 to 2004 Brian served aboard the USS BLACK HAWK (MHC-58) as a Surface Warfare Officer.

He is a 2001 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and earned a Masters in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School. Brian earned the Pat Tillman Leadership Award while at NPS. Other military awards include a Bronze Star with ‘V’, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (2), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and a NATO Medal.

He has been married to Megan Kathryn Bourgeois for 20 years. Together they have 5 children, Barrett (18), Allee (16), Piper (13), Callen (11), Jonathan (6) and two dogs Mollee (8), and Dudley (2).

Remembrances

From WAVY:

“Brian was an incredibly influential midshipman,” said U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association spokesman Wesley Huey.

… “He was a bridge-builder. The kind of leader that got people together, unified them to achieve a common purpose,” Huey said.

“The guy that does the hard work of building relationships and making people understand that they’re all important — whatever role they play on the team is important,” Huey said.

From WAVY on December 9, 2021:

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — From Hampton Roads to Annapolis and beyond, a tight knit community is remembering Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, who died Tuesday following an accident that took place in Virginia Beach.

More than 20 years ago, #13 Brian Bourgeois was a safety and Justin Jordan was a linebacker for the Midshipmen.

“He was from Louisiana, I was from Mississippi — sort of the two southern redneck boys on the team,” said Jordan in a Zoom interview.

Jordan joined the U.S. Marine Corps after graduation from the Naval Academy in 2001; Bourgeois was destined for special operations with the Navy.

Over the years, the bond became family-like. When Jordan received a text message over the weekend, he knew the news was not good.

“When I got the text Sunday morning saying ‘I need you to call me right away,’ those texts were all too familiar of a feeling all over again. It was just gut-wrenching,” said Jordan.

Bourgeois, the commanding officer of SEAL Team 8, was injured Saturday during a fast rope training evolution.

Former congressman Scott Taylor, who is also a former Navy SEAL, told 10 On Your Side in the special operations community, training can be more dangerous than war.

“It’s definitely dangerous and you would use fast-roping as an insertion method, so if a helicopter is coming in and for example, if you were going into a jungle or on top of a submarine somewhere where the helicopter can’t land. It’s a massive tragedy; not just for the SEAL community but for the Hampton Roads community altogether,” said Taylor.

While NCIS investigates, loved ones across the country are preparing to celebrate the man friends called Boosze. The celebration begins Saturday at the Army-Navy game.

The Leap frogs are going to kick things off; they are going to run out with the SEAL Team 8 flag.

“It’s going to be a big party and, hopefully, it will be accompanied by a Navy win,” said Jordan.

When the Midshipmen storm the field, Cmdr. Bourgeois’ number 13 jersey will be represented.

“It will be a blue 13 jersey with two SEAL team patches and a gold helmet will be on the sidelines. And also through the supportive help of the community, Brian’s family will be at the stadium. Brian’s wife, his kids, his mom and dad, and some other extended family will be there as we celebrate the life of this great patriot and this great American hero,” he said.

He continued: “He’s just one of the greatest human beings you have ever met in your life… He had a way of lighting up a room. He just had this way infectious personality that everybody wanted to gravitate to and he has a way of putting you at ease in the most difficult situations.”

Photographs

Video

Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana:


Class of 2001

Landon is one of 4 members of the Class of 2001 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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