CDR Brennan Cox, USN, PhD

U.S. Special Operations Command
Human Systems Integration Capability Manager
2024 Human Systems Conference

Cmdr. Brennan D. Cox is a native of Lilburn, GA. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Auburn University and an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). He received a direct commission in the U.S. Navy’s Medical Service Corps (MSC) in 2010 and completed aeromedical flight training the following year, earning his “wings of gold” as Aerospace Experimental Psychologist (AEP) #142.  

Cox has served in various scientist and staff officer positions, and is most recently assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command, Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics: Science and Technology (S&T) as the Human Systems Integration (HSI) Capability Manager.

His first assignment was Division Officer of Operational Psychology at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, Pensacola, FL (2011-2014). During this tour, he oversaw development, validation, and administration of the Aviation Selection Test Battery, the primary tool for selecting candidates into naval aviation training.

He next served as Principal Investigator within the Warfighter Performance Department at Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA (2014-2017), where he managed research in brain-computer interface, unmanned aircrew selection, and psychological resilience. Upon promotion to Lt Cmdr, Cox was reassigned as Head of Research Operations, with oversight of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), library, editing, and research support staff.

From 2017-2020, Cox served as Assistant Professor of Operations Research at NPS, Monterey, CA, where he taught masters-level courses and conducted research in HSI. This included underway fatigue assessments with Seventh Fleet that directly informed fleet-wide adoption of circadian-based watch scheduling practices. During this tour, Cox was Vice Chair of the IRB, campus-wide Command Fitness Leader, and Assistant Specialty Leader for the AEP community.

Cox most recently served as Deputy Director of the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at Naval Medical Research Unit - Dayton, OH (2020-2023), where he managed the daily activities and strategic direction of 75 scientists and support personnel in executing a $45M research portfolio addressing challenges within the aerospace operational environment. He was appointed and continues to serve as Deputy Chair of the Aerospace Medical Association S&T Committee and as Technical Representative to the NATO Human Factors and Medicine Board on the Assessment of Factors Impacting Cybersickness.

Cox is past-President of the U.S. Naval AEP Society and a graduate of the School of Aviation Safety’s Aeromedical Safety Officer course and the Naval War College Joint Professional Military Education course. He also completed NPS certificate programs in HSI, Defense Management Foundations, and Principles of Analytical Management. He was recognized as the 2016 Naval Medical Research and Development Enterprise Junior Officer of the Year and the 2021 MSC Subspecialty Officer of the Year and has received numerous aviation and joint service warfare research and leadership awards. As a uniformed scientist, he has authored over 100 works in scientific journals, edited books, and conference proceedings.