Colonel Bartolomea received his commission on 7 January 1995 upon graduation from the Pennsylvania State University. Following The Basic School, BOC 2-95, he was assigned to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida and was designated a Naval Aviator in July 1997. He then reported to HMT-303, MCAS Camp Pendleton, California for training in the AH-1W Super Cobra.
He served with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 169 from January 1998 to January 2003. During this tour, he twice deployed to the Pacific Theater, once as part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and once as part of the 31st MEU. Col Bartolomea served in various billets in the Administration, Operations, and Maintenance Departments and attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course in Yuma, Arizona.
In January 2003, he was assigned to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and served as Forward Air Controller for Charlie Company during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) I. Upon return from OIF, Col Bartolomea served as the Battalion's Air Officer. He subsequently reported for duty as an instructor at The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia. During his three years in Quantico, Col Bartolomea served as Operations Officer, Instructor Battalion; Combined Arms Section Head; Commanding Officer, Charlie Company, BOC 3-06; and Executive Officer, Instructor Battalion.
In April 2007, Col Bartolomea reported to Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39 and was again assigned to HMLA-169. He served as the Administrative Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Director of Safety and Standardization during deployments to Al Taquadum, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 06-08 and Kandahar, Afghanistan as part of Special MAGTF-Afghanistan and Marine Expeditionary Brigade -Afghanistan in support of OEF. After returning from deployment in November 2009, he assumed duties as the squadron Executive Officer.
In June 2010, Col Bartolomea reported to Headquarters Marine Corps for duty in the Office of the Commandant. During this time, he served as a member of the 35th Commandant's Transition Team and then as Director of the Commandant's Staff Group.
In April 2011 he reported to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina. In September 2011, he was reassigned to MCAS New River to serve as HMLA-269 Rear Detachment Officer-in-Charge. Col Bartolomea assumed command of HMLA-467 on 9 November 2011. During his time in command, the “Sabers” supported multiple overseas and CONUS-based contingency operations and deployments for training. He relinquished command of the Sabers in July 2013 and immediately deployed to Afghanistan for duty with the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing (2d MAW) (Forward) Staff as the G-5, Future Plans. In August, he was reassigned as the Commanding Officer of HMLA-167 in Afghanistan. He led the “Warriors” through the remaining months of their deployment and returned with the squadron to MCAS New River, relinquishing command in December 2013. He then served as the Force Preservation Officer for 2d MAW.
Col Bartolomea attended the Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS), part of the National Defense University, from July 2014 to June 2015, earning a Master's of Science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy. In June 2015 he reported as a Joint Planner in the Joint Planning Support Element (JPSE) of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC) aboard Naval Station Norfolk, VA. He served as Chief of Plans and Deputy Commander of the JPSE. Col Bartolomea currently serves as the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) Air Officer.
Colonel Bartolomea and his wife, Michele, have been married for 22 years and have two sons. Chris is 19 and a freshman at Penn State. Nick is 15 and a sophomore at Mission Vista High School.