Bruce Browne was born in Cleveland, Ohio. At age 18, Browne joined the US Navy, where he ultimately reached the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer. Working as a rescue swimmer, door gunner, air crewman, and helicopter mechanic, Browne served two tours of duty in Vietnam, earning several awards and honors. Most recently, Browne received the Mark Starr Pioneer Award from the Naval Helicopter Historical Society for his improvements to American helicopter design, which ultimately saved hundreds of lives.
After his service with the Navy, Browne returned to California, where he sought to start his own business. One day, while reading the newspaper, Browne saw an ad for a used injection molding machine, and told himself "If I can maintain and repair a helicopter, then I can definitely figure out how this machine works" -- He was right. Browne established Advance Plastics in 1978, and from there, well, the rest is history.