Started from the bottom: limited duty officer frocked to the rank of captain at SRF-JRMC

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YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 1, 2017) – Cmdr. David Dwyer, deputy commander of Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC), is pinned to the rank of captain by his wife (left) and Capt. Garrett Farman (right), the commanding officer. SRF-JRMC provides ship maintenance and modernization for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet using advanced industrial techniques while keeping the U.S. 7th Fleet operationally ready. (Photo by Joyce Lopez, SRF-JRMC Corporate Communications/Released)

By Joyce Lopez, SRF-JRMC Corporate Communications

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 1, 2017) – Cmdr. David Dwyer, U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) deputy commander, was promoted to the rank of captain during a frocking ceremony held at the command headquarters.

Dwyer is one of only 34 limited duty officer (LDO) captains in the U.S. Navy and is currently the most senior LDO in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. He has dedicated 33 years of service to the U.S. Navy, rising from a seaman recruit to the highest officer rank to which an LDO can be promoted. The ceremony marked his 13th and final promotion.

“This has been my best tour yet,” Dwyer said to the attendees, comprised of his family, friends and all hands in the command—a mix of U.S. military members, Department of Defense civilians and contractors, and Japanese workforce. “And I look forward to continuing work alongside you.”

Hailing from Martinsville, Ind., Dwyer entered the Navy via the Delayed Entry Program in August 1984 and attended boot camp at Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. Following boot camp, he reported to Service School Command at Naval Training Center and completed his required new accession apprenticeship training.

During his enlisted service, Dwyer was selected as USS Conserver (ARS 39) and USS Patriot (MCM 7) Sailor of the Year; 1988 and 1991 respectively.

In 1989, he qualified enlisted surface warfare specialist. Five years later, he advanced and was initiated as an engineman chief petty officer. In 1995, he earned his master training specialist qualification. Then, in February 1996, Dwyer was selected for the LDO program and commissioned as an ensign.

At his previous tour, he served as the commanding officer of Surface Warfare Officers School Command Unit in Great Lakes, Ill.

Since August 2016, Dwyer has served as the deputy commander of SRF-JRMC, whose workforce provides ship maintenance and modernization for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet using advanced industrial techniques to keep the 7th Fleet operationally ready.

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YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 1, 2017) – Cmdr. David Dwyer, center, deputy commander of Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC), listens to opening remarks about the Navy’s history of the limited duty officer, alongside his wife, right, and the commanding officer, Capt. Garrett Farman, left, during the frocking ceremony. Dwyer is one of 34 limited duty officer captains in the U.S. Navy and is currently the most senior in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. SRF-JRMC provides ship maintenance and modernization for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet using advanced industrial techniques while keeping the U.S. 7th Fleet operationally ready. (Photo by Elizabeth Kearns, Public Affairs Specialist, SRF-JRMC Corporate Communications/Released)

The LDO’s establishment dates back to 1948. The Navy realized that when petty officers were promoted to commissioned status in the unrestricted line community, they often lost the critical skills and knowledge they learned when they were enlisted members or warrant officers.

Often times, these officers were not competitive for promotion with other commissioned officers. Thus, the LDO program was born to retain technical skills and to provide a fair, competitive position for officers promoted from the ranks.

“It is not often we get to promote a Mustang to the rank of captain,” said Miles Hicks, the command’s administrative officer and master of ceremonies for Dwyer’s frocking. Hicks, too, was commissioned as a LDO and retired a lieutenant commander at Commander, Navy Region Japan and Commander, Navy Forces Japan, in 2014.

The LDO category was established under the Officer Personnel Act of 1947. The community, endearingly called Mustangs, was envisioned as a relatively small, elite group of officers who would retain their specialties they acquired as enlisted members and warrant officers. During times of personnel shortages or technological advances, they would support the unrestricted line community.

Today, as commissioned officers with extensive experience and knowledge, LDOs have the authority to direct the most challenging operations within a given occupational, primarily technical, specialty. With increasing leadership opportunities, they may serve as division officers, department heads, officers in charge, and executive officers and commanding officers of major commands.

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