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Lawrence, Brian, SCPO Radioman
 
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Life Member
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USN Retired
Current/Last Rank
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Current/Last Primary Designator/NEC
RM-2319-Communications System Technical Control Supervisor
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Radioman
Current/Last Duty Station
1991-1992, RM-2313, NAVTELCOM - NAVCOMMU/Marquette, MI
Previously Held Designator/NEC
RM-0000-Radioman
RM-2318-Communications System Technical Control Operator
RM-2312-Communications System Manager
RM-9502-Instructor
23CQ-Submarine Combined Cryptographic Equipment Maintenance Technician
RM-2314-Cryptographic Repair
RM-2313-Independent Duty Radioman
Service Years
1969 - 1992
RM-Radioman
Five Hash Marks


 Ribbon Bar

Submarine Enlisted Badge
Deep Submergence Enlisted Badge
Surface Warfare Enlisted Badge

 

 Official Badges 

Senior Chief Petty Officer of the Command U.S. Navy Police (enlisted) US Navy Retired 20


 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Shellback US Naval Reserve Honorable Discharge

Navy Chief Initiated Persian Gulf Yacht Club Cold War Medal Order of the Emerald Shellback

Order of the Golden Dragon Command & Control Excellence Award Efficiency Excellence Award



 Duty Stations
USS Halsey (DLG-23)Formal SchoolsCINCPACFLT/ COMPACFLTNAVCOMMSTA - NAVCOMSTA - NCS/NAVCOMSTA Honolulu
Shore Units/NAVCOMMSTA - NAVCOMSTA - NCSUSS Dixie (AD-14)USS Sterett (CG-31)NTC San Diego/Service School Command San Diego
Submarine/Anti-Submarine Schools/Submarine School Enlisted BasicUSS Cavalla (SSN-684)Defense Communications Agency (DCA), Washington DCUSS Dolphin (AGSS-555)
NAVSTA - NAVBASE - NAVFAC- NAB -NOB - NOS/NAVSTA San DiegoNAVTELCOM - NAVCOMMU/Marquette, MI
  1970-1970, RM-0000, USS Halsey (DLG-23)
  1970-1971, RM-0000, (RM) Radioman A School/(RM) Radioman A School San Diego, CA
  1971-1971, RM-0000, CINCPACFLT/ COMPACFLT/Message Center Makalapa
  1971-1972, RM-0000, NAVCOMMSTA - NAVCOMSTA - NCS/NAVCOMSTA Honolulu
  1972-1973, RM-0000, NAVCOMMSTA - NAVCOMSTA - NCS/NAVCOMSTA Wahiawa
  1973-1974, RM-0000, Shore Units/NAVCOMMSTA - NAVCOMSTA - NCS
  1974-1974, RM-2318, Formal Schools
  1974-1977, RM-2318, USS Dixie (AD-14)
  1975-1975, RM-2318, USS Sterett (CG-31)
  1975-1976, RM-2312, (RM) Radioman B School
  1977-1977, RM-9502, Instructors Training School
  1977-1978, RM-9502, (RM) Radioman A School/(RM) Radioman A School San Diego, CA
  1977-1980, RM-9502, NTC San Diego/Service School Command San Diego
  1978-1980, RM-9502, Formal Schools
  1980-1980, RM-0000, Submarine/Anti-Submarine Schools/Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS)
  1980-1980, RM-0000, Submarine/Anti-Submarine Schools/Submarine School Enlisted Basic
  1980-1982, 23CQ, USS Cavalla (SSN-684)
  1982-1983, RM-2319, USS Cavalla (SSN-684)
  1984-1987, RM-2319, Defense Communications Agency (DCA), Washington DC/DCA Europe
  1987-1991, RM-2314, USS Dolphin (AGSS-555)
  1990-1991, NAVSTA San Diego/Navy Brig (NAVBRIG) San Diego
  1991-1992, RM-2313, NAVTELCOM - NAVCOMMU/Marquette, MI
 Combat and Operations History
  1971-1971 NASA Assisted Operations/Apollo 14 - Splashdown/Retrieval1
  1971-1971 NASA Assisted Operations/Apollo 15 - Splashdown/Retrieval1
  1972-1972 NASA Assisted Operations/Apollo 16 - Splashdown/Retrieval1
  1972-1972 NASA Assisted Operations/Apollo 17 - Splashdown/Retrieval1
  1973-1973 Project SkyLab/SkyLab 2 - Splashdown/Retrieval1
  1973-1973 Project SkyLab/SkyLab 3 - Splashdown/Retrieval1
  1973-1973 Project SkyLab/SkyLab 1 - Splashdown/Retrieval1
  1973-1974 Humanitarian - Non-conflict Exercises and Operations/Project SkyLab1
  1973-1974 NASA Assisted Operations/Apollo/Soyuz Project1
  1974-1974 Training Exercises/WESTPAC (By year)
  1974-1974 WESTPAC (By year)/WESTPAC 1974
  1976-1976 Humanitarian - Non-conflict Exercises and Operations/Humanitarian Operations1
  1976-1976 WESTPAC (By year)/WESTPAC 1976
  1976-1977 Training Exercises/WESTPAC (By year)
  1981-1981 Sub/Anti-Sub Patrols/Unspecified Submarine Patrols1
  1981-1981 WESTPAC (By year)/WESTPAC 1981
  1983-1984 WESTPAC (By year)/WESTPAC 1983
  1987-1991 Humanitarian - Non-conflict Exercises and Operations/Routine/Research Operations1
 Military Association Memberships
The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA)Disabled American Veterans (DAV)United States Navy Radioman Association (USNRMA)National Chief Petty Officers Association
Joint Communications Support Element Veterans Association (JCSEVA)Missouri ChapterSub Vet RVers
  1997, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA)
  1997, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2011, United States Navy Radioman Association (USNRMA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2011, U.S. Submarine Veterans
  2011, National Chief Petty Officers Association [Verified]
  2011, Joint Communications Support Element Veterans Association (JCSEVA)
  2011, Patriot Guard Riders, Missouri Chapter (Missouri) [Verified]
  2011, Sub Vet RVers


 Remembrance Profiles -  5 Sailors Remembered
  • Hush, Merle, CPO, 1945
  • Lawrence, Hugh, CPO, 1998
 Photo Album   (More...


Reflections on SCPO Lawrence's US Navy Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE NAVY?
It was 1969, I was a Senior in High School, I'd have liked to have gone to college but didn't have any of the numbers for it (ACT/SAT or $$$). Who knew how long (Viet) Nam was going to last? I sure didn't, and neither did I want to take my chances with the Draft Lottery. My father had been in the Active Navy prior to and during WWII, and in the Reserves most of the time since. My older brother had enlisted as a 1-2-3 Reserve; one year Reserve (one meeting a week during High School), two years Active Duty, then three years Reserve Duty (one meeting a month, two weeks Active Duty for Training a year). I figured if my brother could do two years active duty and come back a Second Class, I should excel, as long as I was a Radioman. I wanted nothing else but be an RM, and not get drafted.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
I was a Radioman. I got set-back twice in RM"A" school for Morse Code; the second time and third time through 'Code Shout-Week' my voice didn't even change. In fact, it took over a month for it to return to normal. I asked for every RM billet in-country from Riverine Units to Cam Rahn Bay to USNAVFOR Saigon. I had to fill in all the other choices, too, so I picked a Tender HP San Diego, and any Shore Duty, Hawaii. That's how I came to spend the next four months Reserve Duty at CinCPACFlt Message Center Makalapa and 14 months at Wahiawa, Naval Communication Station Honolulu.

At the end of my Reserve Duty, I quite literally had nothing better to do that day, and I sure didn't want to go back to be a copper miner in Butte, Montana, so I reenlisted for four years USN. Got a good school, too, Communication Systems Technician (ComSysTech), then orders to the Tender USS DIXIE (AD-14). Two WestPac Cruises on Dixie, promoted to RM1 and orders Service School Command, San Diego, Instructor Duty RM"A" and ComSysTech School. Volunteered for Submarine Duty, Basic Sub School New London and orders to the Fast Attack USS CAVALLA (SSN-684), HP Pearl Harbor. Three WestPac Cruises on Cavalla, earned my Dolphins, promoted to RMC(SS), the Chiefs initiated me into their midst, and I was up for orders again. Defense Communications Agency, Europe in Stuttgart, Germany was a great three years only to be followed by four more as Senior Chief Radioman (SS/DS) aboard the Deep Submergence Research Submarine DOLPHIN (AGSS-555) HP San Diego as the ComSec Material Custodian and Chief Of The Watch.
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN COMBAT, PEACEKEEPING OR HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TO YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY.
I can neither confirm nor deny my participation in any combat operations. Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE SERVICE, INCLUDING COMBAT, DESCRIBE THE PERSONAL MEMORIES WHICH HAVE IMPACTED YOU MOST?
There are so many, and you want me to pick ONE? How about a list?

- Telling then Captain Sam Graverly, he'd made Admiral (LH).
- Being part of several Apollo Splash-down Communication Teams.
- USS DIXIE took the guard (temp.) for NavCams WestPac Guam following Typhoon Pamela.
- Having the Duty and being on watch on the DIXIE, in Yokosuka, Japan, on the eve of the Bi-Centennial 4th of July.
- Earning my Dolphins.
- USS CAVALLA, first U.S. unit on scene following KAL-007 shoot-down
- Becoming a Chief.
- As DCA-Eur (E-530/HF) spending an obscene amount of money one weekend in Oct 1985 in support of the Sixth Fleet, the 82nd Airborne & SEAL Team SIX in their efforts to free the passengers of the MS Achille Lauro.
- Earning my Deep Submergence Dolphins.
- Becoming Chief of the Watch and there are easily twenty or a hundred more to list.
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, QUALIFICATION BADGES OR DEVICES YOU RECEIVED, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE ONE(S) MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
It's difficult to single out just one. Certainly, the Command Senior Chief stands as one of my personal best. I think the number two spot goes to my Enlisted Submarine Dolphins; they were, as Captain Losure said as he pinned them on me,"not a graduation certificate, but a license to learn". The number one spot therefore obviously goes to my Enlisted Deep Submergence Dolphins. My Deep Dolphins opened a world of learning and experience for me and I cherish the opportunities thus afforded me. Looking back (hindsight, ya know!), I could have and should have done more.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
Aw, shucks, here we go again with the singling-out one of many. This is very difficult; at each critical point in my career came an advisor; at each command there were mentors a plenty, junior as well as senior, Army, Air Force, Marine, Coast Guard, Navy, Officer, Enlisted, male & female. Each taught me something special, something unique, they may not have even realized that they'd taught me something, I usually didn't know I'd learned something profound until later in life, but I learned from everyone: from RMC Ben Seaberry in 1969 to SKC Scott Wotzka in 1992; Lt Nguyen van Thanh ARVN; RMC Jackie Cody Hughes in Hawaii; RMCS Harold W. Dowe, RMC Rich Legg, RM1 Stephen Stefchak and Captain Dan E. Fenn on USS Dixie; RMC Tom Corbin, RM1 Ray Kurian and RMCS(SS) Daryl Henderson, SSC USNTC San Diego; LCDR David Zusi, CDR Ed R. Losure, CTT1(SS) Lou Tardonna and ETC(SS) Bob Gunnett on USS Cavalla; Sgt Atkinson, SFC Don Smith, RMCM Don Turcotte, Lt Anne Westerfield, Lt Becky Dearborn at DCA-Europe; the whole crew of the Dolphin.

After re-reading that last paragraph, I realize I would like to tell you of one person I met during my 23 years in Uncle Sugar's Canoe Club who had a profound and lasting effect on me. Not a Sailor, not even in the Service; this guy was a Grade "A", MK-1, MOD-0 Civilian. We met in the early spring of 1985. Enroute DCA Europe, Stuttgart, Germany, I'd taken my pick-up to the Bayonne shipping drop-off point and was looking for a ride to JFK. Jack entered my life then and has never left my mind since. Jack Carr was a Bayonne, New Jersey, cabbie. I can't make my tongue twist around Bayonne the way he did, but I can come close to his version of 'Knew Joy-sea'. Jack saw me, in Dress Blues, walking toward a bus stop, spun a U-Turn through a No-Turn intersection in his late 70-something Ford Cab, just missing a semi, and came to a squeaking stop next to me in the slush of the previous night's snowfall. The semi roared past spraying the driver's side of the cab with an extra layer of freezing slush with a matching layer of heated rhetoric from the driver. Not really wanting to ride a bus to JFK, besides I knew I could travel vouch at least half the expense of a cab, I stuck my head in the passenger side of the cab and asked a simple "JFK?" Came the response; "Get your butt in here afore another one of those truck jockeys gets shot at me and (snickering) he's a better aim than that last one. Come-on-now. I'm Jack Carr, how ya doin'?" Well, having just come from Hawaii, I was having issues with what most people around me were calling "Spring". I decided not to get into that subject but just commented that he'd just made an illegal turn in front of that truck, that's probably what spun-up the truck driver. Jack pretty much floored me when he replied, "I'll do just about anything to help out a Serviceman, especially a Sailor". I'd been spit on and called a baby killer in the early '70s, and honestly, I am ashamed of my response back then. Jack's words brought a lump to my throat and near a tear to my eye.

There wasn't a whole lot of two-way communication inside Jack's cab. Jack figured the fare at the first red light, called it in to his dispatcher and got it approved by the following red light and was asking me what I wanted for lunch at the third red light. So far all I'd said was "JFK?" & "illegal left-turn." "My wife makes a pretty good sandwich," Jack said as we started taking some back streets that obviously hadn't seen a snow plow all winter, "you'll like it". His "you'll like it" was a cross between a well-conditioned certainty and a suggestion from a Boot Camp Company Commander. Jack suddenly stopped right in the middle of a block, in the one and only track through the snow in the street, left the engine running and, for a portly middle-aged guy, did quite a graceful job of jogging through the snow and leaping onto the front steps of one of the houses. Thankfully, no other vehicle challenged Jack's parking prowess while I was alone in the cab. I sometimes wonder if I'd have tried to move the cab out of the way, laid on the horn until Jack returned, or just given the other vehicle's driver a "Hey, I'm parkin' here," and waited to see what happened (Jack would have been proud of me).

Almost ten minutes elapsed before I caught sight of Jack, a young woman (I presumed was his wife), and a little munchkin as they appeared at the open door of the house into which Jack had earlier disappeared; all waving toward the cab. I felt it only polite to step out, let 'em see the sailor, so I waived back with my combo cover and reentered the cab. Jack plopped himself back in the driver's seat, and slid two brown paper bags my way, saying "Dig in". Jack's wife did indeed make a pretty good sandwich, the second bag contained cans of soda pop.

All the rest of the way to JFK, Jack Carr, the Bayonne cabbie, regaled me with stories of his son, Jack Carr, Jr., the Sailor. Did I know him? He's a big kid, works in the engine room. I was going to Europe, I'd be around European Ports, I'd probably meet him (he was on a carrier, and I'm sorry, I don't recall which one). I could explain to Jack I'd always been in the Pacific so I'd never met his son before, but it was hard for me to try to explain to Jack the size of a carrier, the size of the Navy, and that at my next duty station, I would have little if anything at all to do with ships. But to Jack, I was the Navy, and I realized he just wanted some reassurance from someone he saw as an authority figure (!) that someone would be checking on his little boy. We crossed 'a large bridge' and Jack pointed to a spot off to the left and said, "She's always meant a lot to me, but since Jack Junior's been in the Navy, I get a lump in my throat every time I drive past her. Ya noe?" "Yeah, Jack, I think I do know, ya see, this is the first time I've ever seen Lady Liberty in person". We were both quiet for the short remainder of the trip. As I paid, and tipped, Jack for the ride, I told him I'd keep an eye open for Jack Junior. Then, Jack Carr, the Bayonne Cabbie, was gone, and shortly thereafter, so was I.

What makes Jack Carr, the Bayonne Cabbie so memorable, so impactful? Although memorable and much appreciated, it's not for the way he treated me. It's the way he saw me. And I think it's the way MOST PEOPLE SEE SERVICE MEMBERS! We are the Subject Matter Experts. We know all the rules and we know all the regs and we know all the people. Especially the Chiefs. The way Jack Carr saw me made me want to be a better Chief, a better Sailor, a better example of the Servicemen of my country.
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
After retiring from the Navy, I became a Network Engineer for a local middle-school, then for a large regional banking system. I resigned from there in 1999 due to poor health. I remain a house husband, doggie door man and occasional tech-writer and editor.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER?
Wow, first off, let me say civvies don't play by the same set of rules as sailors. That was a real culture shock for me. My civilian supervisors weren't prepared for my Chief's take charge and work till the job is done attitude. I wasn't prepared for an 8AM to 5PM (yeah - they still use 12 hour clocks, go figure!), you will take an hour for lunch with your fellow workers, civilian work world. However comma my willingness to work till the job is done attitude has won over many a supervisor over the years. I've even convinced a few to switch to a 24 hour clock.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE NAVY?
Don't trust your memory; keep a journal/diary/wheel book/whatever with names, hometowns, daily events. In this era of 'everyone's got their own computer', it should be easy to log specifics that won't become muddled in the minds of the elderly.

Set your goals then achieve them.

Realize now that failure is a part of the learning process; this is one reason we train, so we can fail while there's still a reset button on a shipmate's life. Once you say "I have the watch," people's lives depend upon YOU.

Realize now that life is the toughest teacher you'll ever have; she gives you the test THEN teaches you the lesson.

Realize now only a small fraction of those hundreds that graduated Boot Camp with you will go on to make the Service a Career. It isn't for everybody. And there's some with bright careers ahead who choose a family life without the interruption Sea Service normally brings.

Periodically, like every six months if a lot is happening, review your personnel, medical, dental and training records for accuracy, legibility, completeness, correct and timely entries made, all inserted pages are actually yours, etc. It makes going up for a Chief or an officer program a whole lot easier and preparing for the VA at least a little less tense.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
TWS has helped me reconnect with people I've not seen in 20, 30, even 40 years. Civilians too, not just other service members. Just a couple of weeks ago, as I write this, I connected with two guys off my last submarine, the USS DOLPHIN (AGSS-555) and was reminded "once a Brother of the Phin, always a Brother; you make the call, we'll be there for you".

As a way of repaying TWS for the re-connections I've made, I am assisting older vets, unable by themselves, build their profile page and tell their stories. A recent widow lamented it was a shame I hadn't met her husband before his passing. Putting my arm around her shoulder, I told her between her late husband's "war-wall", papers he'd kept and her memories of his stories, we could still build him a fitting memorial.

Thank You, TWS, for the opportunity, not just to tell my stories and make re-connections, but to help others do the same.

DMR
CJH

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