SINGAPORE - Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Robert A. Labrenz transferred from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 on March 7, and he had at least three reasons to celebrate.
On Feb. 29, Capt. H. B. Le, commodore, DESRON 7 awarded him the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal during a ceremony at DESRON 7 headquarters. Capt. Le thanked him, saying, “We appreciate your leadership and innovation—as our communications officer and of course as our senior enlisted leader—to make our team better and also to improve our peer-to-peer relationship with our Republic of Singapore Navy partners. The upcoming in-port Link Communications exercise with the RSN, the first-ever, is thanks to your efforts.”
Before transferring Labrenz told the DESRON 7 staff that he, “very much enjoyed working and living in Southeast Asia and helping to establish a new organization as part of the Navy’s rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific. A lot of work remains of course, but I’m proud of what we’ve done together so far.”
Labrenz’s next assignment will be as a student at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, Calif., where he will pursue a one-year enlisted Master of Science degree in applied cyber operations. He is one of just five 2015-2016 academic year selectees for the graduate education program that is designed to meet the Navy and Department of Defense’s growing need for trained cyber professionals.
Set to report to NPS on March 21, Labrenz said he is excited to begin this next chapter of his 16-year naval career and the prospect of continuing his professional and academic development. The San Leandro, Calif. native also looks forward to being closer to home.
In addition to earning a spot at the NPS, Labrenz was also selected for commissioning as a chief warrant officer (CWO), announced in a naval message on Feb. 2. He is scheduled for commissioning to CWO in February 2017, just before he completes his master’s degree program in March.
“The Golden Arrows” of DESRON 7 conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises such as the bilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) series, the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam and the multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Forward deployed to Southeast Asia since Dec. 2012, DESRON 7 also executes sea combat commander (SCC) duties during several exercises in Northeast Asia, including Ssang Yong and Fleet Synthetic Training-Joint (FST-J).