CPO Dave Anderson retires in official Naval ceremony

Surrounded by family and friends, Chief Petty Office David Anderson piped ashore for the last time Friday, ending a Navy career that spanned 21 years.

Eight sideboys, a Navy tradition dating back to the 1700s, provided the ceremonial sendoff.

Anderson, a 1980 SHHS graduate, spent his last seven years on duty as a recruiter in Linn, Lane and Marion counties and helped enlist more than 900 young persons. He is the son of Dean and Marcy Anderson of Sweet Home.

“That’s enough to fill two battle ships,” Anderson said with a laugh before Friday’s official Navy program held at the Elks Lodge.

Command Master Chief Hugh Mulloy was emcee for the program and special guest speaker was Lieutenant Commander Sean Wall. Both are stationed with the Naval Recruiting District, Portland.

During his career, CPO Anderson worked as an engineer, primarily assigned with assault craft and small arms, and with SEAL teams.

His first duty assignment was with Naval undersea warfare where he served as chief engineer and worked with the dive community in Bremerton, Wash.

He spent 3 1/2 years assigned to SEAL teams 1-3-5 in Coronado, Calif. He was an engineer and small arms trainer.

CPO Anderson spent three years on the USS Schnectady as chief engineer and small arms assault craft expert.

He served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

He rounded out his career before joining the recruiting division with the Assault Craft Unit 1 in San Diego where he again worked with SEAL teams.

In 1994 Chief Anderson returned to Sweet Home where he and his wife, Lori, could raise their children, Amy and Sean, now 17 and 12.

“I would have to say my most memorable event during my career was seeing my kids born,” Anderson said. “From the Navy perspective, it would have to be seeing the world and relating those experiences to my family and friends at home who couldn’t be there to see it themselves. There are islands in the deep South Pacific, such as Bali, that are absolutely beautiful.”

Anderson said he enjoys living in Sweet Home and takes time to hunt and fish. He also enjoys restoring old cars.

He said the biggest challenge he faced during his successful recruiting career was “getting used to the new generation.”

Anderson earned the following ribbons and awards during his career: enlisted surface warfare device, Navy Marine Corps achievement medal (five awards), meritorious unit commendation (two awards), Navy battle efficiency ribbon (two awards), Navy good conduct medal (five awards), national defense service medal, Navy recruiting ribbon, expert pistol ribbon, expert rifle ribbon, 20 gold wreaths.

Lt. Commander Wall, a Naval pilot who flew 21 missions into Iraq, said he was honored to be asked to speak at CPO Anderson’s retirement.

He noted that Anderson served in Desert Storm, the “most dominant military victory in the history of the world.”

LCDR Wall added that CPO Anderson was the type of seaman who “blossomed under pressure” and rose to any challenge.

“He has been a mentor to the Navy’s next generation of recruits,” LCDR Wall said. “He always tackled the most difficult tasks.”

He called CPO Anderson “an inspiration and honor to which we all can emulate.”

Anderson said that if he had the last 21 years to do over again, he wouldn’t change anything.

“It’s been a great career,” he said. “I really never thought this day would come.”