2017-01-25 / News

Sanford completes Navy duty

United States Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Richard D. Sanford, Jr. retired from the Navy on Sunday following a retirement ceremony held at Fort Dix, NJ.

LCDR Sanford began his navy career in 1991 following graduation from the University of Rochester where he was a member of the NROTC program.

His first shipboard assignment was in 1992 when he serv- ed on the USS Merrill (DD-976) in the Pacific as strike warfare officer.

After a series of shore schools, he was assigned in 1995 to the USS Hawes (FFG-53) as the ship’s communications officer. While assigned to the Hawes, he did two Mediterranean cruises and was aboard the Hawes when she became the first-ever non-Soviet warship to visit the Black Sea port of Batumi in the Republic of Georgia.

Earned a master’s degree

In 1997 LCDR Sanford transferred to the Naval reserves and took time as an inactive reservist to attend graduate school in New York where he studied forensic science and earned a master’s degree in criminalistics from John Jay College. In July of 2001 he began a civil career with the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office as a forensic scientist where is still employed.

In 2002 LCDR Sanford joined the navy’s Select Reserves and was assigned to Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare 203 (MIUWU 203) based in the Bronx as electronics maintenance officer.

In 2003 MIUWU 203 was mobilized and deployed for six months to U.S. Naval Base Souda Bay on the Greek Island of Crete as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later became operations officer and communications officer for MIUWU 203.

Executive officer

In 2008 he became executive officer of the newly formed Marine Expeditionary Security Division 82, based in Fort Dix, NJ, a group tasked with providing security to ships and facilities overseas. In 2011 that unit was mobilized and LCDR Sanford spent six months in Kuwait where his 35-man detachment provided armed security to cargo ships transiting the Persian Gulf.

Upon returning, LCDR Sanford was reassigned to the unit’s headquarters in Newport, RI where he served for three years in the unit’s information and technology department.

Most recently he was assigned to the European Command J3 Division at Fort Dix and spent time in Stuttgart, Germany watch standing in the European Command’s Joint Operations Center.

Among those attending the retirement ceremony were his father, Catskill Mountain News Publisher Dick Sanford of Bloomville; his mother and stepfather, Phyllis Sanford and Tom Miner of Shelburne Falls, MA; his wife, Pamela Sanford of Huntington Station, and her sisters, Mary DiDio and Colleen Felter, also of Huntington Station.

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Fair Winds and Following Seas

Fair Winds and Following Seas LCDR (Ret) Sanford. Vr/Master Chief (Ret) Skelley, Arkville, NY
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