By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David R. Krigbaum
Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa Public Affairs
KADENA, Japan (Feb. 5, 2021) Ensign Robert G. Hudson, assigned to Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa security department, was commissioned Feb. 2, 2021.
The Ogden, Utah native joined the Navy in 2010 as a master-at-arms and rose through the enlisted ranks to chief petty officer. He was inspired by his mentor Lt. James Bethea, currently Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo security officer, with getting him interested in pursuing the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) commissioning program. First class and chief petty officers without college degrees can apply for the LDO program.
LDOs possess technical backgrounds and skills which they bring with them from their enlisted training and experience. Commissioned as ensigns, they can be promoted as high as captain (O-6) and serve at all levels of leadership from division officer to commanding officer afloat or ashore. Hudson will take his experience as a master-at-arms and become a security officer.
“I wanted to become an LDO because of how LDOs I witnessed in the past carried themselves, affected positive change, and were SMEs [subject matter experts] in their field,” said Hudson. “I looked up to them and wanted to do everything I could to be selected as one and pay forward the lessons they've instilled in me.”
Becoming an LDO requires submitting a package and going before an appraisal board. A candidate’s career history and the package are reviewed and if approved the candidate begins the transition from enlisted to officer. The process for Hudson took a year from beginning to commissioning. He said the unfamiliar administrative process was the biggest challenge in applying but that he was able to overcome by finding knowledgeable people and getting their assistance.
Hudson will depart Okinawa to attend the LDO/CWO (Chief Warrant Officer) Academy in Newport, Rhode Island.