By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Hurd, CNIC Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 25, 2015) — An Upland, California, native will soon become the first limited duty security officer in Navy Reserve history to hold the rank of captain. Cmdr. David M. Garlinghouse, the reserve deputy force protection program director for Navy Installations Command reserve unit headquarters in Washington, was selected April 6 for the promotion.
“This is an amazing acknowledgment,” said Capt. Brian S. Hurley, the commanding officer of the reserve unit. “You could not have picked a better leader to lead this enterprise of law enforcement.”
Garlinghouse enlisted in the Navy in 1975 as a surface sonar technician. Aboard his first ship, USS Henry B. Wilson, Garlinghouse was the junior petty officer in his rating. Looking for increased responsibility, he went to his department head, who was looking for a nuclear weapons security petty officer.
“He told me, ‘You’re it,’” Garlinghouse said. “He dumped a manual on me and said, ‘Here you go. Learn everything there is to know about being a nuclear weapons security guy.’ And so I did!”
Garlinghouse went on to run the ship’s security alert team and was often picked for shore patrol when the ship pulled into port, joking that he had become known as the ship’s “permanent shore patrol”.
After the ship began a maintenance availability period at Naval Station San Diego, Garlinghouse was assigned to the base police force. There, he went through the police academy, and then requested to change technical career paths into the master-at-arms program. He took the exam, passed and then transitioned from sonar technician second class to master-at-arms first
In his last year on active duty, Garlinghouse was assigned to the Naval Station Long Beach criminal investigation division’s narcotics section. He worked as a plain clothes narcotics investigator and often testified at courts-martial. The defense attorney would often try to discredit him, he recalled.
“What law school did you graduate from?” the attorney would ask.
Garlinghouse did not have a law degree at the time, but he went on to earn one. Leaving active duty after six years, Garlinghouse used his GI bill benefits to earn his bachelor’s degree in political science from California State Polytechnic University, graduating –summa cum laude in 1985. As a scholarship student, he earned his law degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
With his juris doctorate in hand, Garlinghouse joined the Navy Reserve in 1989 as a master-at-arms first class.
“It was time to put a uniform back on,” he said. “Returning to the Navy as a reservist gave me the opportunity to pursue my civilian career options while still serving our great Navy.”
Garlinghouse was commissioned as a law enforcement and physical security limited duty officer in November 1994.
“This is what I had been shooting for all my life,” he said. “I always wanted to be a naval officer.”
Garlinghouse has been called back to active duty twice, first in 2001 in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom and again in 2008 for special work as the regional security officer for Navy Region Southwest in San Diego.
Garlinghouse, who expects to be promoted in fiscal 2016, now mentors over 150 reserve security officers and 4,000 reserve Sailors in the master-at-arms community. He is also now the senior law enforcement and physical security officer in the Navy Reserve and the entire Navy.
“It’s very humbling,” he said. “It’s one of those things where it’s hard to believe sometimes. It’s something that I never really imagined.”
“Why Being There Matters”
On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.