War on Terrorism

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NSA Naples Dog Handler Earns Combat Meritorious Advancement for IA Duty

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Felicito Rustique, Navy Public Affairs Support Element–East Detachment Europe

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Warren Brown, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., was advanced to the rank of MA2 class during a pinning ceremony held Aug. 16, at the Capodichino base theater.

Brown, who is assigned to the military working dog (MWD) division at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples, was nominated for advancement under the Navy's Combat Meritorious Advancement Program.

Brown earned his nomination in May during a nine-month deployment to Kuwait and Afghanistan, where he was attached to an Army unit and worked as a dog handler searching for explosives.

"I was originally assigned to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait," said Brown. "About three months through, I was re-assigned to Afghanistan. I feel like my performance made a difference and that the Army appreciated my work," said Brown.

Brown also said he believes deploying as an individual augmentee is just part of his job, which he handled to the best of his ability.

"As a handler, we are on a constant rotation for deployment and it was my turn to go," said Brown. "I have learned a lot and have grown in both my personal life and career."

NSA Naples Kennel's leading petty officer, MA1 (FMF) Michelle D. Mruk, spoke highly of Brown and his dog.

"I am extremely proud of what he accomplished while he was deployed," said Mruk. "MA2 and his dog, MWD Block, have grown as a team during their deployment and it makes the program here proud of what they have done." Mruk also offered words of praise to all dog handlers who deploy.

"Our dog teams are making an impact on the war and not often enough are they recognized for their actions," said Mruk. "Brown is a sterling example of the hard work and dedication that saves the lives of both our military members and civilians in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq."

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