PENSACOLA, Fla. – Capt. Chris Bryant, commanding officer, Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), Command Master Chief Jason Thibodeaux, and James Hagy, CIWT executive director, attended the memorial service for retired Cryptologic Technician Collection Chief David W. French Sr., former assistant deputy chief of staff for information warfare (IW) training for Commander, Naval Information Force Reserve (CNIFR), at Barrancas National Cemetery, on Feb. 6, 2023.
The ceremony was also attended by Cmdr. Meredith Schley, commanding officer, Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station, and many other members of the CIWT and IWTC Corry Station staff to say their final farewells to their former shipmate, and to wish his family well in their time of grief.
“Dave was the conduit for all Navy Reservists attending any IW school (minus ISs) for more than a decade,” said Cryptologic Technician Collection Chief Eric Inglis, CNIFR IW training leading chief petty officer, and coworker of French. “His work has literally affected thousands.”
“His loss will be felt for years to come,” said Tony Ochoa, CNIFR deputy chief of staff for training and French’s direct supervisor. “He was our go-to-guy for all things at Pensacola. Over the years we have been able to streamline reserve training timelines and it could not have happened without the Herculean efforts of Mr. Dave French. He was the right person to represent us for discussing local training opportunities with the school house or coordinating major changes with CIWT, which due his proximity was additionally required for his position. His commitment to the reserves was unmatched, he truly went above and beyond his job description and it was noticed everywhere not just in Pensacola. Reducing reserve training timelines and savings millions of dollars will be his lasting contribution to the Navy Reserve.”
French was born in Sitton, Texas, and graduated from Napoleon High School in, in 1981. He entered naval service in 1986 in the cryptologic technician collection rating. During his time in service he served at locations across the United States, in Canada, Spain, and England, and deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Southern Watch, and Iraqi Freedom. He retired in 2010 after 24 years of service.
After retiring, French began work for CNIFR on Corry Station. While there, he worked with the school house or the detailers for quota control and served as the Navy Reserve’s primary point of contact to CIWT for coordinating and developing reserve IW training.
One of his primary functions, unique to the Navy Reserve, was the requirement to coordinate and secure funding with Reserve Forces Command, said Ochoa. As the reserve’s subject matter expert for information systems technician and cryptologic technician training, French’s direct contributions led to significant increases in mission and mobilization readiness.
“I spoke to him several times a week and I will miss his honesty and dedication to service,” said Ochoa. “I always felt at ease when we talked knowing that things in Pensacola were well covered. I truly enjoyed our conversations and his ideas on how to make thigs better for the Navy Reserves. The NAVIFOR (Naval Information Forces) family is saddened by the loss.”
“Dave was an integral member of our team here at Corry Station,” said Bryant. “He served as the linkage between Navy Reserve Sailors and the training pipeline CIWT provides to help enable information warfare Reserve professionals to support their mobilization, contingency and peacetime operations. Dave was a dedicated, and honorable man, as well as a selfless shipmate. Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife, family, and loved ones.”
Center for Information Warfare Training Public Affairs – CIWT_PAO@navy.mil