DAHLGREN, Va. –
Twenty-eight years ago, the world had not seen the turn of the 21st century – Whitney Houston reigned at the top of the Billboard 100s, “Jurassic Park” was the number one box office hit and fresh-out-of-high-school now-Lt. Cmdr. David ‘Dave’ Rackley took the oath to enlist with the U.S. Navy. Since 1993, Rackley has climbed the ranks, serving the United States across the globe and eventually landing himself as the executive officer at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD). “It’s amazing how folks move around, but the job stays the same,” commented Rackley.
On June 18, 2021, NSWCDD Commanding Officer Captain Stephen ‘Casey’ Plew awarded Rackley the 2021 C.J. Rorie Award during his retirement ceremony. According to the award citation, Rackley earned the award for his “outstanding contribution to NSWCDD in direct support of the Aegis/Aegis BMD In-Service Computer Program Readiness and Sustainment … [overseeing more than] 111 computer program installations, 51 technical assists and 10 at-sea readiness demonstrations.”
The C.J. Rorie Award is granted upon one active duty military member of the NSWCDD workforce every year that has performed his or her duties in an exceptional manner, making a significant impact on the effectiveness of NSWCCD’s military operations.
“Our mission [in the Aegis/Aegis BMD In-Service Computer Program] is to investigate any computer anomalies, then make recommendations to the program office. We also recreate the mission. If something happens to a mission at sea, we can take that data and recreate missions to find out what actually happened [in certain situations],” said Rackley. “To have my name in the same sentence as Admiral Rorie is very humbling… he was a pretty inspirational person. He was a warfighter and engineer.”
Rackley’s family, including his wife Lt. Cmdr. Emily Rackley of the U.S. Navy, friends and esteemed guests celebrated his retirement and “28 years and two months – exactly” of active duty service on the NSWCDD Parade Field.