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NEWS | June 10, 2021

Profiles in Professionalism – LSC Alex Lauderdale

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Waldrop, RCC Norfolk

NORFOLK, Virginia – “Not to sound cliché, but I owe almost everything I have to the Navy Reserve,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Alex Lauderdale. “It’s given me the experience to grow my resume and pursue the career and life I want. Interacting with and learning from so many different people gave me the confidence to work through any adversity. Almost everything that I have — even in my personal life, owning a home and getting an education — I give credit to the Navy Reserve.”

When Lauderdale, a Muskogee, Oklahoma native, started college he felt like something was missing. “My brother joined the Navy three years ahead of me, and after my first year of college I realized I wanted to do something more,” said Lauderdale. 

His initial desire was to join law enforcement, but he didn’t meet the age requirements at the time, so he turned to the Navy. Even though his initial enlistment was to fill time while waiting for his ideal career, he found success and fulfillment that changed his life in ways he never would have imagined.

Lauderdale is currently the senior enlisted leader of Navy Operational Support Center Tulsa, as well as the leading chief petty officer for the administration department at SEAL Team 18. As a civilian, he owns a consulting firm for prospective law enforcement and current law enforcement looking to specialize. 

“Being a Chief and being a Senior Enlisted Leader has been a cornerstone of success in my business,” he said. “The mentoring, gathering and distribution of resources to your junior Sailors kind of goes hand in hand with the same tactics I try to implement with my business.”

Lauderdale hasn’t spent his entire career in the administration and mentoring role though. He has been on several mobilizations around the world. His latest tour as an unmanned aerial system pilot and detachment chief proved the most meaningful.

“Being integrated with the active duty Navy Special Warfare elements and being in a small team as a Reservist truly made it impactful when your actions and decisions were contributing to the mission in your area of operations,” he said. 

But not every mission for Lauderdale has been what it seemed, as he recalled another deployment which quickly went from a high-stress event to an entertaining sea story.

“I was in a convoy security element on my second deployment to Afghanistan with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28,” he said. “We had just finished half of our mission and had arrived in Herat. When we got there, we split up and went to find food and the MWR tent, but within hours of arriving, the alarm sounded that the camp was under attack. The sirens started going off and the speakers announcing that there were intruders in the camp. Then we started hearing explosions go off — it was all very surreal.”

Lauderdale says that eventually a senior member of the camp came up and informed everyone there was no need to panic.

“It turns out that the camp was running a drill. No one had told us yet since we had just arrived,” he said. “We were over there racking live ammo while they were popping flash bang (grenades) inside of drums to simulate explosions. It went from one of the scariest moments of my career to one of the funniest.”

Lauderdale never lost his initial dream to work in law enforcement. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in homeland security, as well as a master’s in criminal justice. He went to college at Northeastern State University and worked in law enforcement for more than 10 years before starting his own company. 

Lauderdale said he’s found a lot of success and satisfaction as a law enforcement officer, a Reservist and as a chief petty officer, and he still has ambitions for the future.

“I am working toward becoming a master instructor for the enlisted leadership development course so I can continue to mentor and guide Sailors,” he said. “I am also part of the Navy Reserve policy board and if I am fortunate enough to be selected for senior chief, I want to apply for the National Navy Reserve Policy Board and have an even greater impact on our forces.”