Japan: Misawa Sailor Gets OTRG Award

Misawa Sailor Gets OTRG Award

Fleet Cyber Command named Master Chief Cryptologic Technician Collection Matt Bouchard as the 2012 recipient of the “On-the-Roof Gang” (OTRG) Award.

The award, which is named after the original Navy cryptologists who trained in a specially constructed block house on the roof of the old Navy Department building in Washington D.C., is given to a Sailor or Marine who best exemplify sustained superior performance and significant contributions to naval cryptology.

Bouchard, who originally hails from Fairfield, Maine, currently serves on board Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Misawa, which is located on board Naval Air Facility Misawa in northern Japan.

“Please understand this,” said Lt. Cmdr. Bryan Luallen, NIOC Misawa executive officer, and a native of Pensacola, Fla. “The OTRG award is a cryptologic lifetime achievement award, not something awarded for a specific task. I know Master Chief Bouchard very well and I consider him to be a leader of the highest caliber, my mentor as Executive Officer and my friend. When he offers me counsel, his words do not go unheeded.”

Unfortunately, Bouchard will not be able to attend the awards ceremony later this month in Savannah, Ga., but he said it was a major honor to even be nominated for an award named after such prestigious company.

“Since this award commemorates the founding fathers of naval cryptology, I am proud to be able to shed light on these trailblazers who made it possible for us to do the things we do today,” said Bouchard, a 28-year naval veteran.

“In the beginning, it was about learning my trade from the technical experts,” he said. “I was lucky enough to learn from some of the best cryptologists in the business. And as I advanced through the ranks, my role changed from operator to leader. I think I was equally blessed to lead some of the most motivated and dedicated Sailors in the Navy.”

Bouchard’s OTRG Award will arrive in Misawa via mail, and NIOC Misawa will conduct a modest ceremony to congratulate him on his accomplishment.

Bouchard has recently accepted his final set of naval orders, and will transfer to NIOC Georgia in August, where he’ll retire after completing 30 years of naval service.

Since 1988, the U.S. Naval Cryptologic Veteran’s Association has sponsored the annual OTRG Awards, which recognizes service members’ sustained superior performance and significant contributions toward naval cryptology for an extended period of time.

Press Release, May 7, 2013; Image: Misawa