Capt. Bruce P. Butterfield

SHIP MASTER OS3
USNS KAWISHIWI T-AO-146
1990 - 1992

Crew member, Lia Spilmon ET1 remembers Mr. Butterfield. "Kawishiwi had a lot of ships masters while I was on board. The MSC tour is every 6 months. Some would talk directly to us and some would only talk to the OS's on the bridge, the Signal watch, the messenger watch, and the Lieutenant. Most of them if they had problems with the equipment would go to the OIC or the Radio watch."


An Operational Specialist (OS) rate is comprised  of four major components:
1. Communications,      2. Command & Control,
3. Search & Rescue     4. Intelligence/Security.

Capt. Butterfield began his sailing career as a third mate with MSC upon graduation from the California Maritime Academy in 1970. He became an original "Taluga Tiger" when he sailed as one of the first third mates aboard USNS Taluga in 1972 when she became the first underway replenishment ship turned over by the U.S. Navy for civil service mariner operation.

Capt. Butterfield earned his first master's job at age 32 aboard USNS Chattahoochee in 1981. He then returned to Taluga as master in 1982. The captain has since done multiple tours as master aboard various ships, including USNS Observation Island, USNS Dutton, USNS Passumpsic, USNS Silas Bent, USNS Chauvenet, USNS Kilauea, USNS Kawishiwi, USNS Walter S. Diehl, USNS Tippecanoe, T.S. Golden Bear, USNS San Jose, USNS Flint, USNS Mercy and, most recently, USNS Bridge.

He earned recognition from the Secretary of the Navy for his efforts in the evacuation of Saigon in 1975 and continued that superior performance through more than 100 long days at sea at the Indian Ocean's "Gonzo Station" during the Libyan and Iranian hostage crises. He supported U.S. troops off the coast of Africa during the Somalia and Mogadishu crises, participated in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield and most recently in Operations Enduring Freedom, Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.

In between supporting our U.S. policies overseas, Capt. Butterfield also served as the MSC Pacific port captain in 1994, participating in the first MSC infrastructure group that was the forerunner of MSC's transformation efforts today.

Capt. Butterfield's departing thoughts:

"Stay up on the high moral ground in your life aboard ship,"
said the captain. "Don't be afraid to do the right thing for the ship."