I was born in 1970, Mount Kisco, New York to Edwin J. Jr. and Trudy M. Byrnes. I am a 4th generation sailor in the U. S. Navy, my father was a 3rd class DCMAN during Vietnam onboard the USS Providence, my grandfather retired as a Commander after 30 years of service, serving in the Atlantic during WWII, and my great-grandfather was a seaman during WWI.
I enlisted in the U. S. Navy Reserve (delayed entry program) upon my 17th birthday, in 1987. Upon my graduation from Franciscan high school, I transferred to active U. S. Navy and went to boot camp in San Diego (CO.88-134), from there I attended DC "A" school in San Francisco. Upon graduation I reported aboard USS Savannah (AOR-4), homeported in Norfolk, Virginia where I served until June of 1993.
I earned my Surface Warfare Cutlasses in September 1990, as a 2nd class. After being frocked 1st Class in June of 1993, I left active duty. I began my reserve career, at N&MCRC Fort Schuyler in Bronx, New York, serving with Naval Weapons Station, Earle, New Jersey. In 1996, I finally received a billet as a DC instructor at N&MCRC Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York, assigned to Fleet Training Group, Mayport, Florida. In 1999, FTG shifted colors to N&MCRC Amityville on Long Island. Also in 1999, I was initiated as a Chief Petty Officer, the last one out of Brooklyn! In February 2001, I was selected as “Command Chief” for NR Naval Support Activity Naples Security. On Oct 2, 2001, I was recalled to Active Duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and served in Naples, Italy as LCPO for Disaster Preparedness Division. Upon demobilization in September 2002, I transferred back to NRC Bronx, New York and served as the Senior Enlisted Leader for NR Naval Support Activity Norfolk, VA and NR USS Doyle (FFG-39) homported out of Mayport, FL. I was advanced to Senior Chief in 2003. In October 2005, I was selected for a Leadership Course Instructor billet for the newly formed NR Center for Naval Leadership, Northeast Region, drilling out of Newport, Rhode Island. I graduated the Senior Enlisted Academy (NRC-11, Khaki) in November of 2006 and was advanced to Master Chief Damage Controlman in April 2007. I am currently serving on the Faculty of the Senior Enlisted Academy for the Non-Resident Course in Newport, Rhode Island.
I married Stephanie O’Rourke in May of 1994, and still live in my hometown of Somers, New York (which incidentally is named after Lt. Richard Somers, a naval hero of the Tripolitan Wars). I volunteer with the Somers Volunteer Fire Department, and served as Chief of the Department from 2004 until 2007. I currently hold the rank of Ex-Chief.
For a living, I am the Chief of the Hudson Valley, NY region of the Department of Veterans Affairs Fire Department, located in Montrose, NY.