CAPT Robert D. Dockendorff, USNR (Ret.)
San Francisco, CA
Iowa native Robert (Bob) Dockendorff enlisted in the Naval Reserve as a Seaman recruit in June 1962. After completing 25 years of service in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he applied for retirement in March 1988 and was transferred to the retired reserve the following month. In March 1999, on his 60th birthday, he received a “certificate of retirement” with the rank of Captain (O-6).
CAPT Dockendorff originally joined the Naval Reserve after receiving a (draft) notice to report for a pre-induction physical in the midst of his graduate studies at the University of Iowa. He completed basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center and two years later in September 1964 he was selected for Officers Candidate School in Newport, RI. After receiving his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year, he was assigned to the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, GA. In Athens he completed Supply Corps School training and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the NSCS Oak Leaf.
After Supply Corps School he was assigned to the re-commissioning crew of USS ASKARI (ARL-30) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, CA. When the ASKARI was re-commissioned in August 1966, Dockendorff had moved from the Disbursing Officer position to Supply Officer. In March 1967 he volunteered to continue to support the MRF supply and logistics effort at a new base being established by the Naval Support Activity, Saigon. In Vietnam he filled dual billets as Supply Officer for the NACSUPPACT, Saigon Detachment Dong Tam and as Supply Officer for YRBM-17, adjacently located on a dredged inlet off of the Mekong River halfway between Vung Tau and the Cambodian border. At the completion of his Vietnam tour he was promoted to Lieutenant and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for meritorious service for his work in support of the MRF.
In April 1968, then LT Dockendorff returned to San Francisco and was released from active duty. He was hired by the Pacific Maritime Association in September 1968, and landed a pay billet as a Supply Officer in Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 2. He remained with the Seabees until February 1977.
In March 1977, already a seasoned LCDR, he was reassigned from the Seabees to an Advanced Supply Base unit as Commanding Officer. In October 1978 he was moved to Cargo Handling Battalion 3 as Executive Officer. One year later, now a CDR, he took over as Commanding Officer of a Navy Material Transportation Office unit. In 1980, he returned to Cargo Handling as the Commanding Officer, and two years later he was moved into the Assistant Program Manager-Supply billet at REDCOM 20. In June 1985 he was assigned to CO, Military Sealift Command, Pacific Detachment as Logistics Officer and was soon promoted to Captain. In October 1987 he took over as Commanding Officer of a NSC Oakland Headquarters Unit. He applied for retirement the following year.
CAPT Dockendorff’s Military Service Ribbons include: the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” with a gold star in lieu of second award, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (3 bronze stars), Armed Forces Reserve Medal with hour glass device in lieu of second award, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Expert Rifleman Medal. He is also authorized to wear the Command Ashore pin.
Outside of his military service, CAPT Dockendorff has served on the Boards and Finance Committees of numerous non-profit charitable organizations. He was the Mayor’s appointee to the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Council from 1989 to 1996; he served as the Controller’s appointee to the San Francisco Ethics Commission from 1996 to 2000; and he helped author the first two Ethnics Commission ballot initiatives, both of which were overwhelmingly passed by San Francisco voters.
Dockendorff retired as Vice President Communications & Research, Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) in August 2003 after 35 years at the Association’s San Francisco headquarters where he developed extensive experience in economics, transportation, website development, and employee benefits administration and funding.
Dockendorff earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Iowa in 1960, where also attended graduate school. He is a life member of the American Legion Alexander Hamilton Post 448, The Naval Reserve Association, the Reserve Officers Association, the Navy League and the University of Iowa’s President’s Club.
CAPT Dockendorff has lived in San Francisco, CA since 1968 and joined the SLDN Board of Directors in March 2012.