Born and raised in the US, his father is a first generation Afrikaner from the Transvaal. He can (and does) curse fluently in six languages. He’s also just a hair dyslexic (not a top trait in a navigator), and has the reputation of being a real womanizer (hence his nickname: VD). He is reputed to have a gambling problem, and his eye for the ladies (most significantly, a Senator’s wife and daughter) may have been his undoing. He reads murder mysteries and watches vintage porn whenever he can get a few minutes, usually when on duty. His favorite hobby is annoying Canfield, especially since he is Canfield’s equal in intellect and his roommate. He sees, hears, and remembers everything. Being a civilian, he has no use for a uniform, and barely tolerates authority or regulations. He can repair anything electrical, and is the best programmer off Earth. Van Doern is responsible for the self-aware Brigit, but even he can’t say how he did it.