DVIDS – News – NUWC Newport Division concludes Pride Month celebration with guest speaker Lt. Cmdr. Blake dremann

NEWPORT, RI – Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport punctuated its Pride Month celebration on June 29 by welcoming guest speaker Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann for a talk that was also broadcast through Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). More than 400 employees in 10 war centers listened to the event.

“We culminate with this month’s celebration and it has truly been a celebration,” said Newport Division Commanding Officer Captain Chad Hennings. “However, it is something that we have to experience every day and keep moving forward.”

The Newport Division and its Equal Employment Opportunity Office paid tribute to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in June in several ways, including a poster in the lobby of a main building , feature articles and a series of podcasts which are posted here: https://www.navy.mil/Resources/Podcasts/mod/2553/details/479/

“Pride Month reminds us that we have come a long way and that there is a lot to celebrate, but there is still a lot of work to be done in the name of equality,” said Vima Manfredo, head of the LGBT Special Emphasis Program (SEPM) and President of the Newport Division Organization. for the organization of LGBT + Allies employees. “We use this month to commemorate the effect that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have had on our lives both nationally and internationally.”

Dremann, who is currently assigned as the Gear Audit Program Manager at Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Ammunition Logistics Center at NAVSUP Headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Pa., Discussed his experience as an LGBT Sailor, including why he serves, speaks publicly and famous.

“I serve because I love my country,” Dremann said. “It is also a vocation. You can’t do this job for 15 years and not feel like you’re doing something bigger than yourself. And I wanted to take the next step by earning my commission; I happen to be transgender.

Dremann added that he serves because he is capable and good at his job – he has received many accolades – but also because changes cannot be made to military policy on transgender service from the outside.

Beginning in 1960, transgender people were prohibited from enlisting or serving in the US military. This policy was in place until June 30, 2016, when Barack Obama’s administration instituted a new policy allowing transgender people to serve in their identified or assigned gender after transition.

This policy was repealed by the Donald Trump administration on January 1, 2018, and a ban went into effect on April 12, 2019 after the last of the court injunctions filed against the new policy were lifted. Strict restrictions remained in place until Joe Biden’s administration took office. On January 26, 2021, all military service restrictions for transgender people were lifted and transitional care for transgender people was deemed medically necessary.

Dremann admitted that during his career he and others violated the policy put in place by previous administrations, but it was necessary to do what he felt was right.

“A little civil disobedience has never hurt anyone to help people see beyond their own prejudices,” Dremann said. “Sometimes you have to take calculated risks to create change. “

This, Dremann said, is part of the reason he speaks publicly. He noted that sometimes it’s not enough to just let your work speak for itself.

“With great power comes great responsibility. I’m white, I’m a man, I’m an officer and I’m seen as straight or a Christian,” Dremann said. “It all removes barriers and puts me in a position to speak where the others are not. It puts me in rooms where I can talk to senior leaders.

“It is my responsibility to make these voices heard to denounce bad leadership and implement policy. “

Dremann also said that you have to have “the skin in the game” because it is not always enough to be right.

“There are a lot of things in this world that we should just fix,” Dremann said. “You have to convince others that it is right.”

Once you’ve convinced the people in power it’s fair, Dremann said, you also need to convince them to act. This action, which becomes political, cannot be ignored either, because it must be evaluated and reassessed.

Dremann added that he speaks because senior leaders need a non-judgmental space to ask questions.

“I won’t say that when you say the word transgender, their IQ drops by 50 points, but it does in some cases,” Dremann said. “Some questions are appropriate, some are not, but they have to ask them.

“I always say when I talk to senior leaders, ‘Sir, don’t hesitate to ask your questions, whatever they may be. We’re here to help you understand why it’s OK. ‘ The leaders must ask their questions, overcome their prejudices or their discomfort and have them answered by a competent authority. “

It also has to do with why Dremann famously celebrates being transgender.

“We have come such a long way in the past 10 years where LGBT people can be proud in public,” Dremann said. “It’s about being themselves and not having a double life because they’re afraid people won’t be able to change the way they see them.”

He is quick to note, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done. This includes promoting an environment not only of diversity, but also of inclusion.

“Foster an environment of authenticity,” said Dremann. “If I have a sailor or a civilian who is struggling, but not comfortable enough to tell you, then you have half a sailor.”

“It’s not just your job, it’s your life. If you don’t have all of your sailors showing up every day with each of them, then you are putting the mission in jeopardy.

About the speaker

Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated in 2003 from Ozark Christian College. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Literature and received his commission at the Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla., In 2006. He then attended the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Georgia, and received his master’s degree. in Business Administration from the University of Norwich in 2019.

Dremann’s operational assignments include: Afloat Division Officer as Food Service Officer, Disbursement Officer and Deputy Supply Officer, USS Denver (LPD 9); and Supply Officer, USS Maine (SNLE 741), winning the second Maine Logistics Excellence Award and was awarded the 2015 Vice Admiral Robert F. Batchelder Award.

His most recent shore-based assignment was as a Readiness Officer in the Nuclear Enterprise Support Office at the Defense Logistics Agency in Fort Belvoir, Va. Previously, he was an intern with the Navy, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Logistics Branch, Washington, DC, where he became the branch deputy chief for capabilities, was co-lead of the biennial logistics war game and lists integrated combatant command priorities and appointments. He completed an individual augmentation tour as the Deputy Commander’s Emergency Response Program Coordinator; Combined Joint Task Force – 101, Bagram, Afghanistan; and Division Officer ashore as Food Service Officer, Cantonment Officer and Sales Officer for Navy Support Facility, Diego Garcia.

Dremann’s personal decorations include two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Medal of Honor, the Joint Service Medal of Honor, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor, and four the Navy and Marine Corps. He is qualified as a Submarine Warfare Supply Officer and Surface Warfare Supply Officer. He received the Department of Defense Pride Military Leadership Award in 2018, was honored as the “Outstanding Defender” of the Modern Military Association of America on his 25th anniversary, and was named 2019 Out in National Security Next Generation Leader in National Security.

The NUWC Newport Division is a US Navy shore-based command within Naval Sea Systems Command, which designs, builds and supports the US fleet of combat ships and systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support services for submarines, autonomous submarine systems, submarine offensive and defensive weapons systems and countermeasures associated with submarine warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest war center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Captain Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains large detachments at West Palm Beach, in Florida and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Date taken: 07.09.2021
Date posted: 07.09.2021 09:40
Story ID: 400604
Site: NEWPORT, RI, United States

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