Vice Admiral (Ret.) Dave Brewer
Vice Admiral David Brewer III is one of only 32 officers that hold the Navy’s second highest rank. He began his distinguished naval career May 17, 1970, when he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy by former Secretary of the Navy, Senator John Chafee. Brewer was a member of the first graduating class of the Naval ROTC Unit at Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, a historically black university.
Brewer, a 35-year veteran of the Navy commanded the Military Sealift Command from August 2001 until his retirement in March 2006, and served as Vice Chief of Naval Education and Training from 1999-2001. As Vice Chief of Naval Education and Training, he is known for helping to develop the Navy College Program and negotiating contracts with 11 colleges, universities and community colleges to provide bachelor and associate degree programs to more than 300,000 sailors.
David Brewer III was born to David L. Brewer, Jr., and Mildred S. Brewer in Farmville, Virginia. At age five, Brewer moved with his family from Farmville, Virginia to Florida, and he attended elementary and secondary schools in Orlando, Florida. Later, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Prairie View A&M University where he also was a member of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp (NROTC). He later earned a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Vice Adm. Brewer began his Navy career as a member of the first graduating class of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at a historically African-American university, Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas.
Early in his naval career, Vice Admiral Brewer demonstrated superior leadership skills and combat acumen. During his first ship command tour aboard the tank landing ship USS Bristol County (LST 1198), his crew won several awards, including the coveted Battle Efficiency “E” award as the most combat efficient ship in its class in the Pacific Fleet. He continued this trend of achievements during the command of his second ship, the Second Fleet Flagship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20). Mount Whitney earned the Combat Systems Award and best ship in its class for Community Service in the Atlantic Fleet.
Vice Admiral Brewer’s first assignment was as the Electronics Warfare Officer aboard the guided missile cruiser USS LITTLE ROCK (CLG 4). In his follow on tour with the Naval Recruiting District, Memphis, TN, he served as the Minority Recruiting Officer. He returned to sea to serve as the Combat Information Center Officer aboard the guided missile cruiser USS CALIFORNIA (CGN 36).
In 1988, he was hand-selected by Admiral C.A.H. Trost, Chief of Naval Operations, as his Special Assistant for Equal Opportunity. In this capacity, he was the advisor to the Navy’s top leadership, and the CNO’s personal representative at equal opportunity forums nationwide.
As Commander of Military Sealift Command, he is known for overseeing the massive Military Sealift Command (MSC) partnership with the private sector shipping contractors operation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom which involved moving over 20 million square feet of equipment to the Persian Gulf in less than four months. He is also known for leading the Military Sealift Command’s disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.
David Brewer III is married to Richardene “Deanie” Brewer, Ed.D. Dr. Brewer is a graduate of Hampton University where she majored in English education. She also has a Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction from San Diego State University. Deanie received her Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of West Florida in Pensacola. Dr. Brewer’s teaching career has spanned more than 20 years and has taken her from Virginia to San Diego and from England to Guam. She has taught at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels, earning several teacher excellence and academic awards.
His daughter, Stacey, graduated from Hampton University in 2002 as a distinguished scholar. She went on to receive her jurist doctorate degree from Pennsylvania State’s Dickinson School of Law in 2005.
Vice Admiral David Brewer’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal. Brewer heads The David and Mildred Brewer Foundation, a family foundation that provides scholarships for African American students. It is named in honor of his mother, a retired school teacher, and his late father, who taught at Brewer’s high school for more than 33 years.
Rear Admiral (R) Osie V. Combs, Jr.
Rear Admiral Combs is Deputy Commander for Submarines, SEA 92, Naval Sea Systems Command. From November 1997 to July 1998, Rear Admiral Combs was Vice Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, (SPAWARSYSCOM), San Diego. In this assignment, he was second in command and assists the commander in providing direction, development, acquisition and life cycle management of command, control, communication, computers and intelligence (C4ISR) and Information Technology for the 21st Century (IT21).
In his former duties as Chief Engineer Space and Warfare Systems Command (SPAWARSYSCOM), March 1996 to November 1997, he was responsible for the total platform integration of C4ISR and surveillance systems for the Navy, Marine Corps and selected joint programs. From March 1995 to March 1996, Rear Admiral Combs served as the Program Director for C4ISR Systems.
Prior to reporting to SPAWARSYSCOM, Rear Admiral Combs served as Program Manager for the SEAWOLF Attack Submarine Program from 1992 to 1995. There, he was responsible for the design, development and construction of the Navy’s most technologically advanced submarine. From 1985-1988, he served as Program Manager for the SEAWOLF’s Large Scale Vehicle (LSV), an autonomous submarine; from 1988-1990, he was the Assistant Program Manager for Design and Construction of the SEAWOLF; from 1990-1992 he served as Program Manager’s representative and Project Officer for construction of the lead SEAWOLF at Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair at Groton, Connecticut.
Rear Admiral Combs was the Assistant Project Officer for the construction of LOS ANGELES (SSN 688) class submarines at the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair in Newport News, Virginia, from 1981-1983. He was assigned to Norfolk Naval Shipyard from 1977-1981. At Norfolk, he served in several key positions including: Surface and Submarine Ship Superintendent, Surface and Submarine Ship Type Deck Officer and backup Docking Officer. During this tour, Rear Admiral Combs completed his qualifications in submarines (Engineering Duty).
Rear Admiral Combs has had three at sea assignments: Repair Officer onboard USS PROTEUS (AS-19) (1983-1985); Assistant Boilers Officer in USS CORAL SEA (CV-43) (1971-1974); and onboard USS WOODROW WILSON (SSBN 624) (Gold) (1980) for Engineering Duty Officer qualifications.
An alumnus of Texas City High School, in Texas, Rear Admiral Combs graduated from Prairie View A&M University in 1971 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. From 1974-1977, he attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Naval Engineer professional degree (Naval Architecture). He also attended the Program Manager’s Course at the Defense Systems Management College and the Program for Executives at Carnegie Mellon University.
Some of his more noted awards include Outstanding Senior Engineer, from Prairie View A&M and Oustanding Student Engineer of the Year from the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. In 1990, Rear Admiral Combs was nationally recognized as the Outstanding Engineer of the Year for Technical Excellence by Career Communications Group. He has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze stars, the Navy “E” Ribbon with second Battle “E”, the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, the Sea Service Ribbon, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Rear Admiral (R) Kelvin Dixon
Rear Admiral Kelvin Dixon, 1981, B.S. Mechanical Engineering: In 1991, Dixon participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm as the operations officer for the United Nations Mission headquartered in Kuwait. He assisted in the establishment of checkpoints and managed the movement of all military and civilian personnel throughout Kuwait and Iraq. In 2003, 2008 and 2010 he was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom responsible for protecting shipping in the Persian Gulf; chief of Biometrics, with responsibility for all aspects of identification and verification and Director, Iraqi Training, Advising, Operations Mission-Navy and Marine building the Iraqi Navy and Marines.