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Navy admiral makes a difference in early education

WASHINGTON (USTCNS) --- Vice Adm. David L. Brewer III, USN, commander of the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, has been asked some tough questions in his career. Responsible for more than 120 ships that operate worldwide daily, the admiral is used to being put on the spot and expected to perform.

On March 7, Vice Adm. Brewer was asked some very different questions. Questions like, "Do you get to drive ships?" and "Where do the ships live?"

This time, however, Vice Adm. Brewer was not answering powerful military leaders or influential business executives; he was responding to 25 curious inner-city preschoolers at the University of the District of Columbia's Child Development Center.

The admiral volunteered as a guest reader at the center to promote early education and literacy in African-American and Hispanic communities.

After reading "Harold and the Purple Crayon" and "Where the Wild Things Are" to the children, Vice Adm. Brewer asked them what they wanted to do when they grow up.

One little boy said, "I want to be a firefighter!" Another boy chimed in, "A policeman!" And one little girl said, "I want to be a doctor!"

"Well kids," said the admiral, "if you can read, you can do anything you want."

Vice Adm. Brewer is the fifth African-American to achieve the rank of three-star admiral. He was a member of the first graduating class of a Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps at a historically African-American university, Prairie View A&M University, in Prairie View, Texas.

Since Vice Adm. Brewer assumed command of MSC in August 2001, the command has been at the forefront of the global war on terrorism, delivering a variety of services and supplies to U.S. and allied forces around the world. MSC has moved 95 percent of all combat cargo used by U.S. forces in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom on the command's sealift ships.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, MSC has moved more than 72 million square feet of U.S. military cargo in support of the global war on terrorism. That number is equal to more than 760,000 SUVs. If lined up bumper-to-bumper, they would stretch from Washington, D.C., to Phoenix. In addition, MSC ships have delivered more than 6.7 billion gallons of fuel to U.S. forces - enough to fill up the Empire State Building 24 times.

MSC operates more than 120 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.

Office of Public Affairs - transcom-pa@mail.mil
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