First out trans US Navy members promoted since ban on trans service members lifted
An out transgender Navy Lieutenant Commander has become the first known to have been promoted since the US military lifted its ban on trans members serving openly.
The US Military in June lifted its ban on transgender troops serving openly.
Blake Dremann was promoted last Friday in a ceremony, reports NBC.
He was surrounded by friends, family as well as admirals, officers and members of advocacy groups, as he stood to attention in the President’s Room at the Navy Memorial.
Reports note that it is significant that he was allowed to wear the male Navy whites uniform.
Speaking to NBC OUT, he said: “I couldn’t have asked for better people, a better place, or a better person to swear me in. I wouldn’t have changed a thing,”
One of four service members promoted in the ceremony, it was particularly noteworthy because they were all transgender.
They were sworn in by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Amanda Simpson, who is transgender herself.
“I suppose I should start by addressing the significance of today’s ceremony,” Simpson said at the ceremony.
“To my knowledge this is the first U.S. military promotion ceremony for an openly transgender officer.”
Dremann has been deployed 11 times across his ten-year career. He has worked at the Pentagon since 2015.
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His parents David and Diane attended the ceremony, telling NBC: “We’re extremely proud,” Diane said.
“He’s been the apple of my eye for years and years and we finally got to make” one of his promotion ceremonies.
Looking to the future, his mother adds: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’ll be the first transgender Admiral…He’s just so driven now, you can see it in him… the sky’s the limit.”
In her remarks at the ceremony Simpson said the promotions weren’t token, and that they were part of life in the Navy.
“But today isn’t about firsts. This ceremony is about following the grand traditions of the United States Navy and the high standards of trust and service and thus, specifically, Blake Dremann. And that is why we are all here,” added Simpson.