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Alabama native Navy Rear Admiral Brown, Mayor Reed host Montgomery Navy Week kickoff celebration

A native son of Alabama, who has risen through the ranks of the U.S. Navy to now serve as Rear Admiral, took part in Montgomery’s Navy Week, which officially kicked off today at a ceremony with Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed.

Born and raised in the state’s capital city, Rear Admiral Mike Brown, originally never saw himself in the armed forces.

“Although both my parents were in the Alabama National Guard, I never thought about military service myself,” said Brown. “It was later in life, at age 28, when a friend told me about the Navy Reserve and encouraged me to apply. I joined because it sounded fun and interesting, and I also had a deep sense of duty and desire to serve my country.”

Brown said he didn’t expect to rise to the position he currently holds.

“I had no idea at all that it would lead to a successful career and that I would be returning to Montgomery as an Admiral 29 years later,” he said.

RELATED: Semper Fortis: U.S. Navy Week coming to Montgomery April 1-7

Brown also discussed Alabama’s ties to the Navy and explained why he personally is looking forward to taking part in the event.

“There are Navy ROTC programs at Auburn and Tuskegee Universities, and warships are being built in Mobile,” Brown said. “But the Navy doesn’t have a full-time presence in the state like Army and Air Force. So, it’s particularly satisfying for me to come home to Montgomery to remind people that, even if they don’t see Navy ships and Sailors every day, the U.S. Navy belongs to them as much as it belongs to the people of Norfolk, Virginia or San Diego, California, where our fleets are based.”

He expressed excitement about the chance for Alabamians to have an in depth look into what those in the Navy do and what exactly the branch does for the country.

“Navy Week means that Alabamians will get to see our talented Navy Sailors up close, and get a sense of their skills and the Navy technology they work with.  And in my events around Montgomery, Tuskegee, and Prattville, I’ll get a chance to remind everyone how the Navy is a core element of America’s national security, economic prosperity, and way of life, and that goes for Alabama’s prosperity and way of life, too.”

Command Master Chief, Keith Wilkerson, Jr., another native Alabamian, will also be appearing at Navy Week.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed issued a proclamation Monday commemorating Navy Week.

“Montgomery takes pride in being a distinguished Great American Defense Community, home to thousands of Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Guardians, and Veterans,” said Reed. “Montgomery Navy Week offers a unique chance for our citizens to connect with our naval forces, fostering mutual respect and understanding. This proclamation reflects our deep appreciation for the United States Navy’s dedication to our community.”

“The excitement builds with the upcoming Beyond Horizons Air & Space Show, featuring the Navy’s Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron and other acrobatic acts, which celebrates our lasting partnership with America’s military excellence.”

Navy Week will run from March 1-7.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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