Rear Admiral Dennis Brooks, USN. Retired?
His relaxed, cordial attitude and genial disposition allows but a glimpse of the high-powered man who rose steadily through the U.S. Navy to be first Commander, Joint Task Force, Middle East. But that man is quite evident when you observe his enthusiasm and dedication to causes in his state and his community.
“You might not know it this minute,” his wife, Lorrie, says, “but he thrives on stress!”
Rear Admiral Dennis M. Brooks’s title reads USN, Retired, but he hasn’t taken the word to heart. He has merely changed venues of service, exchanged one passion for another.
“I had a passion for the Navy,” he said. “Now I have a passion for Rotary.” Admiral Brooks travels the state as 2006-2007 Rotary District Governor for District 6860, North and Central Alabama – one of many posts he has held in the world’s first and largest service organization.
He equates two standards of conduct, the laws set forth in The United States Constitution, and the universal Rotary standard of behavior, the Four-Way Test.* (see below) Both, he says, are standards that transcend borders and generations, are not based on culture or religion, are both beautifully crafted and easy to understand. Both have captured his imagination and his allegiance.
The boy, Dennis Brooks, grew up in Fairfield, AL, and attended Fairfield High School, as did his lovely wife, Lorrie. After graduation from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in 1957, he married University of Alabama student, Lorrie (UA, ’60), and began a notable thirty-five year career and forty-nine year (and counting) loving marriage.
His military accomplishments are legion. He served as naval officer, fighter pilot (logging 990 carrier landings), test pilot, USNA academic faculty member, commander of two navy fighter squadrons. He commanded the USS Kansas City (AOR-3), and USS Constellation (CV-64). He was Commander, Battle Force, and Commander, Carrier Strike Force, of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, and in 1987-88, he was the first commander of Joint Task Force, Middle East, commanding all U.S. Forces in the Persian Gulf region, conducting combat and other operations in support of national policy. At retirement, he was Deputy Director, Operations, National Systems Support for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Deputy Director, Military Support, National Reconnaissance Office, Pentagon.
Thirty-five years saw Dennis and Lorrie based out of numerous sites including Carmel, San Diego, San Francisco, CA and Virginia Beach, Pensacola, Kingsville, TX, St. Louis, and Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines.
They have three children, Dennis Mark, Amy Michelle Miller and Allison Lynn Middlebrook. Mark has followed his father’s path and is a Navy Commander, selected for Captain. Allison and Amy live in Anniston, near Pell City where Dennis and Lorrie retired in 1992, drawn “back home” by roots and family. They enjoy the area, driving through Alabama together, and visiting Rotary Clubs in the district. Both are delighted to be near their two grandchildren. As always, Lorrie is integral in Dennis’s activities and is his most supportive fan.
In service to their community, Dennis has been president and chairman of the board of Pell City’s Habitat for Humanity, elder of the First Presbyterian Church, Talladega, is on the board of the Eastern Health Foundation, was director, Choccolocco/Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Lorrie is active in their community, and has been president of The Armed Forces Officers Wives Club of the central Alabama region.
Admiral Dennis Brooks is a patriot, a prominent veteran who has continued to be an active participant in our country’s processes. We’re proud to salute Dennis and Lorrie, and we thank them for their dedicated service to us all.