Ashland resident honored for Navy Reserve service

Longtime Ashland resident Paula C. Brown, a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, received her second star Wednesday during a ceremony in the Washington (D.C.) Navy Yard.

Brown, 52, who is in the Navy Reserve and called to active duty, is the new deputy commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and deputy chief of civil engineers at command headquarters located in the Navy Yard.

"It's hard to describe how much pride I have serving our country and our great Navy in these challenging times," Brown said in a prepared statement.

"I am very humbled by this honor, and I will do my absolute best to help NAVFAC and all the Reserve Civil Engineer Corps officers under my watch."

The command is a global organization that manages the planning, design, construction, contingency engineering, real estate, environmental and public works support for U.S. Navy shore facilities worldwide.

The Washington Navy Yard was the site of a mass shooting on Sept. 16 in which government contractor Aaron Alexis killed 12 people before being killed by law enforcement officers.

Before arriving at her new post, Brown served as the deputy commander of First Naval Construction Division in Little Creek, Va.

When she received her first star two years ago, she was just the second female in the Civil Engineer Corps to be promoted to rear admiral. She also was the first female deputy commander of the Navy's Little Creek facility.

She was the first female commander of a Seabee regiment in combat when she took over the helm of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment (Forward) in Iraq, a job she held from September 2005 to March 2006.

Brown, who was Ashland's public works director for 10 years, resigned her job in 2007 to spend more time with her family and continue her service in the active Naval Reserve. She and her husband, Pat Flannery, have a vineyard in Ashland.

Born in Seattle, Brown lived in Taiwan and Malaysia for seven years with her parents as a child.

She earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. She earned a master's degree from George Washington University in 1987.

She was commissioned as a civil engineer corps officer in 1982. She served on active duty in Washington, D.C., through 1986, and joined the Navy Reserve in 1988.

Brown has earned two Legion of Merit awards, the Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Battle 'E', the Navy Unit Commendation and the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.

She is a registered civil engineer in both Oregon and California as well as an environmental engineer in Oregon.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 541-776-4496 or email him at

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