Privileged To Know Col. Tom Brewer (ret.) – Jordan McGowen
My name is Jordan McGowen. I am and have been a Nebraska resident for most of my adult life. I have had the privilege to know Col. Tom Brewer (ret.) for nearly thirty years as a colleague and as a friend.
We first met through the Nebraska National Guard. Then a lieutenant, Col. Brewer was a platoon leader of an attack helicopter platoon stationed in Lincoln. At that time there were very few Ranger qualified soldiers of any rank in the state, and since he and I shared the tab I was immediately drawn to him. It was quickly apparent to me why, even as a very junior officer he had been given the responsibility of leading the attack helicopter platoon. He was a no nonsense leader who took his mission and his responsibility to his men seriously. From my perspective he optimized the qualities a Ranger, and an officer in the United States Army should project.
I remember going to his home one evening and commenting on some of the track and field trophies he had on display, one of them particularly caught my attention, it had an oxygen mask hanging on it. I asked Tom about the unusual accoutrement and he replied casually that the trophy was from a marathon he had recently run…in the mountains of Idaho!
I have followed Tom’s career over the years and it is really astonishing when you realize that despite him not being a regular Army officer, he has attended and graduated from some of the most challenging courses the Army offers including Airborne, Ranger, Pathfinder, Helicopter pilot training and a number of professional courses up to and including the Army War College.
Tom is not what I would call, for lack of a better word, wishy washy. He tells it like it is and will defend his position, (metaphorically speaking) with great tenacity. He tolerates no compromises in tactics and techniques and isn’t afraid to say what he thinks to whomever it needs saying. This quality has in the past caused a few to take umbrage, but from my point of view, it is one of his best traits.
He has held positions of great responsibility including a tour flying as a staff officer on the E-4B, the National Emergency Airborne Command Post. This aircraft serves as the command and control center for all of our national defense and civil defense resources should like facilities on the ground be compromised. It goes without saying that only highly regarded officers fill the slots on this aircraft.
More recently Col. Brewer has served as the commander of the units charged with training the Afghan national police forces, where he has served, six tours, and was twice wounded.
I should also mention that Col. Brewer is an incredibly talented marksman. He has competed nationally and internationally in all manner of competitions. As I recall his team has won several NATO championships in international competition for example. To top it all off, he was also a coach for the United States Olympic shooting team recently!
Through all this he and his very wonderful and very understanding wife Kelly, who has had a very distinguished Army career in her own right, have raised a son and daughter. Both of whom also served or are currently serving in the military.
Col. Brewers’ family has a strong tradition of service. His father Ross was a member of the second class to graduate from the modern Army Ranger school and served honorably as an airborne ranger in the Korean war.
In summary I can unequivocally state that I am proud to say Col. Thomas Brewer is my friend, and I would recommend him as a man who is trustworthy, steadfast and loyal. He will be a magnificent representative for the 43 legislative district in the Unicameral.
Jordan McGowen Consultant June 29, 2016