Mom, nuclear instructor, soldier: titles of a modern woman

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DTE VeteransAudrey Brown is a mom, a nuclear instructor and a soldier.

Each of those titles hold their own special meaning and importance for Brown, who works as a senior nuclear instructor at DTE Energy’s nuclear power plant, Fermi 2.

Earlier this week, as Veterans Day approached, we sat down with Brown to talk about her role as a member of the United States military, her time with DTE Energy and what it means to her to balance her three most important titles.

What is your job at DTE?

I’m a Senior Nuclear Instructor and the Radiological Emergency Response Preparedness Training Coordinator. A big part of my job is preparing employees at Fermi 2 to handle emergency situations.

How long have you been with the company?

It will be four years in March.

How long have you served in the military?

32 Years

What branch do you serve in?

I started in the Air Force in 1986 and then switched in 1990 to the Michigan Army National Guard.

What is your current rank?

Lieutenant Colonel

And what does your military job entail?

I’m a military police officer currently serving in the 46th Military Police Command out of Lansing, Michigan as the Liaison Section Chief.

The 46th MP Command’s mission is to provide a command and control response element (known as C2CRE-B) and respond within 96 hours to assist civilian authorities in the event of a nuclear, chemical, biological, or radiological incident in the United States.

The C2CRE-B organization is made up of more than 2,000 Army and Air National Guard members from across our great country.

What kind of commitment is your military service?

Because of my rank and experience, I do have a greater commitment to my military organization. Typically, with the National Guard, it is a one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year. Our organization is very specialized and requires multiple exercises to maintain proficiency, so my weekends can easily start on a Thursday through Sunday to full fill this requirement.

Does DTE accommodate your military needs? 

DTE has always been very supportive of my military requirements.

What was the transition like for you from full-time military to work at DTE?

It was rather tough to be honest. Working in Nuclear is already exceptional, but then you include working in a private civilian corporation where people don’t follow orders in the same way as the military … It has been interesting, but I think I’m adjusting nicely.

Would you recommend coming to work for DTE after full-time military duty?

Absolutely, I am constantly telling my military peers how great it is to work at DTE Energy. DTE is a company that sincerely cares about its employees and has endless growth potential, what’s not to love? I strongly encourage young soldiers to apply for DTE Energy on a regular basis.

What was your most recent military activity?

Other than this past three-day weekend attending a Command Post Exercise where we practiced responding to a pandemic outbreak, I attended a mission validation planning conference in Fort Sam Houston. It was on very short notice, and my supervisor was very supportive. Knowing that I have the full support of DTE Energy to ensure success in my military occupation really is what a top company looks like!!

You’re a mom of three daughters. How do you balance your time between your nuclear job, your military job and your parental job? How do you think they complement each other?

Wow, that’s a big question!

I’m not sure how I do it sometimes, it’s a juggling act. I don’t ever think about it and just do it. If I stopped to think I’m sure I’d feel overwhelmed.

There is no balance, my time is just filled up and I go from one job seamlessly to the next. I really do think they complement each other because each deserves our full commitment, which in turn teaches my children that hard work has its own rewards.

I expect them to reach their full potential and I set those expectations by leading by example!

DTE Energy is a proud supporter of veterans at our company and across the country. We are recognized as a Gold Level veteran-friendly employer by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and are also always looking for new veterans to hire. If you are interested in a job at DTE, check out our veterans employment page.

Photo Credit – Flag Photo: Mike Mozart