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Interview with Col. Bree Fram, US Space Force, the Highest ranking Transgender Officer serving in the US Military @ DnICon

Interview with Col. Bree Fram, US Space Force, the Highest ranking Transgender Officer serving in the US Military @ DnICon

In April, while Attending DnICon, one of the biggest Sponsors of the Con was the US Space Force.  The Space Force was discussed as a separate branch of the Department of Defense going all the way back to the Eisenhower Administration in 1958. It was also part of Ronald Reagan’s SDI in the 1980’s. The Space Force was finally established in December 2019 when President Trump signed “The US Space Force Act” into law.  While the Space Force is the smallest of the five DOD services, its reach is global and involves each of its sister forces in various ways.

At DnICon 2024, Space Force was represented by a group of impressive individuals including Alexandria Holder, Nicholas Dove Bear, Sabrina Ashlee Bruce and Bree Fram.

Each of these amazing individuals are part of the DAF LIT. The acronym stands for Department of the Air Force LGBTQ+ Initiatives Team, which was established in 2021 to look at how the US Air Force could remove barriers and challenges to LGBTQ+ members to serve without fear, open and in a welcoming environment. While “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed back in 2010, there is no actual law that allows transgender troops to serve openly. So while President Obama allowed Trangender Troops to serve openly, President Trump reversed that policy when he entered office. This policy was again changed when President Biden entered office.The notion that a portion of our troops open service can be changed at the change of a President leads those troops to endure added mental and work related stress. That added stress NOT their status as a Trangender Service Member is what leads to reduced Job Performance and degradation of unit cohesiveness.

I was able to interview Col. Fram, and while she spent most of the Con in her military uniform, each of these answers to the questions asked, are her personal answers and feelings, and in no way imply or should be viewed as official Defense Department or US Space Force Policy. Because this was a personal interview, it was conducted via email and Facebook Messenger. Those of us here at GeekyKool. Com support all of our Service Members, no matter their Gender Status, or Sexual Orientation. So without further adieu, I present US Space Force member, Author, Public Speaker and All Around Nice Person…..Bree Fram

1 – introduce yourself to GeekyKool’s audience.
In my day job, I’m an astronautical engineer and active duty Colonel in the US Space Force. I’m also an author, podcaster, speaker on LGBTQ+ leadership. My brand new book is Forging Queer Leaders: How the LGBTQIA+ Community Creates Impact from Adversity. I’m also a hiker, skier, wife, parent, and, of course, a huge nerd. If it’s geeky, I probably tried it and almost certainly enjoyed it.

2  – Where did you grow up? I grew up in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and lived there until I joined the Air Force after college.

3 – What are some of the biggest changes you have experienced in your service to our nation, and as a transgender officer?
You could easily say that the biggest change that I’ve experienced during my service is being able to reveal my authentic self and find myself being an unexpected advocate for eliminating barriers to LGBTQ+ service. That said, the formation of the Space Force has been a massive shift and felt like a dream come true. Being part of the stand-up of a new service, being able to focus on space, and helping to create a twenty-first century military culture has been an honor. Dealing with the back and forth regarding policy around our ability to serve and the desirability of transgender service has certainly been a challenge. Staying resilient in the face of uncertainty is critical, particularly as any future administration could reverse course again with the stroke of a presidential pen.

4 – what do you like to do in your spare time? Too much! I hike, ski, read, play games of all varieties, write, podcast, and just about anything nerdy.

5 – can you describe What Space Force does, and how it integrates with the rest of the US Military?
The mission of the Space Force is to secure our nation’s interests in, from, and to space. In plain language we develop, utilize, and defend the on-orbit capabilities that enable our modern way of life and such as GPS, weather, and communications and allow us to deter, or if necessary, prevail in modern warfare. The Space Force is a key component of the joint force, delivering critical capabilities to support the other services and providing combat capabilities in an entirely distinct domain.

6 – what are some of your greatest accomplishments in your life, in and out of the military?
My proudest moment in the military was when I was in a command position and two of my three teams won Team of the Year awards three levels up from my organization. It was amazing to see how those teams developed and fielded technologies that went straight from the laboratory to the battlefield to meet a critical need of our deployed forces. Personally, I’m proud of the stories I’ve helped to share and the networks I’ve helped to build that support LGBTQ+ service members and leaders of all varieties.

7 – how important is DEI when it comes to military service?
It’s critical. Any nation that cuts off access to talent is self-limiting. I argue that inclusion is a national security imperative for two reasons. First, inclusion is free. It is about individual and collective attitudes. Inclusion makes people feel like they’re part of the team and are valued for who they are. Inclusion makes people feel like they can bring their authentic selves to the job and that they can safely bring up their ideas and questions. Every person has the tools within themselves to be inclusive of others, no money required.
Second, inclusion is a retention tool. Inclusion is not inherently about hiring decisions, though an inclusive organization is almost always going to have a wider pool of talent to choose from. Inclusion is what makes people want to with an organization, including the military. If you feel like an outsider in your organization, you’re likely to be quickly looking for a new job. Inclusion is a key part of what allows organizations to keep and develop people into the leaders they need.

8 –  favorite food to cook? I love making a classic thanksgiving dinner at any time of the year. Turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy are my go-to. A good prime-rib roast is second, but way less frequent. More common go-to dinners are tacos, stir-fry, and anything grilled.

9 – Favorite science fiction TV show and why?
While I’m a huge Star Trek fan, with my top 3 shows probably DS9, Lower Decks and then a tough call between SNW and TNG, my all-time favorite is Babylon 5. The story was powerful and ahead of it’s time for television. Even more incredible were the characters and their arc. I was so impressed that I even gave one of my kids the middle name of D’Lenn.

10 – favorite food cuisine? I don’t think I’ve found one I don’t like! There’s some phenomenal Afghan, Indian, Thai, Mexican, and Korean near me that we frequent

11 – why was appearing at DnICon so important to you and the other members who came?Supporting the queer community and showing that they military can be a welcoming place for them is critical and is a personal joy. The military needs the skills, the leadership, and the passion the queer community can bring and if we don’t meet them where they’re at it may not seem like we’re a good option.

12 – what is your advice to those people who are LGBT+ and want a career in the US Military?
Though it’s not for everyone, if the military is something you want to do, go for it! And when you do, be your authentic self. Don’t put full power to your shields to protect your identity. Embrace who you are and dedicate that energy to building meaningful relationships with the people around you.

13 – favorite movie? Toss-up between Spaceballs and UHF from childhood.

14 – how can people reach you on social media?
I can be found at www.breefram.com on LinkedIn, Instagram @bree.fram, Facebook, and X @bfram

Bree Fram and Elizabeth Cavallaro recently released their book “Forging Queer Leaders”, It is available on amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/Forging-Queer-Leaders-Community-Adversity/dp/1839978392/ref=sr_1_1?crid=NQ9JG8D2HO0H&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9._nSH8opCYJxe3mfVMJGjvM8nnA-__EhSLGtZ5c9JqRfGjHj071QN20LucGBJIEps.MLCzo2rYAreUgJ9TMgj3_8V9H2Anp2CcHTJbohGZRE4&dib_tag=se&keywords=forging+queer+leaders&qid=1718081086&sprefix=forginig+q%2Caps%2C90&sr=8-1

They will also be embarking on a book tour along the East Coast, starting this week


Thank you for taking the time to join us here at GeekyKool.com Bree, best of luck on the book tour.


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