Concord native on front lines of U.S. military fight against COVID

Concord native on front lines of U.S. military fight against COVID

Concord native on front lines of U.S. military fight against COVID
Navy Cmdr. Shane Dietrich says his upbringing in Concord prepared for him his work providing vaccinations during the pandemic.

CONCORD, CA — Cmdr. Shane Dietrich, a native of Concord, is playing a critical role in the U.S. Navy’s efforts to maintain a healthy and ready fighting force in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a supply officer serving with Air Mobility Command Air Terminal in Norfolk, Va., Dietrich is one of the 139 service members assigned to Task Force Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla. The task force is the primary Department of Defense (DOD) support organization for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) response to COVID-19.

“As the assistant officer-in-charge of this vaccination site, I’m providing life support contracting oversight for our military medical providers and liaison with state and federal agencies to ensure the success of this historical life-saving mission,” Dietrich said.

Break the cycle

The DOD remains committed to breaking the cycle of transmission as it supports approved FEMA requests. The Jacksonville task force helps protect against COVID-19 outbreaks and conducts response operations within FEMA regions III & IV.

“All of our Navy personnel here at the Jacksonville Community Vaccination Center are uniquely capable of providing immediate medical expertise and training to help counter the threat of the pandemic to our nation,” said Capt. David Barrows, medical officer-in-charge of the task force and executive officer of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville.

“We are proud and privileged to serve our country and community in time of need, right here at home,” Barrows added.

Life Skills and values

Dietrich, a 1983 Berean High School graduate, said the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those he found in Concord.

“Growing up, my parents raised me and my siblings with Christian values, and the Boy Scouts taught me leadership and life skills,” Dietrich said. “These values and experiences have remained consistent throughout my naval career and continue to positively influence my ability to lead with confidence and compassion during this global pandemic.”

As a member of the Navy, Dietrich is part of a service tradition that dates back centuries. The sailors’ efforts during the pandemic will have a lasting affect around the globe.

“I’m so proud of the sailors who volunteered to put themselves at risk to serve our fellow citizens during this extremely challenging time,” Dietrich said.

“In the Navy, we learn to run head-on into any obstacle and face adversity with honor, courage and commitment, whether it is combat, fighting a fire aboard a ship or helping a fellow shipmate who is going through rough times,” he continued. “Over the course of my 37-year naval career, this is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had the pleasure to be a part of. I will remember this deployment for the rest of my life.”