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NEWS | Dec. 7, 2023

Profiles in Professionalism: GM3 Brittany Ommen

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrew Gordon

Have you ever had the dream of being in a game with 10 seconds left on the clock? Time continues to count down as if in slow motion. You’re passed the ball. You shoot. The final buzzer sounds. You score!

Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Brittany Ommen, a native of Arlington, Wa., has the opportunity to live this dream of hers. Ommen, a U.S. Navy Reservist attached to Navy Reserve Center, Kitsap, is playing in the Armed Forces Basketball Championship Tournament in Fort Moore, Ga. for the Navy women’s team. The week long tournament took place Oct. 30, 2023.

“I have been playing basketball since the 5th grade,” said Ommen. “I played all through high school and 2 years of college. Playing basketball for the Navy is an honor and my goal before every game is to bring home the gold trophy and put it where it belongs in OUR HOUSE!”

Ommen started her military career as a chef in the Air Force stationed in Colorado Springs for 4 years. She missed home and her family so she decided to transition out of the Air Force and into the Navy Reserves to be closer to home yet still serve.

“Knowing the military had Armed Forces sports teams was one reason I joined the military in the first place,” said Ommen. “Serving in the Navy Reserves gave me the opportunity to fulfill that dream, stay close to home, and also represent the Navy.”

Military tradition runs deep in the Ommen’s family. Two of her brothers serve in the Air Force and Army which put bragging rights on the line during this tournament. Her father is also a retired Navy Chaplain who swore her into enlistment at Naval Station Everett.

“Being a part of the Navy Reserves gives me a sense purpose that makes me feel like I can still help my country and defend the constitution that America is built on,” said Ommen. “My family is proud of my dedication to the military but especially my dad because he loves the Navy.”

Ommen’s biggest fan is her husband who is proud of her Naval service but also athletic achievements.

“My husband is a huge supporter of my decision to join the Navy Reserves and go represent in this tournament,” said Ommen. “We talk before every game and he gives me an added motivation to do my best.”

The tournament features men’s and women’s teams from all branches. The teams compete until one branch is crowned the Armed Forces Basketball Champion.

“This tournament has been very high energy and every branch comes into the game wanting that gold medal,” said Ommen. “Competition is hard and you don’t have room for error. You have to bring your best and be resilient, something being in the military has taught me. The game is never over until the last buzzer sounds.”

Ommen is living her dream of playing basketball for the Navy Women’s Team. She realizes she only had that opportunity by serving in the Navy Reserves and wants other athletes to know it could be a dream they could live too.

“Advice I would give someone who wants to play sports for the All-Navy team is that if you don’t try then you cheat yourself out of an opportunity to represent the Navy, acquire better skills at your sport, and experience competition at a very high level,” said Ommen. “Give yourself a chance, don’t cut yourself short. Have confidence to try!”