Memorial Day Ceremony set for May 31

Memorial Day Ceremony

(May 7, 2021 - Blue Ash) 

The City of Blue Ash invites you to the 69th annual Memorial Day Ceremony on May 31, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. at the Blue Ash Bicentennial Veteran’s Memorial in downtown Blue Ash. The parade has been canceled this year.

Captain Steve Drefahl, US Navy (Retired) will serve as the keynote speaker (bio below).

The Cincinnati Warbirds will perform a flyover, weather permitting.  

capt Drefahl

Captain Steven P. Drefahl 
United States Navy (Retired)

Captain Drefahl graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and was commissioned an Ensign through the Ohio State University Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program on June 7, 1974.  Additionally, he graduated with an MBA in General Management from Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, Ohio in 1980.  He is a graduate of the Naval War College Reserve Officer Course.

Following Gunnery Officer School in August 1974, he reported aboard the USS England CG 22 homeported out of San Diego, California in September that same year.  He served as the Gunnery Officer, First Lieutenant/Deck Officer and Anti-submarine Officer, spending one year in each assignment.  He qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer while aboard the USS England.

In October 1977, he reported to Naval Recruiting District Cleveland, Ohio where he served as the Officer Programs Officer, responsible for Officer recruiting in northern Ohio.

Upon leaving active duty in December 1979, Captain Drefahl affiliated with the Naval Reserve. Prior to Captain Drefahl’s first command he served as the Training Officer or Executive Officer for three different Naval Reserve units.  In 1988 Captain Drefahl received his first of six commands, Officer in Charge (OIC) of Naval Reserve (NR) USS Vulcan, AR5. Subsequent Naval Reserve commands include:  Ships Intermediate Maintenance Activity (SIMA) Norfolk (1989-91); Readiness Unit Three, Cincinnati, Ohio (1992-94); NR Navy Central Command , Bahrain,  (1994-95); NR NCSO Pacific 213 (1995-97) and NR Logistics Unit ABFC A3 105 (1997-99).  Captain Drefahl spent one year as a Watch Captain in the Navy Command Center Logistics Crisis Action Cell in the Pentagon  N42(1999-2000) prior to reporting aboard as the Naval Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer (NEPLO) for Ohio on October 1, 2000.  As the NEPLO he worked with the State Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Ohio National Guard on disaster planning, preparedness and response for the state of Ohio.  Captain Drefahl completed his 30 year career as the Director of Leadership Training for all Navy reserve officers, approximately 300, in the State of Ohio, retiring in July 2004.

Captain Drefahl retired from the American Red Cross, Greater Cincinnati/Dayton Region in June 2012 as the Chief Operating Officer after 25 years of service. Additionally, he was a major fundraiser for United Way Greater Cincinnati raising over 80 million dollars during the 20 plus years he supported the campaign.  Prior to joining the Red Cross, Captain Drefahl was a small business owner, Human Resources Director for a local bank and a Small Business Lending officer.

His community involvement and volunteerism is extensive.  Currently, he is President of the Navy League, Greater Cincinnati Council, immediate Past President and current board member, Military Officer’s Association of America, Greater Cincinnati Chapter, a board member of the Ohio State University Navy ROTC Alumni Association, member of Rotary Downtown Cincinnati and Board member of its Foundation and serves on the Cincinnati Nature Center’s Facilities Committee.  He is a member of the National Ski Patrol and serves on the Ski Patrol at Perfect North Slopes Ski Resort.  He is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati, Class 26 and past Board member of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Alumni Network. He established two endowed scholarships, one for his high school, named in memory of his sister, Renee Drefahl and one for the NROTC Ohio State University midshipmen. 

Captain Drefahl has numerous personal military decorations including the Legion of Merit and three Navy Commendation Medals.

He and his wife Cindy reside in the Cincinnati Ohio area.  They have three grown children and four grandchildren. Captain Drefahl enjoys skiing, time with family, traveling and Ohio State football.