Boat Sponsor

L to R: (US Senator Mike Rounds, Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, Rear Admiral Michael Jabaley, South Dakota State Senator Corey Brown, Captain Debra Bodenstedt, USN, Retired.)


Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, is charged with designating sponsors for all United States Navy Ships. Mr. Mabus has selected Mrs. Deanie Dempsey to sponsor the USS SOUTH DAKOTA.

In addition to the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle on the bow, Mrs. Dempsey will be involved in the keel laying and commissioning ceremonies as well as other ceremonies throughout the life of the ship. As a sponsor, Mrs. Dempsey is encouraged to make every effort to foster this special relationship, maintaining contact with the initial and successive captains along with the brave men and women who make up the crew.

Mrs. Dempsey was born and raised in New York. She graduated from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York. Mrs. Dempsey also completed her Master’s Degree from University of Colorado-Colorado Spring. She and her husband, General Martin Dempsey, have three children and nine grandchildren.

In the past four years alone, Mrs. Dempsey has engaged in countless activities in support of military families, coached and mentored military spouses of all branches of service, participated in dozens of private and charitable organizations, traveled the world representing the United States Military, hosted visits to the United States by the spouses of foreign military leaders, and coordinated the family support activities of the White House and Department of Defense.

Mrs. Dempsey is a leader of the Bob Woodruff Foundation and since 2012, she has been involved with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces program.