By Lt. Lorna Devera
Navy Office of Community Outreach
“We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees,” for the past 75 years.
Georgetown, Ohio, native and 2016 Georgetown Junior Senior High Schoolgraduate, Navy Constructionman Stephanie Ayers, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Ayers works as a builder which is responsible for construction of various structures utilizing various skills, such as carpentry and masonry.
“Growing up on a farm, I worked with my dad building barns and tree stands,” said Ayers. “I also helped build my sister’s house. So now, it’s exciting to get paid for doing something that I love.”
The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum.
For the past 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts.
They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world.
They aid following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“I am proud of the hard work that Seabees do every day,” said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
He continued, “Their support to the Navy and Marine Corps mission is immeasurable, and we look forward to the next seven decades of service.”
Seabees around the world are taking part in commemorating the group’s 75-year anniversary this year. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”
“Seabees deploy around the world providing expert expeditionary construction support on land and under the sea, for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, humanitarian crisis and peace,” said Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1. “Seabee resiliency, skill, and resolution under hostile and rough conditions prove our motto ‘We Build, We Fight.’ The Seabee patch we wear on our uniform signifies to the warfighter and civilian alike that they’re in good hands.”
According to Saum the Sailors who make up Seabee battalions are very driven and accomplished individuals.
“I am proud to be the person who carries our Seabee Builder class flag,” said Ayers.
Serving in the Navy allows people to create a legacy for the next generation.
“The Navy gives me a sense of pride and knowing that I accomplished something motivates me to serve as a Navy Seabee,” added Ayers.