By Dusty Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach
GULFPORT, Miss.- “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees”, for the past 74 years. Today, Miami native and a 2008 Parkway Academy graduate Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Moise builds and fights with the Navy on the Gulf Coast and around the world as a member of the Navy serving at Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport.
Gulfport is the command headquarters that oversees all naval construction forces based in the eastern half of the U.S. Land for the Naval Construction Battalion Center at Gulfport was acquired in April 1942, the same year the “Seabee” name was adopted for members of the Construction Battalions, a clever play on the CB initials.
Moise is responsible for operating construction equipment.
“I like that my job allows me to be in charge,” said Moise. “You have a lot of responsibility being an equipment operator. If they tell you something simple, like, to dig a hole, it’s up to you how well you do it.”
“Seabees are some the hardest working Sailors in the Navy,” said Captain Cheryl M. Hansen, NCBC commanding officer. “They are tough, bold, and ready, and they get the job done. They build and fight in some of the harshest and most hostile environments in the world.”
For the past 74 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts, using their construction skills to help communities around the world following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“The Seabees is a special group that is a bond for life,” said Moise. “To me, it’s a standout community in all of the Navy.”
Seabees around the world will take part in a year-long celebration in 2017 to commemorate the group’s 75-year anniversary. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”
Today, Seabees continue their innovative traditions ensuring they always meet fast-paced challenges, according to Hansen.
Working with the Seabees and serving in the U.S. Navy has allowed Moise to continue learning about the legacy he wants to leave to future sailors.
“The Navy has taught me you get what you put in,” said Moise. “The Navy can take you a lot of places, but it depends on the work ethic you put in is what you get out.”