More than 580 people assembled in Crystal City, Va., March 17 for the annual celebration of the anniversaries of the Seabees, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC).
NAVFAC Commander and Chief of Civil Engineers Rear Adm. Christopher J. Mossey hosted the special occasion to honor these organizations’ past, present and future.
“Always ready and deployed worldwide, our Seabees, civil engineers, and civil servants continue to build on the foundation laid before them,” he said. “We are proud to be a vital part of our Navy’s global force for good.”
This year’s ball marks the 70th anniversary of the Seabees, the 145th anniversary of the Civil Engineer Corps, and the 170th anniversary of NAVFAC which was established in 1842 as the Bureau of Navy Yards and Docks.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert was the guest speaker, and was made an honorary Seabee during the event.
“A long and illustrious history precedes these men and women; and today they are writing a new and wonderful legacy,” said Greenert following the ceremony. “We honored 70 years of Seabees, 145 years of the Civil Engineer Corps, and 170 years of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command…this community’s contributions have been and are essential to fighting and winning.”
At the event, two Seabees were recognized for their outstanding achievements during the year. The CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation commissioned two awards named in honor of Petty Officer Robert D. Stethem and Rear Adm. Lewis B. Combs – who both served the Navy, the CEC, and the Seabees with great pride and distinction.
The Steelworker 2nd Class Robert D. Stethem Award recognizes outstanding individual moral courage in support of the traditions of the Seabees while in the course of actual operations. This year’s award went to Chief Builder (SCW) Michael B. Hathaway of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1. Hathaway led a 15-person tactical infrastructure construction team in support of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR)(Task Force Forager) and the 25th NCR (Task Force Overlord) executing engineering priorities of work for Regional Command South in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Rear Admiral Lewis B. Combs award is named for the Assistant to the Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks under Admiral Ben Moreell, and is presented to the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution in perpetuating the legacy of Seabee and CEC accomplishments and traditions.
This year’s award went to Senior Chief Steelworker Joshua J. Schlegel, NMCB 1, who displayed courageous leadership and exceptional foresight in leading his 23-person tactical infrastructure construction team support of the 30th NCR (Task Force Forager) and the 25th NCR (Task Force Overlord) executing engineering priorities of work for Regional Command South in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
A third award was presented for the first time at the anniversary ball. The ‘Peggy B. Craig Life Service Award’ was presented to four NAVFAC employees, who were recognized for 20 or more years of “selfless and dedicated” service to NAVFAC, the 1st Naval Construction Division, the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering, or any subordinate unit. This year’s winners were:
* Sari Brindel, supervisory contract specialist, NAVFAC Midwest;
* Judy Doggett, executive secretary, NAVFAC Southeast;
* Kit Mack, supervisory structural engineer, NAVFAC Engineering Service Center; and
* Byrnes Yamashita, supervisory community planner (retired from NAVFAC Pacific).
Naval Today Staff , March 20, 2012;