SANTA RITA, Guam – “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.
Today, Harrisburg, North Carolina, native and 2005 Central Cabarrus High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Kinsey, builds and fights with the Navy in Guam and around the world as a member of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, based out of Gulfport, Mississippi.
Kinsey works as a builder who is responsible for installing vertical construction, frame work and dry wall.
“My high school offered a similar curriculum to what I actually do now,” said Kinsey. “So I got to dabble in construction before I ever joined the Navy.”
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.
“The location is the best part about serving here in Guam,” said Kinsey. “This is my eighth deployment and the first time I've really had the opportunity to go out and experience the culture.”
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 following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“My warfare pin is what I'm most proud of,” said Kinsey. “I’ve been in the Navy for 12 years now, so I'm also really proud of serving that long with good conduct.”
Seabees around the world are taking part in a yearlong celebration to commemorate the group’s 75-year anniversary this year. 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 Kinsey.
“I am immensely proud of the Seabees in Guam with me and their ability to make the right decisions with full investment to ensure mission success,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Mattivi, officer in charge for Pacific Command Seabee Response for the Oceania Region. “They amaze me every day with the skills they bring to the fight and by what they can accomplish. I am very blessed to have the next six months with them here in Guam.”
Serving in the U.S. Navy has allowed Kinsey to continue learning about himself and the legacy he wants to leave to future Seabees.
“The Navy has given me direction,” added Kinsey. “I was living with my parents before I joined so the Navy has made me much more self-sufficient.”