“We Build, We Fight” Legacy of U.S. Navy Seabees

GULFPORT, MS. – “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees,” for more than 75 years. Constructionman Margaux Acasio, a 2018 Peekshill High School graduate and native of Peekskill, New York, builds and fights around the world as a member of naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Acasio is serving as a Navy steelworker, who is responsible for humanitarian projects around the world and in the U.S.

Acasio credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Peekskill.

“I learned the importance of looking out for each other and holding each other accountable,” said Acasio.

Building in austere environments can be a challenge. Fighting in harsh conditions can also be a challenge. Building in austere environments while fighting in harsh conditions takes a special kind of person with a great deal of perseverance and determination. These are the kinds of people serving here at Gulfport, the home of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees. These are the people who provide crucial support to Seabee units deployed around the world.

The jobs of many of today’s Seabees 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 more than 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.

Acasio is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy the Nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer.

“Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Acasio is most proud of earning a position on the color guard.

“I enjoy serving in the color guard, especially at someone’s retirement or other ceremony, where we can honor their service,” said Acasio.

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Acasio, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Acasio is honored to carry on that family tradition.

“My dad was in the military,” said Acasio.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Acasio and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“I like how we treat each other like we’re family in the Seabee community,” said Acasio. “We always look out for each other. Serving in the Navy means that I can make sure my family is safe back home. I want to do what I can to help other people.”

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