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Diamond Anniversary Celebrations Commence

Diamond Anniversary Celebrations Commence!

On January 18, 2017 the US Navy officially kicked-off the year long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the US Navy’s fighting Seabees at the US Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme, CA. In front of a packed Grand Hall, it was an energetic start to the milestone year.

Rear Admiral Bret Muilenburg, Commander, NAVFAC and Chief of Civil Engineers opened the program, reminding all of the Seabee presence in every American conflict since the founding of the Naval Construction Force. The Admiral also took the time to acknowledge those in the room serving today, those who served in years past, and all those who together ensure that their stories are never forgotten.

Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, the Commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and Chief of the Civil Engineer Corps, addresses the audience at the Seabees 75th Anniversary Kickoff Ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lowell Whitman/Released)

“For 75 years, Seabees have been protecting the nation and serving the Navy and Marine Corps with great pride and dedication,” said Muilenburg. “As we kick off this yearlong celebration, let’s not forget those who have fought bravely and given their all in support of us, our families, our way of life, and our great nation.”

We Build, We Fight,” a compelling painting by artist James Dietz was unveiled, followed by the debut of a solo performance of “The Complete History of the Seabees (Abridged)” by playwright, Joseph Gallo.

Joseph Gallo performs a dramatic solo reading of his piece “The Complete History of the Seabees (abridged),” during the Seabees 75th Anniversary Kickoff Ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lowell Whitman/Released)

Following these artistic portrayals of the Seabee experience, the ribbon was cut officially opening a new gallery dedicated to Seabee service and sacrifice during World War II and the Cold War. Among those invited to cut the ribbon were retired Carpenter’s Mate 1st Class Macy Coffin, a World War II Seabee veteran and the oldest Seabee in attendance and Construction Mechanic Constructionman Recruit Andrew Staple, the youngest Seabee present.

Retired Carpenter’s Mate 1st Class Macy Coffin, center, and distinguished guests, cut the ribbon on a new World War II gallery at the Seabee Museum during the Seabees 75th Anniversary Kickoff Ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lowell Whitman/Released)

On Saturday, the Museum and the CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation co-hosted a STEM Competition, You ‘Can Do’ Too! Students of all ages competed in designing structures that were both creative and effective, using both ingenuity and principles of engineering to turn cans and boxes of food into bridges, hospitals, vehicles and more. The activity not only highlighted the skills needed to be successful as a Seabee, but also taught participants that you must often adapt and improvise, using the materials at hand instead of the ones you want. In the end, the food was donated to a local food pantry, in the Seabee spirit of giving back and always leaving a community better than when you first entered it. Additional STEM competitions will be hosted nationwide throughout the Diamond Anniversary year.

The CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation will be sponsoring events like this throughout 2017. To learn more about Diamond Anniversary activities coming to an area near you, click here.

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