Navy Seabee Foundation

USNS James D. Fairbanks

USNS James D. Fairbanks / Location: TBD

Force Master Chief James D. Fairbanks (1952 – 2011), was a member of the Chippewa Tribe from the White Earth Indian Reservation in northwestern Minnesota served in the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. Master Chief Fairbanks enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970 and served as an ordnanceman with the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines until he was honorably discharged in 1972. Returning to the civilian workforce, Master Chief Fairbanks worked as a welder in Minneapolis until 1977, when he enlisted in the Navy. He served with an amphibous construction battalion until his honorable discharge in 1979. After a short break in service, he resumed his Naval service as a Seabee in 1986. While deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fairbanks received the Bronze Star for merirtorious leadership under proximate enemy fire and threat of enemy attack while overseeing the improvement of roads and repair of airfields by a multi-service construction force. From (2005 to 2008) Master Chief Fairbanks served as the Force Master Chief for the Seabees, the highest ranking enlisted Seabee and the first Native American to hold this position. His other award include the Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Army Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2).

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