Springfield, Ohio sailor continues 75 years of Seabee tradition

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Wyscaver - Navy Office of Community Outreach



PORT HUENEME, Calif. – “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. Springfield, Ohio native and Catholic Central High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Katie Donovan, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Port Hueneme, California.

Donovan works as a construction electrician in the Navy.

“I maintain and provide electrical power during our various operations,” said Donovan. “I’m responsible for camp maintenance and setup to ensure mission readiness.”

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.

“I am proud to be a Seabee because we are a specialized community and take pride in our legacy,” said Donovan.

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.

“I am proud of the hard work that Seabees do every day,” said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. “Their support to the Navy and Marine Corps mission is immeasurable, and we look forward to the next seven decades of service.”

Seabees around the world will take part in a year-long celebration in 2017 to commemorate the group’s 75-year anniversary. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”

“Seabees deploy around the world providing expert expeditionary construction support on land and under the sea, for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, humanitarian crisis and peace,” said Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1. “Seabee resiliency, skill, and resolution under hostile and rough conditions prove our motto ‘We Build, We Fight.’ The Seabee patch we wear on our uniform signifies to the war-fighter and civilian alike that they’re in good hands.”

Serving in the U.S. Navy has allowed Donovan to continue learning about herself and the legacy she wants to leave to future Seabees.

“To see how much the Seabee community has grown in the past 75 years is awesome,” said Donovan. “I’m proud to be a part of the rich history and tradition.”

“Why Being There Matters”

On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.


By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Wyscaver

Navy Office of Community Outreach