Construction man Cydne Reeves, a native of Mabank, Texas, builds and fights around the world as a member of naval construction battalion center located in Port Hueneme, California.
PORT HUENEME, Calif. - “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees,” for more than seven decades. The Navy Seabees are an elite group of personnel trained in both combat and the craft skills of the construction industry.
Reeves is serving as a Navy builder, who is responsible for framework, masonry and horizontal and vertical building infrastructures.
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, according to officials with the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command. These are the kinds of people being trained at Port Hueneme, to provide crucial support to Seabee units deployed around the world.
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, said Lara Godbille, director of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum.
“I enjoy the tight-knit community of the Seabees, we look out for each other and we push each other to be better,” Reeves said.
Seabees have served in all American conflicts for nearly 80 years. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Reeves is a 2014 Pennfoster High School graduate. According to Reeves, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Mabank.
“Growing up in a big family, I learned patience, and I've applied this to my career," said Reeves. "In the Navy, everyone has different personalities and not everybody is easy to get along with, but having this trait helps me become a people person."
Port Hueneme is the West Coast homeport of the Navy’s Seabees. It’s one of five learning sites in the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering domain. They train and develop sailors, soldiers, airmen, and Marines in construction trades and military skills for Department of Defense operating forces to accomplish contingency and peacetime construction, chemical, biological, and radiological operations, and humanitarian assistance missions worldwide.
Port Hueneme and the men and women who serve there play a key role in the Navy’s broader mission of protecting American interests on the world’s oceans.
According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea.
The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on warfighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force.
“I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “We will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Reeves is most proud of her receiving her Seabee Combat Warfare qualification device.
“I received my device in under a year where it takes most about two years,” Reeves said. “I put a lot of effort into it so I have tremendous pride wearing it.”
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Reeves, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Reeves is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My father previously served in the Navy and he is extremely proud that I chose the same path that he did,” Reeves said. “That makes me happy because it makes me feel good knowing he is proud of me.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Reeves, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“I really enjoy what I do because I'm getting to learn all types of different trades with my job," Reeves said. "Having to be current with our weapons qualifications and training for ground combat makes me proud that I chose to be a Seabee.”