CONTRIBUTED BY U.S. NAVY
“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. Petty Officer 3rd Class Brooke Wardrip, a 2014 Eaglecrest High School graduate and native of Aurora, Colorado, builds and fights around the world as a member of Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202, located in Little Creek, Virginia.
Wardrip is serving as a Navy construction electrician, who is normally responsible for electricial components and systems, but she is often tasked with various kinds of construction projects.
Wardrip credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Aurora.
“Growing up, I had to learn hard work,” said Wardrip. “This translates well into the Navy because I have to produce quality work.”
The mission of CBMU-202 is to provide contingency public works support at existing Navy main operating bases and forward operating bases as well as erection and operational support to Navy expeditionary medical facilities. They also provide disaster recovery support to Navy regional commanders throughout the United States and around the world.
“It’s an honor to lead this group of ‘Can Do’ Seabees,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Mazur, commanding officer, CBMU-202. “I’m inspired by the professionalism and dedication they exhibit every day and know they stand ready to answer the call.”
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.
Wardrip 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, Wardrip is most proud of advancing to petty officer third class.
“I studied for my advancement exam months prior, but my supervisor kept asking me random job questions until I could answer them, which was the reason I advanced,” said Wardrip.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Wardrip, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Wardrip is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“I remember seeing my grandfather’s photo in his Air Force uniform,” said Wardrip. “I always admired that photo of him, which played a part in why I joined.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Wardrip and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy makes me proud because I know that I am one of the few in America who volunteered to defend the nation,” added Wardrip.
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