“We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U.S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees,” for the past 74 years. Today, Gary native and a 2014 Lew Wallace High School graduate Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Kimp builds and fights with the Navy on the Gulf Coast and around the world as a member of the Navy serving at Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport.
Gulfport is the command headquarters that oversees all naval construction forces based in the eastern half of the U.S. Land for the Naval Construction Battalion Center at Gulfport was acquired in April 1942, the same year the “Seabee” name was adopted for members of the Construction Battalions, a clever play on the CB initials.
Kimp is responsible for construction and maintenance of AC units, pumps, compressors and water systems.
“I like to work with my hands,” Kimp said. “Doing construction really fits me.”
“Seabees are some of the hardest working sailors in the Navy,” said Captain Cheryl M. Hansen, NCBC commanding officer. “They are tough, bold, and ready, and they get the job done. They build and fight in some of the harshest and most hostile environments in the world.”
For the past 74 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 have a good chain of command, They really take care of the sailors,” Kimp said.
Seabees around the world will take part in a yearlong celebration in 2017 to commemorate the group’s 75-year anniversary. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”
“Serving in the Navy allows me to protect my country while upholding the values of honor, courage and commitment,” Kimp said.