Orange sailor continues 74 years of Seabee tradition

Published 3:32 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2016

By Dusty Good

Navy Office of Community Outreach

GULFPORT, Miss.- “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, Orange, Texas native and a 1998 West Orange Stark High School graduate Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Sholmire 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.
Sholmire is responsible for material maintenance management.
“I like that my job gives me the opportunity to create things,” said Sholmire.
“Seabees are some 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.
“The camaraderie of this command makes the job more enjoyable,” said Sholmire.
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.”
Today, Seabees continue their innovative traditions ensuring they always meet fast-paced challenges, according to Hansen.
Working with the Seabees and serving in the U.S. Navy has allowed Sholmire to continue learning about the legacy he wants to leave to future sailors.

“You have to serve for self and country,” said Sholmire. “Otherwise their is no point to doing it at all.”