Tomball Native Exemplifies “We Build, We Fight” Legacy of U.S. Navy Seabees

By: Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach
| Published 07/03/2019

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Griffin Kersting
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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – “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 2nd Class Kaitlyn Greer, a 2011 Tomball High School graduate and native of Tomball, Texas, builds and fights around the world as a member of Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202, located in Little Creek, Virginia.

Greer is serving as a Navy yeoman, who is responsible for administrative duties.

'I help with processing evaluations, correspondence, instructions, notices and awards,' said Greer.

Greer credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Tomball.

“Growing up in Tomball, I learned loyalty, kindness, determination and the importance of hard work,” said Greer. 'These traits helped tremendously and carried over into my Navy career.'

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.

Greer 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, Greer is most proud of earning her designation as a yeoman.

“I applied for the yeoman rating and I was very happy because it's something that I really enjoy,” said Greer.

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Greer, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Greer is honored to carry on that family tradition.

“My older brother served in the Marine Corps,” said Greer. 'I looked up to my brother and wanted to make him proud. I remember talking to him after he came home from Afghanistan and he told me about his experiences. Although I could see some sadness in his eyes remembering the sacrifices made and fellow Marines who were lost, I also could see the love he had for his fellow Marines. I knew I wanted that same kind of passion.'

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Greer 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 means getting to do something that not everyone has an opportunity to do,” added Greer. 'Fighting for our country's freedom and working hard to give my child a good life is very humbling. I've been on an aircraft carrier, a destroyer and now I get to work with Seabees. Everywhere I go I learn something new. This is what I love about the Navy.'

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