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Marshall Islands Students Tutored by NMCB 1 Seabees

By MC1 Brannon Deugan, NMCB 1 

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BU1 Nicholas Kotos (left) and UTCN Valerie Trevino, both assigned to NMCB 1, tutor Ebeye Island students in preparation for the ASVAB test at Ebeye Islands, Marshall Islands, Sept. 19. (Photo by HM2 Isaac P. Cajinas/150919-N-22999-361)

Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 conducted an Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tutoring program on Eyebe Island, Marshall Islands, Sept. 24. This session is part of a weekly program where NMCB 1 ‘Bees meet at the Ebeye Island high school’s library to conduct two hours of tutoring for current students and recent graduates of the high school in preparation for the ASVAB.

“The ASVAB program is amazing,” said Utilitiesman Constructionman Valerie Trevino, NMCB 1, from Houston. “Having the ability to teach someone a stepping stone toward their future is a rewarding feeling.”

ASVAB is a multiple-aptitude battery used to measure test takers’ abilities while helping to predict the future academic and occupational success in the military. NMCB 1’s ASVAB tutoring program works with the youth of Marshallese on English grammar and mathematics in order to increase the probability of performing well on the ASVAB for entrance into the U.S. Armed Forces.

“The goal of the weekly tutoring sessions with local high school students is to increase their knowledge in the ASVAB material,” said Lt. j.g. Cory Devonis, NMCB 1’s officer in charge, Marshall Islands. “This program gives students who want to join the U.S. military a better chance at scoring higher on the ASVAB, and this will allow the students opportunities that may not have been available otherwise.”

The tutoring program improves the continued strong diplomatic ties between the U.S. and the Republic of Marshall Islands by creating an opportunity for Marshallese to join the U.S. military, and it provides an opportunity for members of NMCB 1 to volunteer.

“This was my first time ever having this opportunity,” said Builder 1st Class Nickolas Kotos, NMCB 1. “I have never done this, but it gives me great pleasure to give back to this community.”

NMCB 1 is a Seabee battalion that specializes in contingency construction, disaster response and humanitarian assistance. Members of NMCB 1 are able to expand mission capabilities through volunteer opportunities such as the ASVAB tutoring program.

“This program is important for NMCB 1 because this emphasizes the overall capacity of what we can do as Seabees,” said Devonis. “We are a mobile construction battalion, but this shows that we can be much more than that.”


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