Story by Amber Vaglica, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Public Affairs
PORT HEUNEME, Calif. – Thirty Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) junior officers completed the CEC Basic Qualification Course at the Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) Oct. 26, 2018.
Graduation from the course is a requirement for new U.S. Navy CEC officers before they report to their initial assignments in public works departments as construction managers at Navy and Marine Corps installations, or as platoon commanders and staff officers in the Naval Construction Force (NCF).
The 15-week-long course covers a wide range of topics, including leadership, professional development, public works, construction technology, contracting, expeditionary construction, and combat operations.
Having recently assumed command of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) on Oct. 19, one of Rear Adm. John W. Korka’s first orders of business as the 45th Chief of Civil Engineers was to share his vision for NAVFAC with Basic Class 265.
“Our business is the warfighting business. Each of you [Basic Class 265] are warfighters. Many of you are headed to Seabee battalions where you will deploy around the globe to strengthen our Navy’s construction and engineering readiness. Some of you are headed to NAVFAC commands where you will manage large-scale construction projects or direct repairs to infrastructure and you will hear repeatedly that we support the warfighter,” said Korka.
As Basic Class 265 heads out to serve the U.S. Navy, Korka encouraged them to embrace the Seabees’ “Can Do” motto. During his speech, he explained to the class how each letter in “Can Do” represents an important aspect of being a successful CEC officer.
“Remember the ‘C’ in ‘Can Do.’ Character and Competence are the framework for your leadership development,” said Korka. “Perform above the line, morally and ethically. Live your core values and never compromise your principles.”
Korka also thanked the families, friends, and spouses of the class, commending them for their loyalty and describing his deep respect and gratitude for their sacrifices. He explained that he is regularly reminded of the important role family plays and the many sacrifices they make for our Navy.
“I am living proof that family readiness equals operations readiness and mission success,” said Korka. “I could not be where I am today without my family’s unyielding support.”
This was also the first Basic Class to graduate under the command of Capt. Chris Kurgan, having assumed command of Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering and CECOS on Aug. 17.
“[This class] has made an excellent first impression on the CECOS staff over these past 15 weeks,” said Kurgan. “I look forward to serving with [them] in the field. Good luck to all and Godspeed!”
While a small community of only 1,300 officers, CEC officers are found all over the world in highly visible positions supervising skilled NCF personnel while working on: construction projects, infrastructure repairs and maintenance, facility support contracts, real estate management, natural resource management, environmental planning and management, expeditionary construction and many other infrastructure management areas. From the very beginning, CEC officers obtain engineering management and leadership experience far exceeding that of a typical recent college graduate in engineering or architecture.
CECOS provides Seabees, civil engineer corps officers, facility engineers and environmental professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge and education to enhance lifelong learning and to provide quality support to the fleet.
For more info about CECOS, visit www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csfe/cecos/ or follow CECOS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CivilEngineerCorpsOfficersSchool/