BUC(SCW) Michael B. Hathaway, NMCB 1
Chief Builder (SCW) Michael Hathaway led a 15-person tactical infrastructure construction team in support of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment (Task Force Forager) and the 25th Naval Construction Regiment (Task Force Overlord) executing engineering priorities of work for Regional Command South (RC-S) in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Chief Hathaway led the planning and execution of four construction projects with 1,100 man-days of direct labor valued at $1 million across four locations throughout RC-S. His actions in support of 4th Squadron, 4th Calvary (4-4 Cav) at Strong Point Baran are especially noteworthy. Under constant attack from small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, he showed the courage to lead his team in constructing a 200’ x 200’ outpost in order to allow 4-4 Cav to cut off supply lines for insurgents. He led the initial push into the site by sending four D7 dozers to the front to cut in combat roads and push up berms to create fighting positions for 4-4 Cav MRAPs, providing 360-degree coverage of the site. Hathaway displayed great leadership and courage under fire while successfully directing the Medevac of one of his personnel shot by enemy fire, providing clear direction while giving the necessary focus to his team to treat the casualty, send the Medevac request and establish the landing zone. His clear and concise direction in the aftermath was critical in refocusing his team to successfully complete the strong point construction tasking to include mine raking, building tent decks and erecting Alaska tents, establishing an electrical distribution system, placing HESCO barriers around the perimeter and setting up an entry control point. Chief Hathaway demonstrated exceptional leadership and unwavering courage under fire, further perpetuating the legacy of SW2 Stethem and all Seabees past and present.
Named for Steelworker 2nd Class (DV) Robert Dean Stethem, this award recognizes outstanding individual moral courage in support of the traditions of the Seabees while in the course of actual operations. SW2 Stethem was a victim of the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in June 1985, after being singled out from passengers as a U.S. Navy Sailor and killed by members of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah when their demands to release 766 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel were not met. He was returning home with fellow members of UCT 1 after completing a routine assignment in Greece. Stethem was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star. In August 2010, he was frocked to the rank of honorary master chief petty officer.