BU1(SCW) Reno R. Perryman, NMCB 4
Builder 1st Class (SCW) Reno R. Perryman distinguished himself through sustained superior performance as operations leading petty officer and officer-in-charge of Detachment Payne in Afghanistan. His operational expertise proved invaluable in planning and executing more than 20 mission-critical projects for 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Regional Command Southwest, resulting in flawless execution of 2,400 man-days of construction valued at $5 million. Hand-selected as officer-in-charge for Patrol Base 87 construction, BU1 Perryman displayed exceptional confidence and poise as he led a team of 16 Seabees to complete a 300m x 300m patrol base to include three bunkers, a 600-meter HESCO perimeter berm, four tent decks and a hasty command operations center structure to sustain kinetic operations in Helmand province. He was then selected to participate on the construction management training team for Regimental Combat Team 5, assessing more than 100 Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) projects valued at $40 million across four Helmand province districts. Dedicated and innovative, Perryman successfully taught basic construction techniques to Civil Affairs Group Marines and Afghan contractors, contributing greatly to contracted construction safety and quality. Perryman’s impressive performance and professional achievements merit the recognition afforded by this prestigious award. He exemplifies the Seabee “Can Do” spirit, for which Marvin Shields serves as the ultimate example.
This award is presented for outstanding technical and leadership ability, and is given in honor of Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Marvin Shields, a 26-year-old Seabee serving in Vietnam with NMCB 11 in 1965. Shields’s unit, along with Army Special Forces and South Vietnam Defense personnel, came under attack by 2,000 Viet Cong and, although greatly outnumbered, withstood intense close-range combat for almost three hours. Shields and an Army lieutenant volunteered to man a rocket launcher, destroying an enemy machine gun position. Despite repeatedly being hit, Shields fought on until he was mortally wounded; he died the following day while being evacuated by helicopter. For these heroic actions that cost him his life, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor – becoming the first (and so far only) Seabee to receive the nation’s highest award, and also the first Navy man to be so decorated for action in Vietnam.