By FORCM(SCW) Douglas “Ray” Dickey, Force Master Chief of the Seabees
This month marks the end of an era as Seabee magazine rolls off the printing presses for the last time.
I’m a little sad because I, like many of you, liked getting my own copy. I read it front to back, and sometimes back to front. I liked having issues of the magazine neatly arranged on my desk. My favorite issues were those that included some of my former units, such as NMCB 4 and NMCB 40. I always thought it was a really good-looking magazine with great stories about our ‘Bees, and I’ve been one of the magazine’s biggest fans over the years.
With today’s focus on being fiscally responsible and being connected to each other through technology, be it smart phones or a tablet, we have to stay current and flexible. Earlier this year, the publishers of the magazine, NAVFAC Headquarters Public Affairs & Communications, convinced Rear Adm. Mossey, NAVFAC commander and chief of engineers; Rear Adm. Mark Handley, commander, 1NCD; and me that converting the magazine to a totally online version made a lot of sense. Not only would Seabee magazine be available to all Seabees, both active and reserve, but now could extend to their families, Seabee veterans and friends of Seabees, around the world, 24 hours a day.
Instead of a quarterly publication, news and information could be updated weekly, or on the spot if needed, for late-breaking news. Instead of just words, the new magazine could be multimedia in scope and include video and audio news pieces. That’s exciting. But what closed the deal for me was that you – the reader – could provide feedback, ask questions and interact with other readers through this new medium. That’s important. I’m really pleased with this new magazine and from the comments I’ve seen, so are many of you. This magazine belongs to all Seabees and can only get better with your feedback.
Since 2000, Seabee magazine has been a first- or second-place finisher in the annual Navy Chief of Information (CHINFO) Merit Award competition. That means it has been one of the Navy’s top magazines for past 10 years due to the superb Navy public affairs professionals assigned to Seabee units, and the editorial team at NAVFAC and 1NCD. It’s also due to the fact that our ‘Bees are providing photos and stories to our unit PAOs to publish. Please contribute when you can. We need each of us to tell the Seabee story to each other, to our leaders and to the American public. Send your MCs articles, photos, videos and even project ideas about what your unit is doing. You can even email them directly to email@example.com. Let’s show the world how our “Can Do” men and women contribute so much to our Supported Commanders around the world.
Lastly, I’d like to remind everyone that the national election is November 6. If you haven’t registered with your state or applied for an absentee ballot, please see your command voting representative. If you’re having problems with the voting process, Federal Voting Assistance Program call center is available at 1-800-438-8683, DSN 425-1584, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Toll-free phone numbers from 67 countries are listed at www.fvap.gov/contact/tollfreephone.html. It’s your right to vote and a freedom that you defend!