Force Master Chief Welcomes New Graduates

By Susan E. Lester, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Public Affairs

BU2(SCW) Reynaldo Castro is all smiles after receiving his Certificate of Completion from Force Master Chief Ray Dickey during a graduation ceremony held at Naval Construction Training Center, Port Hueneme Sept. 12.

PORT HUENEME, Calif. – Naval Construction Force Master Chief Ray Dickey presided over a graduation ceremony for 24 students at the Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Sept. 12.

Dickey shook hands and congratulated each of nine students from the Construction Planning and Estimating (P&E) class and 15 students from the Advanced Builder (BU) C1 advanced course as he presented their graduation certificates. “It’s always a pleasure to come back and meet new graduates,” said Dickey. “It’s gratifying to know that they’re going out into the Naval Construction Force to mentor new troops. With the limited training assets, creating subject matter experts is becoming even more important, and they need to become force multipliers by sharing their experience and knowledge.”

The Advanced Builder Course prepares Seabees to perform as a trade crew leaders on construction projects, from concrete form construction through drywall finishing and roofing. The Construction Planning and Estimator Specialist Course prepares Seabees to plan, estimate, schedule and report on construction projects worldwide during peacetime and contingency operations.

Recent graduate Builder 2nd Class Vincent Decaro from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) Four was impressed by the level of instruction offered by NCTC. “We were trained well to handle the current environment; we’re ready to take on projects on future deployments,” said Decaro.

According to NCTC Commanding Officer Cmdr. Scott Loeschke, having the senior enlisted Seabee visit the class gave them a rare insight into the Naval Construction Force. “It is truly an honor to have force Dickey as guest speaker for the graduation,” said Loeschke. “As Force Master Chief, he has the big-picture perspective for the entire Seabee community, as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience that he can share with and motivate the students graduating from these important courses.”

In closing, Dickey asked the assembled students, “Is knowledge power?” When several heads bobbed in response, he said, “No. Applied knowledge is power. Now you have the power to go out and teach young troops.”

For more information on the Naval Construction Training Center Port Hueneme, visit the NCTC website: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csfe/hueneme/.

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