Seabees Create Espirit de Corps in Uncertain Times with Unique Award

By BU3 Lucretia Elliott, NMCB 28

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BU1  Philip Trevathan (left) and BU2  Ruben Trevino (right), NMCB 28, present Vice Adm. Robin Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve Commander, Naval Reserve Force, with the Caddyshack Award from Golf Company during her visit Dec. 24. Photo by MC1 John Banfield

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 28 began pre-mobilization training in Port Hueneme in June 2013 in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the fall.

Early in the homeport phase of training, word began to reach the Seabees that the mission may be in a state of fluctuation. Some of these changes required a re-organization from the traditional battalion and company structure. It was at this juncture that Bravo and Charlie Companies combined and a new entity was born: Golf Company.

Golf Company is comprised of Builders (BU), Construction Electricians (CE), Steelworkers (SW), and Utilitiesmen (UT).  The new company accepted their new organization with the usual self-confidence, and ‘Can Do’ attitude for which Seabees are known, as they prepared to take on the mission given to them.

The members of Golf Company embraced their new designation by identifying their company spaces with names such as “The Caddyshack,” and the company chiefs with internal call-signs such as “Five Iron” and “Three Iron” based on their position within the company.

Upon arrival to theater, the namesake was further reinforced when the members of Golf Company inherited dozens of golf clubs and boxes of golf balls from one of the previous units.

Early in the deployment, BU1 Phillip Trevathan, and SW1 David Kirby invented a unique award to be given within the company. Noticing that there were several members of Golf Company that showed outstanding commitment to the team effort and demonstrated higher levels of overall morale, they fashioned the first “Caddyshack Award” and crafted the rules governing its issuance.

The award was to be presented on a Wednesday, or “hump day” as many Seabees would say, and the award was to be given only to Golf Company personnel in the grade of E-6 and below.  The most interesting rule, however, was the stipulation that the previous recipient would craft the next week’s award and present it to the new recipient.

There were no constraints on design and many of the awards presented have been relatively imaginative, greatly enhancing and depicting the fine skill set of the builder-maker.  Because of the extraordinary leadership of Golf Company’s first class petty officers, the group has developed a superior level of unit cohesion and morale throughout a deployment wrought with uncertainty and change.

The ultimate culmination of the Seabees high morale and motivation occurred on Dec. 24 when Golf Company spaces were chosen for the All-Hands call for visiting Vice Adm. Robin Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander of Naval Reserve Force.  Golf Company junior personnel decorated the space for Christmas and the command decided to hold Braun’s visit in the most festive area on Camp Toles/Rodriguez.

It was here, in Golf Company K-span that Braun was presented the highest honor the Golf Co. personnel could grant:  the Caddyshack award.

Read more Battalion stories here: www.seabeemagazine.navylive.dodlive.mil


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