By Ens. Elizabeth Olokode, CECOS Public Affairs
Rear Adm. Katherine Gregory (left), Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and Chief of Civil Engineers, and Capt. Kevin Brown, commanding officer, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering, congratulate Ens. Shona Mosites on her graduation with honors from Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) Basic Class 256, Port Hueneme, Calif., May 9. Photo by Eddie Pribnow, CECOS
Rear Adm. Katherine Gregory, Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and Chief of Civil Engineers, addressed 66 graduates and their friends, families, mentors and coworkers from the Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) during a ceremony held in Port Hueneme, Calif., May 9. Gregory spoke about the importance of the military in the changing global environment noting that the members of CECOS Basic Class 256 “are part of the greatest military the world has ever known.”
“I will try and embody the “Can Do” spirit of the Seabees as I manage construction projects at Camp Lejeune,” said Ens. Bradford Garrigues, CECOS graduate. ”I suspect I’ll continue to lean heavily on my fellow junior officers.”
The new graduates were assigned to NAVFAC positions in the U.S. and abroad, Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCBs) in Port Hueneme, Calif., and Gulfport, Miss., and Amphibious Construction Battalions (PHIBCBs) in Little Creek, Va., and Coronado, Calif.
“I will remember the field training exercise the most. It was great to get out of the classroom and apply the skills that we were learning,” Ens. Matthew Karny, CECOS graduate. “We also had great advisors. Their willingness to help and the real world experiences that they brought to the exercise were very valuable. The class had some funny moments as well. An overall great experience.”
The FTX is strategically placed within the CECOS curriculum to provide newly commissioned CEC officers and lateral transfers with the opportunity to perform and execute skills learned in the classroom. These include establishing camp, conducting patrols, leading convoys, operating the combat operations center and mission planning to execute engineer reconnaissance operations.
When asked what advice he would give to incoming students for the next CECOS Basic Class, Ens. Chanhan Lee said, “I would advise them to be open to ideas. Everyone they are about to meet comes from different walks of life and all of the materials they are about to learn are actually useful when they reach their ultimate duty stations.
“But at the same time, don’t be too caught up with classes,” Lee continued. “Get out and meet everyone in the class and get to know your advisers as well, because knowing them now will help you out in the future.”
His classmate, Garrigues, advised incoming junior CEC officers to do something memorable.
“Take a trip to Las Vegas, see a concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater, eat at a food truck and swim in the Pacific Ocean,” he said. “I’ll always remember hiking in the mountains above Santa Barbara while the East Coast endured a Polar Vortex.”
For more information on the Civil Engineer Corps Officers School, visit the website: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csfe/cecos/ .