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CECOS Graduates Latest Class of CEC Officers

Nov. 4, 2021 | By Kiana Chun, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Public Affairs
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – Thirty-three U.S. Navy civil engineer corps (CEC) junior officers and one Republic of Korea naval officer completed the CEC Basic Qualification Course at the Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) Oct. 29.

CECOS provides CEC junior officers the necessary skills, knowledge and education to enhance lifelong learning and to provide quality support to the fleet.

Graduation from the course is a requirement for new U.S. Navy CEC officers before they report to initial assignments as public works officers and construction managers at Navy and Marine Corps installations or as platoon commanders and staff officers in the Naval Construction Force.  CECOS also trains international military students as part of the Department of the Navy's security cooperation training programs.

The 15-week-long course covers a wide range of topics, including leadership, professional development, public works, construction technology, contracting, expeditionary construction, and combat operations.

Commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) and 45th Chief of Civil Engineers, Rear Adm. John W. Korka, delivered remarks as the guest speaker for Basic Class 271. 

“Our business is the warfighting business,” said Korka. “Each of you [Basic Class 271] are warfighters. Many of you are headed to Seabee battalions where you will deploy around the globe to strengthen our Navy’s construction and engineering readiness. Some of you are headed to NAVFAC commands where you will manage large-scale construction projects or direct repairs to infrastructure, and you will hear repeatedly that we support the warfighter.”

As Basic Class 271 heads out to serve the U.S. Navy, Korka encouraged the junior officers to embrace the Seabees’ “Can Do” motto.  During his speech, he explained to the class how each letter in “Can Do” represents an important aspect of being a successful CEC officer.

“Remember the ‘C’ in ‘Can Do.’  Character and competence are the framework for your leadership development,” said Korka. “Perform above the line, morally and ethically. Live your core values and never compromise your principles.”

Korka also thanked the families, friends, and spouses of the class, commending them for their loyalty and describing his deep respect and gratitude for their sacrifices. 

“Since its founding, our nation has prospered, because among every generation, there are those who exhibit the best of humanity and give of themselves without reserve.  These few raise up children into young adults with the proper character and values to serve,” said Korka. “Today, less than 1% of our nation’s population is both eligible and willing to serve in our armed forces.  Hence our Navy and nation are profoundly indebted to you.  Moms and dads, you have my deepest thanks.”

Additionally, Korka explained that he has been married for 28 years and has been blessed with five children and is regularly reminded of the important role family plays and the many sacrifices they make for the Navy.

“I am living proof that family readiness equals operational readiness and mission success,” said Korka. “I could not be where I am today without my family’s unyielding support.”

This was also the first basic class to graduate under the command of Capt. Peter Maculan, who assumed command of Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering and CECOS on Aug. 17.

“This class has made an excellent first impression on your fellow civil engineer corps officers over these past 15 weeks,” said Maculan.  “I look forward to serving with them in the field. Good luck to all and Godspeed.”

Six students were recognized for displaying outstanding character and competence over the past 15 weeks.  The honor graduate represents the top student of their class.  Distinguished graduates represent the top 15% of their class and were evaluated by their academic performance, leadership, physical fitness, personal initiative, and enthusiasm.

The Commodore Hunt Commemorative Espirt de Corps Award is granted to the student who best represents past basic classes, personified the spirit of camaraderie, teamwork, and demonstrated an infectious and unwavering positive attitude.  
Eileen Hunt, for whom the award was named, was a long serving CECOS civilian employee and an honorary Seabee who stood the watch faithfully for nearly 45 years and graduated thousands of CEC officers, including every current active-duty and Reserve CEC flag officer. 
While a small community of only 1,300 officers, CEC officers are found all over the world in highly visible positions supervising skilled personnel while working on: construction projects, infrastructure repairs and maintenance, facility support contracts, real estate management, natural resource management, environmental planning and management, expeditionary construction and many other infrastructure management areas. From the very beginning, CEC officers obtain engineering management and leadership experience far exceeding that of a typical recent college graduate in engineering or architecture.

CECOS provides Seabees, civil engineer corps officers, facility engineers and environmental professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge and education to enhance lifelong learning and to provide quality support to the fleet.

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