A Columbus, Michigan native and 2008 Riverview East High School graduate is building bridges and roads around the world as a member of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, based in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Brad Benoit is a religious programs specialist with NMCB 133, a unit specializing in building structures in areas of conflict. Sailors attached to NMCB 133 and other similar units, nicknamed “Seabees,” are a unique group in the Navy whose motto is “We build, we fight.”
“I regulate appointments and destructive behavior reports within the command. I also am responsible for monthly metrics that go to the chaplains,” said Benoit.
Seabees are trained as builders and fighters. They not only build bridges, roads, runways and other structures in war zones; they also defend those structures after they’ve built them.
Benoit and the rest of the sailors assigned to NMCB 133 are part of the Navy’s construction force that has been around for more than 70 years. Seabees have built entire bases and bridges and bulldozed and paved thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips for the U.S. military all over the world, playing a vital role in every major conflict the U.S. has been involved with since World War II.
“I like the motivation of the expeditionary units and the fraternity that they have,” Benoit said.
With nearly 600 personnel assigned to the battalion, jobs are highly varied and every job plays an important role in keeping the battalion ready to deploy around the world to defend America wherever needed.
Benoit’s commanding officer said he’s proud of the hard work and dedication from the battalion over the past 12 months preparing for their next deployment.
“The Seabees in this battalion are some of the hardest working people you’ll find in the Navy, willing to put themselves in harm’s way to build in unstable areas and, when necessary, fight the enemy to defend it,” said Cmdr. Miguel Dieguez, NMCB 133 Commanding Officer. “This group is devoted and ready to deploy around the world to advance the Nation’s interests wherever we’re needed.”
Working with NMCB 133 and serving in the U.S. Navy, Benoit said he is learning about himself as a leader and person.
“The Navy is helping me make the choices that benefit my future,” Benoit said.