Rear Adm. Maria “Lore” Aguayo, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic, and Force Master Chief of the Seabees Delbert M. Terrell, Jr., were joined by several Seabee Command representatives to honor 874 of the Navy’s newest Sailors.
Capt. Jeffrey Sandin, commanding officer, RTC Great Lakes, welcomed families and friends to the “significant career milestone” event in which civilians were transformed into Sailors through a rigorous, eight-week training program, while safely and simultaneously adhering to current COVID-19 protocols.
The recruit training for the 13 divisions culminated in successful completion of “Battle Stations 21.” Occurring at the end of training, this 12-hour capstone event awards a Navy ball cap to replace the recruit ball cap each recruit wears during training. The symbolic change of ball caps indicate the recruits’ status as Sailors in the World's Finest Navy.
Aguayo, the reviewing officer for the graduation ceremony, conducted an inspection of the honor guard and participated in an individual award ceremony recognizing the top performing recruits in the graduating class.
In her remarks, Aguayo expressed her honor at addressing the graduates, as well as gratitude to the families and friends present for their support. She praised the choice made by each graduate to serve their country, above self-interest and profit, particularly in the current environment of strategic competition.
“Our adversaries are posing increasing threats to our Nation and our way of life,” said Aguayo. “Now, more than ever, America needs more men and women who are willing to dedicate their lives to service.”
Aguayo, who has served numerous operational tours as a Civil Engineer Corps officer, charged the Navy’s newest warriors with a “call to action,” assuring them they would grow professionally and have the opportunity to change the world.
“Your futures are bright and full of promise and hope,” said the NAVFAC Atlantic commander. “I shall be greatly honored if we have the opportunity to serve together in the future.’”
Seabee command presence at the graduation included NAVFAC Pacific, Naval Construction Group 1, 22nd Naval Construction Regiment, Amphibious Construction Battalion 2, Naval Construction Training Center Gulfport, Naval Special Warfare Group One, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, Naval Support Facility Thurmont, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, Naval Support Unit-Department of State, and Underwater Construction Team 2.
For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/.