Townsquare Media and Integrity Builders are teaming up to salute our local heroes with our Warrior of the Week program.

Congratulations to Jackson's Brian Slocum, our Warrior of the Week.

 

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David R. Finley Jr., Navy Office of Community Outreach

PORT HUENEME, Calif. - “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees,” for more than seven decades. The Navy Seabees are an elite group of personnel trained in both combat and the craft skills of the construction industry.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Slocum, a native of Jackson, New Jersey, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Port Hueneme, California.

Slocum is serving as a Navy builder, who is responsible for completing various construction projects for the Navy.

“I do construction work such as concrete and carpentry," said Slocum. "We do all sorts of projects for simple construction to major builds.”

Building in austere environments can be a challenge. Fighting in harsh conditions can also be a challenge. Building in austere environments while fighting in harsh conditions takes a special kind of person with a great deal of perseverance and determination, according to officials with the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command. These are the kinds of people being trained at Port Hueneme, to provide crucial support to Seabee units deployed around the world.

The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, said Lara Godbille, director of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum.

“I like the fact that I am part of an organization that does good in the world," said Slocum. "I am proud to wear this uniform and represent the Seabee name."

Seabees have served in all American conflicts for nearly 80 years. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Slocum is a 1998 Lakewood High School graduate. According to Slocum, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Jackson.

“I learned the value of hard work," said Slocum. "I worked in the construction field for a long time back home before I joined the Navy. This has been a great fit for me.”

Port Hueneme is the West Coast homeport of the Navy’s Seabees. It’s one of five learning sites in the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering domain. They train and develop sailors, soldiers, airman, and Marines in construction trades and military skills for Department of Defense operating forces to accomplish contingency and peacetime construction, chemical, biological, and radiological operations, and humanitarian assistance missions worldwide.

Port Hueneme and the men and women who serve there play a key role in the Navy’s broader mission of protecting American interests on the world’s oceans.

According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea.

The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on warfighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force.

“I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “We will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Slocum is most proud of receiving a letter of appreciation for his work in Japan in 2019.

“I was proud to be part of a project from start to finish," said Slocum. "I was able to play a key role to help the Marines in Okinawa have a place to complete their mission."

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Slocum, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Slocum is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My grandfather was in the Navy during WWII and I have a cousin who served in the Army during the first Gulf War," said Slocum. "I am extremely proud to carry on this family tradition of service."

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Slocum, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“It is humbling to be a part of the Seabee tradition," said Slocum. "I enjoy learning about the rich history and I'm happy to do my part to continue this legacy."

Congratulations to Jackson's Brian Slocum, our Warrior of the Week.

Do you know a deserving past or present military member? Nominate them now. Every Military Monday, we’ll share one of the nominations and honor that person as our Warrior of the Week.

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