Navy Office of Community Outreach
GULFPORT, Miss. — “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the Seabees, for more than 75 years. Constructionman Apprentice Jacob Castillo, a 2016 Waukesha Engineering Preparatory Academy graduate and native of Waukesha, builds and fights around the world as a member of the naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Castillo is serving as a Navy builder, responsible for learning how to build various construction projects as well as possessing the ability to fight in combat.
Castillo credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Waukesha.
“I learned the importance of teamwork, grit, motivation, pride, courage and strength,” said Castillo.
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. These are the kinds of people serving here at Gulfport,
the home of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees. These are the people who provide crucial support to Seabee units deployed around the world.
The jobs of many Seabees remain 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, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum.
For more than 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world. They aid following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Castillo is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Castillo is most proud of graduating from boot camp.
“It meant a lot to earn my Navy ball cap,” said Castillo. “It meant that I was graduating from boot camp and would have the privilege of wearing it with pride.”
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Castillo, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Castillo is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“My great-grandfather was a major in the Marine Corps during World War II,” said Castillo.
‘Serving in the Navy is a great honor. I’m proud to wear this uniform because it represents the extraordinary men and women who performed unbelievable heroism before me.’