I’m from Lebanon, Maine.
My great uncle was in the
military. He retired as a Senior Chief
Radioman, and I always looked up
to him. I never really knew why, but
he just displayed the values of
honor, courage and commitment.
My mother raised me to be very
strong and independent. A lot of
the philosophies that she had married with the philosophies of the
Navy, not realizing they were what
they were. I joined for the main
reasons that other people have: for
the college benefits and to see the
world, but also, I wanted to have
the pride in representing and fighting for the country.
My mother joined the Navy
with me in 2000. We went to boot
camp together and she enlisted as a
Reservist boatswain’s mate and is
assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 2.
I signed up for the Seabees [Naval
Mobile Construction Battalions, or
NMCBs] right out of boot camp.
When I did my ASVAB [Armed Ser-
vices Vocational Aptitude Battery]
test, I scored high in mechanics and I
always enjoyed working with my
hands. Also, I had heard a lot about
the Seabee community, how they
were really tight-knit. I had no expe-
rience building anything on a large
scale, just some furniture making.
My first command was NMCB 7
at Gulfport, Miss. I was there when
Hurricane Katrina hit. We were
very active, not just with the
cleanup, but also with making sure
things were secure, to reduce the
problems with the break-ins. My
next assignment was in San Diego
with a self-help unit with NAVFAC-SW [Naval Facilities Engineering
One interesting tour was with
Naval Support Unit State Department in Washington, D.C. We were
involved not so much in the construction of embassies, but the
installation and maintenance of their
technical security systems. I deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, and Kabul,
Afghanistan, but to the embassies
rather than with a Seabee battalion. I
had just a very different experience
there than if I would’ve gone with a
typical Seabee unit.
CHIEF BUILDER (SEABEE COMBAT WARFARE)
NAVAL MOBILE CONSTRUCTION BATTALION 1, GULFPORT, MISS.
“One big thing we talk about is the deckplate leadership. Instead of barking an order
at someone and expecting them to get it done, it is going down and seeing where
they are working, what their progress is, making sure they have the tools to get the
job done, just supporting your troops throughout the whole evolution of the mission.”
PROFILES IN SERVICE
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 22 SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY 2014
(continued on page 24)
Chief Builder Mary Montigny participates in the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion
1 Force March during the battalion’s homeport training period in August prior to
deploying with the battalion’s Guam Detachment to U.S. Pacific Command.