“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 Anthony Nibs, a 2010 Guthrie Job Corps Center graduate and native of Oklahoma City, builds and fights around the world as a member of naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport.

Nibs is serving as a Navy construction mechanic, who is responsible for making sure all the vehicles are battle ready.

Nibs credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Oklahoma City.

“Life may be hard, so the best thing to do is to keep getting back up,” said Nibs.

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 of today’s Seabees 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, 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.

Nibs 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.

A key element of the Navy the Nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Nibs is most proud of earning his current rank.

“I was advanced a rank based on a test that I passed during bootcamp,” Nibs said.

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

“My grandpa was in the Army during Vietnam,” Nibs said. “He was a green beret paratrooper.” 

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Nibs and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“I enjoy challenges in my life,” Nibs said. “If it’s easy, it’s probably not worth doing. Serving in the Navy means that I get to show my patriotism and get to serve the people that I love to protect. The Navy has given me a lot of useful tools, so this is an opportunity to give back to those who have done so much for