Since 1942, sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Construction Force have been building and fighting around the world. Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Brown, a Gorham, Maine, native is one of those sailors.

“I joined the Navy to better my life and see the world,” said Brown.

Eighty years ago, members of Navy Construction Battalions were fittingly nicknamed, “Seabees,” a play on the C and B initials. They are responsible for building military bases and airfields, supporting humanitarian efforts and conducting underwater construction projects.

Brown, a 2007, Gorham High School graduate, currently serves with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One at the headquarters for naval construction forces in Gulfport, Miss.

“I would like to thank my father back home,” said Brown. “He has always pushed me to do my best and taught me to never sell myself short.”

According to Brown, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Gorham.

“I learned in Gorham the lesson of hard work,” said Brown. “I grew up in a construction background working summers in construction.”

Serving in the Navy means Brown is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy betters the world through assisting in natural disaster relief,” said Brown.

With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize the importance of accelerating America’s advantage at sea.

“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy — forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power — deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”

Brown and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service. “I am most proud of receiving a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal for leading a crew during Operation Allies Refuge,” said Brown. “Operation Allies Refuge was an operation to airlift certain Afghan civilians, U.S. embassy employees, and other prospective Special Immigrant Visa applicants from Afghanistan at the end of the Afghan war in 2021.)

As Brown and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in continuing an 80-year legacy and serving their country in the U.S. Navy. “Serving in the Navy means making sure everyone here in the U.S. is safe,” added Brown. “It also means being able to better my future and provide a better future for the next generation.”