Message from CO – May 30 2012

Hoorah Lucky ELEVEN!

I know it has been a while since I have posted an update, and I apologize for that, but we have been very busy the last month; both operationally and administratively.  First and foremost, congratulations to our 51 selectees for PO3- PO1st.  I just returned from the E5 Leadership Development class graduation, where our newly selected E5’s have been training the last 3 days on leadership and the added responsibilities bestowed on them with their promotion.   The newly selected E4’s will start their training tomorrow, preparing them to be United States Navy Petty Officers.  This is an extremely exciting time as the last two cycles we have seen either no or very small number of Seabees promoted.  After a painful year with Enlisted Retention Board and Perform to Serve denials, it appears that promotion numbers are back up, allowing well deserving Seabees recognition for their hard work.

We also had a terrific visit from the Commander of 1st Naval Construction Division, RADM Handley, earlier in the month.  We were able to show Admiral Handley all the amazing work our Seabees are executing out here, from CESE operations/maintenance to Supply support to Convoy Security Element Team standard operating procedures.  Additionally we were able to fly him out to Detachment Lavaredo to show him the superb work our Seabees are currently executing, supporting Medical Evacuation capabilities for more remote coalition forces camps.  To top it off, RADM Handley was able to promote one of our Seabees, reenlist another Seabee and present awards to a number of our hard working Seabees, including SCWS, Good Conduct Medals and Volunteer Service Medals.  It was an extraordinary day and in the words of RADM Handley, the visit with the Seabees of NMCB ELEVEN was “inspirational in many levels”.

I couldn’t agree with the Admiral any more.  As CMDCM Levesque and I continue to travel around the country to visit our Seabees, I am completely inspired and energized by their incessant drive to make a difference, uplifting motivation and exceptional work ethic.  They work together as a team, leveraging each others’ strengths to provide the best possible support to the operators.   And our observations are confirmed by the comments of all of the units we support, Special Forces, Marines, Army, Coalition Forces, when we meet with them.  They simply are amazed at the support they receive from the Seabees and only wish they could get their hands on more Seabees.  Last week we had and extremely enjoyable trip, visiting our Seabees in Shank and Jalalabad who are part of Det 2. 

Monday was Memorial Day and we thank all our families for remembering not only the Seabees of ELEVEN, but all servicemembers who are serving, have served or have given the ultimate sacrifice in support of our Nation.  Chaplain Myers led us in a prayer and moment of silence to honor those that came before us.  This past weekend, the First Class Association sponsored a 5K run to raise awareness for breast cancer.  The call for service of our First Class Association amazes me.  Not only are they already sacrificing so much by serving their country in Afghanistan, but they make the time to organize an event to support a very worthwhile cause.  We were able to raise over $3,000 in support of race for the cure.  Some of you at home may have also donated and for that I thank you.  As we near the halfway point of this deployment, we think of our families and how much they too have sacrificed in support of our country.  Thank you for all you do so that we can deploy and focus at the mission at hand.  You are the best!