Midway native credits hometown for Navy success

Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Posted 8/22/19

GULFPORT, Ms. – “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. Petty Officer 2nd Class Lance Ferguson, a 2011 Madisonville High School graduate and native of Midway, Texas, builds and fights around the world as a member of naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

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Midway native credits hometown for Navy success

Posted

GULFPORT, Ms. – “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. Petty Officer 2nd Class Lance Ferguson, a 2011 Madisonville High School graduate and native of Midway, Texas, builds and fights around the world as a member of naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Ferguson is serving as a Navy logistics specialist, who is responsible for supplying Seabees with what they need for their mission.

Ferguson credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Midway.

“Hard work always pays off,” said Ferguson.

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.

Ferguson 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, Ferguson is most proud of earning the current rank of petty officer second class.

“I had to study and work hard to learn the job I'm required to do in the Navy,” said Ferguson.

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

“My father was in the Navy, one uncle served in the Army National Guard, and another uncle served in the Air National Guard,” said Ferguson. "Serving in the Navy is a family tradition. It's something I've always wanted to do."

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

“I appreciate the diversity in the Navy,” said Ferguson. "I've learned that there's always different ways to do your job."

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