Since 1942, sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Construction Force have been building and fighting around the world. Petty Officer 1st Class Dakota Geary, a Fairland, Indiana, native is one of those sailors.
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.
Geary, a 2012 Triton Central High School graduate, currently serves with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One at the headquarters for naval construction forces in Gulfport, Mississippi.
“I'd like to thank my step father, Jeff Hipkiss,” said Geary. "He taught me all I know. He was great and raised me right."
The values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Fairland.
“I learned the importance of hard work and to take pride in what you do,” said Geary.
Serving in the Navy means Geary 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 protects waterways,” said Geary. "As Seabees, we deploy around the world to help improve the living situation of others. We do our part for positive community outreach."
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent 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.”
Geary has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“What I'm most proud of is helping people,” said Geary. "I've been to different countries to help people around the world. I've been to Afghanistan, Palau, Guam and Spain."
Geary can take pride in continuing an 80-year legacy of service in the United States Navy.
“We live in the greatest country in the world, so it's an honor to give back through military service,” added Geary.