R 052205Z MAR 19
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC//
SUBJ/152ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE CIVIL ENGINEER CORPS AND 77TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NAVAL CONSTRUCTION FORCES//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. On behalf of all United States Marines, I extend congratulations to the Navy Civil Engineers and Seabees as you commemorate the 152nd anniversary of the Civil Engineer Corps and the 77th anniversary of the Naval Construction Forces. All who wear the cloth are eternally thankful for your time-honored legacy of service to our nation's naval forces. Navy Civil Engineers and Seabees have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Marines in peacetime and in combat.
2. The legendary Seabees continue to build on their legacy as integrated force multipliers - enabling the Navy and Marine Corps team to effectively engage the enemy, strengthen alliances, and enhance regional stability. Over the past year, as Marines have trained with our partner nation militaries in dozens of exercises and events on nearly every continent around the world, Seabees stood alongside them, providing critical expeditionary construction. In every conflict for the past seven decades, Seabees have run to the sound of the guns with their Marine counterparts. The critical infrastructure Seabees provide dramatically improves Marine Corps readiness and the quality of life for Marines, Sailors, and their families.
3. As we celebrate your legacy of professionalism and "can do" spirit within the Civil Engineer Corps, we pay tribute to the many Navy Civil Engineers and Seabees who serve and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation - brave warriors like Silver Star recipient Lieutenant Junior Grade Francis Toner IV who sacrificed himself to save his fellow Americans while serving with Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan at Camp Shaheen, Mazur-e-Sharif. We also recently lost another heroic Vietnam-era Seabee, legendary Force Master Chief Johnny McCully. FORCM McCully earned the Silver Star at a small special forces camp at Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, on 9 June 1965. On that night nearly 54 years ago, FORCM McCully fought against overwhelming Viet Cong forces alongside Medal of Honor recipient Petty Officer Marvin Shields and other heroes assigned to Seabee Team 1104. Marines everywhere salute the bravery and sacrifice of LTJG Toner, FORCM McCully, and all Navy Civil Engineers and Seabees who serve so courageously. We welcome every opportunity to build and fight alongside you.
4. Happy anniversary and Semper Fidelis! Robert B. Neller, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps//