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Seabees Create Award to Raise Espirit de Corps

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 28 began pre-mobilization training in Port Hueneme in June 2013 in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the fall.

Early in the homeport phase of training, word began to reach the Seabees that the mission may be in a state of fluctuation. Part of these changes required a re-organization from the traditional battalion and company structure. It was at this juncture that Bravo and Charlie Companies combined and a new entity was born—Golf Company. 

Golf Company comprised of Builders (BU), Construction Electricians (CE), Steelworkers (SW), and Utilitiesmen (UT). The new company accepted their new organization with the usual self-confidence, and can do attitude Seabees are known for as they prepared to take on the mission given to them. 

The members of Golf Company embraced their new designation by identifying their company spaces with names such as “the Caddyshack” and the company chiefs garnered internal call-signs “Five Iron” and “Three Iron” based on their position within the company. 

Upon arrival to theater, the namesake was further reinforced when the members of Golf Co. inherited dozens of golf clubs and boxes of golf balls from one of the previous units. 

Early in the deployment, Builder 1st Class Phillip Trevathan, and Steelworker 1st Class David Kirby invented an award, unique from anything previously, to be given within the company. Noticing that there were several members of Golf Co. that showed outstanding commitment to the team effort and demonstrated higher levels of overall morale, they fashioned the first “Caddyshack award” and crafted the rules governing its issuance. 

The award was to be presented on Wednesday, or “hump day” as many Seabees would say, and the award was to be given only to Golf Company personnel in the grade of E-6 and below. The most interesting rule, however, was the stipulation that the previous recipient would craft the next week’s award and present it to the new recipient. 

There were no constraints on design and many of the awards presented have been relatively imaginative, greatly enhancing and depicting the fine skill set of the maker. Because of the extraordinary leadership of the first class petty officers in Golf Co., the group has developed a superior level of unit cohesion and maintained morale throughout a deployment wrought with uncertainty and change. 

The ultimate culmination of the Seabees high morale and motivation occurred on Dec. 24, 2013 when Golf Company spaces were chosen for the all hands call for visiting Vice Adm. Robin Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander of Naval Reserve Force. Golf Co. junior personnel decorated for Christmas and the command decided to hold Braun’s visit in the most festive area on Camp Toles/Rodriguez. 

It was here, in Golf Co. K-span that Braun was presented the highest honor the Golf Co. personnel could grant: the Caddyshack award.

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Navy Seabees