The war in Iraq gives Seabees an opportunity to do what they do best; build schools, roads and public utilities. Rear Admiral Annette Brown says they do that wearing a uniform that represents a country of freedom and she says that encourages some Seabees to re-up.
"So in many respects it's a little easier to recruit and retain now because there's a real sense of purpose. They understand that everything they're doing reflects back on the United States Navy and the nation as a beacon of freedom," Brown says.
The admiral shared those thoughts with Seabees whose enlistment is almost up. Brown says whether they get out or stay in, they have options.
"Even those who retire can use some help with what they need to do between now and the time they actually get out to prepare them even better for their next adventure. Those who are at a decision point for re-enlisting need to know what advantages there are for staying in the Navy."
Brown says those advantages include educational opportunities and health benefits. She says those are two strong selling points to people who are dedicated to making the military a career.
"We don't keep just anybody. There's more of a quality check, a selectivity in not only the people we bring in. We don't have to bring in as many because we're keeping more so the people we look at to bring in have to undergo a greater scrutiny," she says.
Admiral Brown also visited Homeport Pascagoula during her stop on the Coast. She is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and is Commander of the Navy Region Southeast.