By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Kim Martinez, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 Public Affairs
GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- A Seabee from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 was named the calendar year 2014 Marvin Shields Award winner by Rear Adm. Katherine L. Gregory, March 13.
Builder 1st Class Patrick Smith received the award for exceptional leadership to an integrated team of 32 Seabees and host nation engineers, and excellence in volunteerism during his recent deployment to the Philippines.
"I am honored that the command nominated me for the award," said Smith. "It is a great honor to receive an award named for Marvin Shields, who is royalty to Seabees. To be compared to his legacy is humbling."
Smith joined The First and The Finest in 2013 and has served in many capacities for the battalion. During NMCB-1's 2014 deployment, he was the Construction Civic Activity Detail (CCAD) Philippines leading petty officer and quality control petty officer.
"To the junior Seabees, I'd like to say that you don't have to always be the best at what you do, but you have to always work hard, always improve and give an honest effort," said Smith.
Smith, who is an 11-year Navy veteran, was inspired to join the Navy by his family.
"My step father motivated me to join because he owned a construction company and worked with the Seabees often," said Smith. "He knew about their heritage and can do spirit, which lit the fire in me to join the Seabees and continue our family's legacy of serving our country," he said.
NMCB-1 Command Master Chief Mike Lopez said that Smith is a model Sailor within the command whose characteristics are for others to emulate.
"BU1 Smith's selection for this award says a lot about his leadership and the value he sees in his Seabees," said Lopez. "He is a humble professional who would be the first to place the credit elsewhere. I am proud of him and proud to serve with such an outstanding Seabee!"
The commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command
and Chief of Civil Engineers, said that petty officer Smith's impressive performance and professional achievements merit the recognition afforded by this prestigious award.
"The nominees for this year's award represent the strength, determination, and stalwart leadership of our force," said Gregory in her message announcing the award recipient to fleet. "Petty Officer Smith exemplifies the Seabee 'Can Do' spirit, for which Marvin Shields serves as the ultimate example."
The award is named in honor of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Marvin G. Shields. It is presented in recognition of the Seabee who has made extraordinary contributions to the mission of the Naval Construction Force and has upheld the highest traditions and legacy of the U.S. Navy Seabees over the last year.
NMCB-1 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The Battalion is homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy under the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. They offer deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.