“We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees,” for more than 75 years. Constructionman Alexandria Parmeley, a 2017 Troy Buchanan High School graduate and native of Wentzville, Missouri, builds and fights around the world as a member of naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi. 

Parmeley is serving as a Navy construction electrician, who is responsible for rewiring buildings and maintaining generators. 

Parmeley credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Wentzville. 

“I learned how to adjust to moving around and meeting new people which that has helped me in the Navy,” said Parmeley. 

Building in austere environments can be a challenge. Fighting in harsh conditions can also be a challenge. Building in austere environments while fighting in harsh conditions takes a special kind of person with a great deal of perseverance and determination. These are the kinds of people serving here at Gulfport, the home of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees. These are the people who provide crucial support to Seabee units deployed around the world. 

The jobs of many of today’s Seabees remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum. 

For more than 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world. They aid following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. 

Parmeley is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy. 

A key element of the Navy the Nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea. 

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.” 

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Parmeley is most proud of graduating boot camp and “A” school. 

“I worked hard and studied late at night to make sure I had enough information gathered to get through the next day and it paid off,” said Parmeley. 

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Parmeley, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Parmeley is honored to carry on that family tradition. 

“My sister is currently serving in the Air Force and it seemed like she was happy with her life in the military so I decided to join the Navy,” said Parmeley. 

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Parmeley and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs. 

“I like how family oriented this command is,” said Parmeley. “They recognize the importance of having a sense of belonging and that makes me glad to be a part of it. Serving in the Navy means that no matter what happens to me, my family will be taken care of and that is something that is very important to me.”

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