“We Build, We Fight.” Construction

State-of-the-art bases and high-tech communications centers. Hospitals and clinics. Port facilities and airfields. The Navy completes hundreds of construction projects all over the world each year. The Seabees of the Navy Construction Battalion proudly carry out this work. They stand among the most capable construction workers on earth. And serving part-time as a Reservist, you could live up to their bold motto of “We Build, We Fight.”

Job Description

As a construction professional in the Navy Reserve, you’ll take on important building and renovation projects at home and around the world. Imagine a weekend spent erecting a state-of-the-art military base. Or putting the finishing touches on a vital new runway. Or securing damaged homes in the wake of a hurricane. Whatever the mission calls for, you’ll be ready to see it through.

The Navy Construction Battalion is made up of Seabees who employ skills in all areas of the construction trades. You could be a:

Builder: Construct wooden, masonry and concrete structures, as well as perform interior finishing work.

Construction Electrician: Install electrical and telephone networks; splice and lay wire and cable; and install, operate and repair generators, motors, transformers and lighting fixtures.

Construction Mechanic: Repair construction equipment and engines.

Engineering Aide: Draw plans; sketch, map and survey land for construction; estimate material requirements; and test materials.

Equipment Operator: Operate heavy-duty construction equipment, including bulldozers and scrapers.

Steelworker: Weld and form steel and construct sheet metal structures.

Utilitiesman: Perform a wide variety of functions, including plumbing installation, water purification, boiler operation, ventilator system repair, and refrigeration and air conditioning maintenance.

Whatever your specialty, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists. And know this: The impact of your work and your service will go far beyond the time that you put in.

Specific Responsibilities

Your experiences as a Reservist and Seabee in the Navy Construction Battalion could include a broad range of responsibilities. You may be called to:

  • Conduct land surveys and prepare maps, sketches, drawings and blueprints
  • Operate heavy equipment, such as trucks, bulldozers, backhoes, forklifts, cranes and asphalt equipment
  • Perform interior finish work, such as installing drywall, paneling, ceramic tile, ceiling and floor tile, millwork and trim
  • Interpret blueprints
  • Install, operate or repair heating or air conditioning systems
  • Handle welding or repair equipment
  • Operate power production and electrical distribution systems
  • Install wiring or electrical equipment
  • Adjust ignition, fuel, electrical or hydraulic steering systems

Video: Navy Reserve Seabee Engineering Aide - Second-Class Petty Officer John Austin

Webcast. Reserve Seabee Second-Class Petty Officer Engineering Aide, John Austin. The Seabees were created as a need during World War II. It was realized that a military force that we were going to need construction of facilities, so we had to have trained people that could build ah …

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Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.

Construction professionals in the Navy Reserve serve in an Enlisted role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.

For current or former Enlisted military servicemembers: Prior experience satisfies the initial recruit training requirement – so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.

For those without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, IL. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.

However you start out, you will quickly learn from the best while working with the most advanced heavy equipment and specialized tools available – both in the classroom and in the field.

Career Advantages

Construction is one of the economy’s largest industries, with a large percentage of self-employed individuals working in higher-paying jobs. So, whether it’s a promotion in the Navy Reserve or taking your skills into the civilian community, the versatility and experience you gain will prove instrumental in building yourself a better career.

Some training may be counted toward semester credit hours for a vocational certificate as well as an associate or bachelor’s degree. What’s more, you could potentially get full tuition for college – plus money for books and living expenses – through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Your specialized training in the Navy Reserve could prepare you for credentialing, certification and/or licensure opportunities from a number of national boards and organizations. Allowing you to become even more competitive in your challenging field.

And the more tangible benefits? Competitive pay. Points earned toward retirement benefits. Outstanding insurance options. And much more. Read about the benefits of serving in the Navy Reserve.


General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

Note that no college degree is required to join the Seabees (minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is required). For Reservists, prior construction experience is valuable but not necessary. You’ll receive all the training and education you need from the Navy. However, the Seabees do look for individuals who are detail-oriented, resourceful and creative.

More Information

Want to explore further? Learn what you need to know about joining the Navy Reserve. Find us on Facebook to interact with actual Navy Reservists. Or, if you need more information, contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America’s Navy. Besides part-time opportunities in the Navy Reserve, full-time Active Duty positions are also available in this career area.