Petty Officer 2nd Class Adon Olivares serves as a builder with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 at the headquarters for naval construction forces in Gulfport, Mississippi. Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vanessa White

Since 1942, sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Construction Force have been building and fighting around the world. Petty Officer 2nd Class Adon Olivares, a Hollister native, is one of those sailors.

“My grandfather served in the Army and my dad also served, so I wanted to follow in their footsteps,” said Olivares.

Eighty years ago, members of Navy Construction Battalions were fittingly nicknamed “Seabees,” a play on the C and B initials. They are responsible for building military bases and airfields, supporting humanitarian efforts and conducting underwater construction projects.

Olivares, a 2016 San Benito High School graduate, currently serves as a builder with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 at the headquarters for naval construction forces in Gulfport, Mississippi.

According to Olivares, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Hollister.

“I came from a small town where it’s very family oriented,” said Olivares. “So, keeping my family involved during my career has been really big for me.”

Serving in the Navy means Olivares is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy contributes to national security by conducting operations that affect freedom of navigation of the sea,” said Olivares.

With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize the importance of accelerating America’s advantage at sea.

“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy—forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power—deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”

Olivares and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“Getting meritoriously advanced to the rank of petty officer second class has been my proudest moment in the Navy so far,” said Olivares. “I worked hard and went above and beyond any task that was given to me. It showed me that my hard work and determination was recognized.”

As Olivares and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in continuing an 80-year legacy and serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means to me that I’m protecting the freedoms the service members before me fought and died for,” added Olivares.

This story was originally published by the Navy Office of Community Outreach. 

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