GULFPORT, MS. – For more than 75 years, “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees.”

Constructionman Tyler Machado, a 2018 Delaware Valley High School graduate and native of Holland Township, builds and fights around the world as a member of naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Machado is serving as a Navy builder, who is responsible for building and repairing wood, concrete and masonry structures, installing structures for various types of projects, and performing tasks required in disaster preparedness or recovery operations.

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Machado credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up here in Hunterdon.

“Hard work pays off,” said Machado. “If you want something, you have to really work for it because nothing is just given out.”

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.

Machado 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 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, Machado is most proud of graduating from boot camp and Navy technical "A" school.

“I kept pushing my limits and whenever I got down or thought I couldn't do it, I just remembered that I have to keep going,” said Machado.

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

“I have several family members who have served,” said Machado. “They were always so proud and happy about their service and I wanted to be happy about what I did as a career so I decided to join the Navy.”

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

"Serving gives me a sense of pride in what I do and gives me the opportunity to better myself,” added Machado. “I am glad that I can make a difference with what I'm doing.”