By Don Rochon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The selection of the 16th force master chief of the Seabees was announced Oct. 11 by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) at the Washington Navy Yard.
Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Command Master Chief (SCW) Christopher R. Levesque will assume the duties of the highest ranking enlisted Seabee in January 2014 from Seabee Force Master Chief (SCW) Douglas R. Dickey, who retires in February 2014.
NAVFAC Commander and Chief of Naval Civil Engineers Rear Adm. Kate Gregory praised the two men as innovative leaders in the Naval Construction Force.
"From World War II to the present, Seabees have always had exceptional leaders like Force Dickey," said Gregory. "He personifies the very best in our force, and his determined approach on how we support, train, and develop our Seabee community has been an unqualified success. We are also fortunate to have another remarkable leader in Master Chief Levesque to help build upon these accomplishments and lead our Seabees in a very challenging time in our history," Gregory said.
Prior to taking the reigns as force master chief in 2011, Dickey served as command master chief of the 31st Seabee Readiness Group, located at in Port Hueneme, Calif. A native of Bremerton, Wash., he enlisted in the Navy in 1981.
"It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have served as the force master chief of the Seabees," said Dickey. "We have been through some tough times lately within our Navy, and our Seabees have stayed the course and rode out the storm."
Dickey went on to say that as the Navy becomes leaner, the need for Seabee skills becomes greater.
"We will continue to be called upon as the Navy's ambassadors of good will by bringing water to the deserts of Africa or assisting Pacific partnerships in Asia. I have no doubt that the Seabee heritage will live on with this generation of 'Bees, and I have all the confidence that our community will be in great hands with Master Chief Levesque as the next Force."
A native of Rantoul, Ill., Levesque enlisted in the Navy in October 1985 and completed Construction Electrician 'A' School in Gulfport, Miss. His decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
"It's my great pleasure to have the opportunity to lead such an elite group of Sailors," said Levesque. "I am humbled by the selection, and will continue to provide the many avenues that Force Dickey did for our Seabees to excel. I also want to personally thank Force Dickey for his service to our country, his leadership and wish him the very best in his future endeavors."