By Earl Bittner, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Capt. Alan N. Watt, a Naval Reserve Civil Engineer Corps and Seabee Combat Warfare officer, celebrated his retirement with family, friends and former shipmates in a formal ceremony Sept. 13 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Commanding Officer Capt. Christopher Kiwus served as host and guest speaker at the retirement ceremony.
Kiwus said he first met Watt at a small Marine Corps base in Djibouti, Africa more than 10 years ago. He said he has talked with many people who served with Watt over the years and they all say similar things: Watt is a very smart man of defining integrity.
"You stand out as a very intelligent officer," said Kiwus. "You have a very deep knowledge of many subjects including, of course, engineering, construction, equipment, contracting and all things, a Seabee!"
Kiwus told everyone that Watt is known as a straight shooter and for not being shy. People do not have to wonder where they stand with him nor do they have to question where he stands on an issue; people know Watt will tell it like it is.
Watt graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1975 but did not enter service with the Naval Reserve Civil Engineer Corps until May 1988. His first duty assignment was as the assistant administration officer for the 9th Reserve Naval Construction Regiment in Dallas.
Watt's career took him too many places. After serving in Dallas, tours followed in Jacksonville, Atlanta, Tampa, Djibouti, Baghdad, Qatar and several other locations, ever increasing in responsibilities before he finished up his career serving as the vice commander for the 25th Naval Construction Regiment in Gulfport, Miss.
"I've had a wonderful career, even though I got a very late start," said Watt. "I wouldn't trade my career or deployment for anything, I had a blast! I got to travel the world and see countries I never dreamed I would see."
Watt also paid tribute to his wife of 38 years and his two grown sons during the ceremony. He reminded everyone that the toughest job in the Navy is that of Navy wife.
Watt commented that he had opportunities to do things no other officer had the opportunity to do during his career. He was able to be a part of the team building a new nation in Iraq. He was excited to share that he was in the room working issues with Gen. John Abizaid's and Ambassador Paul Bremer's staff.
Early in his Navy career, Watt was gathered in an auditorium with the other members of the command waiting on the comments to come from a new skipper. The new commander walked in to the room, wrote the following words on the blackboard and walked out.
"Do the right thing and take care of your people."
Watt said the words struck him and have stuck with him and he has tried to live by them his whole career. "Pretty good advice, don't you think," said Watt.