News: Seabee builder mentors junior
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Garas
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - In the military there is an instructional manual for almost everything, but as Builder 3rd Class Scott Wray found, not everything is in the manual - experience! No better way to gain experience than a mentor.
Builder 3rd Class Wray is a construction builder assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 15, but due to his talents with a computer he is assigned to the S7, Training Department.
“At first I thought I was going to helping for a few days,” says Wray. “It turned into a full time position.”
Wray soon found himself permanently assigned to Headquarters Company in the S7 shop managing the battalions’ Advanced Skills Management program instead of ECHO Company as a builder; but when an opportunity to work on a camp maintenance project presented itself, Wray seized the opportunity.
“I saw it as an opportunity to get some real builder rate training, so I accepted”, said Wray.
For this project, Builder 3rd Class Wray was assigned under the tutelage of Builder 2nd Class Daniel Niles to assist him with a complete door-installation to include wall, studs and frame at the Combat Logistics Regiment 2 compound.
Builder 3rd Class Niles is an experienced builder with six years of experience in the Seabees and even more as a full-time civilian construction worker.
After arriving at the construction site, the two loaded their materials and began to work.
“I prefabricated the door and showed BU3 how to frame it up and then we installed it,” said Niles. “If you don’t do it every day, you are going to have a little bit of a struggle. “
“At first I was kind of rusty,” said Wray. “It was kind of nice to get back out and build.”
Niles mentored Wray through the project and assisted him when necessary. He noted that it wasn’t long before Wray regained his form and had little trouble for the rest of the project.
As he watched Wray work, Niles noted the importance of having more experienced Seabees mentoring build projects like this.
“I think it’s good to have mentors because you are saving a lot time by preventing them from running into mistakes that you once made yourself,” said Niles. “I think there’s a lot to learn from it.”
After successfully completing the project, Wray also noted that having Niles present was essential for not only completing the project in a timely fashion, but helped him to exercise his skill set.
“It was definitely nice having BU2 Niles there,” said Wray. “And with his help I was able to pick up a few skills.”
NMCB 15 is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and is an expeditionary engineering element of U.S. naval forces supporting units worldwide through national force readiness, humanitarian assistance, and building and maintaining infrastructure.
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