News: Recently succeeded Seabee FORCM retires
PORT HUENEME, Ca. - The recently succeeded top enlisted leader of the Naval Construction Force (NCF) hung up his hard hat after nearly 34 years of honorable service, during an official retirement ceremony at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif.
Master Chief Douglas Dickey, the 15th Force Master Chief of the Seabees, leaves an honorable legacy built on trust and taking care of his troops.
“Three things are emblematic of Master Chief Dickey,” said Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Chief of Civil Engineers Rear Adm. Kate Gregory. “He’s a man who got the mission done, he’s a guy that takes care of his troops, and he’s dedicated to taking care of everyone. I’m happy for the family, but I’m sad for us. We are losing a legend.”
During Master Chief Dickey’s three decades of service, he traveled across areas of the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, building relationships and taking care of his Seabees. Beginning his career in 1981, Dickey’s first duty station landed him in Puerto Rico as the DoD Caribbean locksmith. This rare assignment for a junior service member allowed him to travel from island to island, giving him his first taste of both leadership and the Seabee way of life. From there, Dickey built and fought in nearly ten battalions, providing combat construction in Iraq and Kuwait, building relationships in Saudi Arabia, Spain and Scotland and providing humanitarian support to the Philippines and Okinawa. During each deployment, separated from his family and loved ones, he led his fellow Seabees in effecting positive change across five time zones.
“People ask me what took so long; why didn’t I retire earlier,” said Dickey. “It’s because of the Seabees standing out here today. Now, it’s time to pass the torch.”
With his active duty time is over, Dickey plans to make up lost time with his wife as they vacation in the Western Pacific.
“My wife is the reason I was able to do all of this,” said Dickey. “I’m so happy I married her and couldn’t imagine my life without her.”
Dickey leaves the Navy with a Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals, a Joint Meritorious Unit Award, two Navy Unit Commendations, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon with a wreathed “E,” six Navy Good Conduct Medals, a National Defense Medal and dozens of campaign ribbons. Dickey is Seabee Combat Warfare qualified and an expert marksman with both the Navy service rifle and pistol.
Seabees are a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy, providing ready battalions capable of disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.