Rear Adm. Kate Gregory, Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and Chief of Civil Engineers
This year, the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) observes its 147th anniversary, embracing a legacy of providing facilities engineering expertise to Navy and Marine Corps commanders that began on March 2, 1867. The CEC is a unique organization with no exact counterpart in any other service or any other Navy in the world. Its officers are the Navy’s professional engineers and architects, responsible for executing and managing the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Navy’s shore facilities. CEC officers work primarily in three areas: construction contract management, public works, and with the Seabees.
Today, the Civil Engineer Corps continues to support the Chief of Naval Operations’ tenets of “Warfighting First,” “Operate Forward,” and “Be Ready,” while adapting to changing national security threats, the drawdown from the war in Afghanistan, and fiscal uncertainties. The demand for CEC officers to support the capabilities of joint war fighters and supported commanders through efficient, innovative and responsive facilities and expeditionary expertise has never been more critical.
At every Navy base around the globe, these men and women are on the job, around the clock. From public works to building design, from environmental assessment to alternative energy development, and even to disaster recovery efforts, the Navy’s civil engineers are there.
This same cadre of officers also leads the Seabees, who provide the naval expeditionary forces with a wide array of support. Whether helping to build a combat outpost so Marines can extend their reach in Afghanistan, erecting a pier that extends a kilometer into the surf to support logistics coming over the shore, working to open a damaged port in Haiti, or drilling a fresh water well in Africa, CEC-led Seabees live by their motto “Can Do!” and can be counted on to get the job done.
As we celebrate nearly a century-and-a-half of dedicated service, this is a time to reflect upon the Civil Engineer Corp’s storied past, the critical work it is doing now, and the accomplishments it will achieve in the future. As CEC officer Cmdr. La Tanya Simms summarized it, “We don’t just build facilities and roads. We build partnerships, lasting legacies, solutions, and linkages to improve people’s lives.”
Happy 147th birthday, Civil Engineer Corps!
Rear Adm. Gregory assumed duties as commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and chief of civil engineers on Oct. 26, 2012.
Previously, Gregory served as commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific and the Pacific Fleet civil engineer. Her other facilities assignments include tours in Yokosuka, Japan; Naples, Italy; San Francisco; Adak, Alaska; and Pearl Harbor. She has also had staff tours in Washington, D.C., serving as the Seabee action officer and Chief of Naval Operations Overseas Bases planning and action officer.
Within the Naval Construction Force (Seabees), she has served with Amphibious Construction Battalion One; Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) One; commanding officer of NMCB 133; commander of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment; and chief of staff for the First Naval Construction Division. Throughout her Seabee tours, she deployed to the Western Pacific, Mediterranean, Iraq and Haiti.
Gregory is a native of St. Louis, and a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Southern California and George Washington University, and has completed the Senior Executive Program at the London School of Business.
She is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a qualified military parachutist and Seabee combat warfare officer.