GULFPORT, Miss. — Since 1942, sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Construction Force have been building and fighting around the world. Constructionman Mathue Sprowl, a Rockland Maine native, is one of those sailors.

“My grandfather and uncle were both in the Navy,” said Sprowl. “My uncle, John Sprowl, is someone I really look up to. I aspire to be like him. I admire how he carries himself and how he treats other people with respect.”

Eighty years ago, members of Navy Construction Battalions were fittingly nicknamed, “Seabees,” a play on the C and B initials. They are responsible for building military bases and airfields, supporting humanitarian efforts and conducting underwater construction projects.

Sprowl graduated from Oceanside High School in 2016.

“I’d like to thank my mom who always pushed me to be better and to be respectful,” said Sprowl.

The values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Rockland.

“Growing up in Maine, I learned to always give 100 percent,” said Sprowl.  “Regardless of the job, you have to always do the best you can.”

Sprowl currently serves as a builder with Naval Construction Training Center at the headquarters for naval construction forces in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Serving in the Navy means Sprowl is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy protects our homeland through maritime sea patrols around the world working with our allies,” said Sprowl.

Sprowl has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“When I was on the aircraft carrier USS Truman earlier this year, I earned a Flag Letter of Commendation for helping with emergency repairs on one of the catapults,” said Sprowl.

Sprowl can take pride in continuing an 80-year legacy of service in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy offers a great deal of pride,” added Sprowl. “I get to carry on a family tradition of military service.”