serious expression: horizontal outdoor portraitBy Josh Hunt, Lead Journeyman Electrician at ISC Constructors, LLC When I joined the Navy Seabees, otherwise known as the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion, I was a 19-year-old college dropout who knew very little about them. As soon as I checked in, I realized the Seabees were completely different than what I thought about the military. I didn’t work on a ship or a submarine; instead, I flew to bases where my command was deployed and worked as an electrician. After boot camp, I attended Navy "A" school and learned the basic principles of electrical technology and theory. I also learned the National Electrical Code, how to read blueprints and how to wire a motor. After arriving at my battalion, I was able to put that knowledge to work. Within one year of joining the Seabees, I was terminating panel boxes and load balancing generators. By 21, I became a shop supervisor and maintained inventory and records. I learned how to deal with taking orders as well as giving orders. I also gained experience in fuel farms, where I took the lead in an explosion-proof electrical system. On my second tour of Iraq, when I was 22 years old, I was in charge of a five-man crew and more than $3 million worth of equipment and material to install. After my honorable discharge, I went back to college to receive my associate degree in electrical technology. The classes covered a lot of the same topics that I learned in the military, so they were more of an in-depth, refresher course for me. A representative from ISC Constructors, who was also a Navy veteran, visited my class and offered me a position as a craft professional at Chevron’s Pascagoula, Mississippi, plant. I enrolled in a training program through Associated Builders and Contractors and the Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation. Then, I successfully completed the NCCER Industrial Electrician journey-level assessment. I not only had the knowledge for my craft, but I also had the performance skills because of my military experience with motors, transformers and switch gears. Soon after, I became the lead journeyman of a wire pulling crew in Houston, Texas. The crew taught me just as much as I taught them. I realized I could manage the crew the same as a military crew. My military experience helped me determine when to be firm and when to be understanding. This summer I became NCCER Certified Plus for Industrial Electrician. I know I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for the Navy Seabees. The military gave me structure, discipline, drive and an education. The knowledge and performance skills I acquired have enabled me to take my career to a level I never knew existed. BYF_logo_finalNCCER’s Build Your Future (BYF) initiative offers a Military Crosswalk for veterans to identify how their Military Occupational Skill (MOS) codes align with specific craft professions. Visit byf.org/military and see how your military experience can lead you on a fast track to a career in the construction industry!

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About NCCER

NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.