"A sketchbook is a secret thing, a collection of unfinished and often times abandoned ideas never intended for public consumption—at least not in their current state. It’s a private space for honing one’s craft and workshopping, separating good ideas from those best left unexplored." -Brian Heater at The Daily Cross Hatch.

14 May 2010

Dirt Sailors: Seabees At Work


I had a couple minutes in a room alone with a computer today at work, so I decided to do some sketching. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time (I didn't want to completely wolf down my sandwich just to draw) so I didn't get as much "information" into this one as I would've liked.

Obviously, I'm still thinking about my Great Uncle (his funeral was well attended, poignant and appropriately funny). Given that he was (happily) surprised to hear that the unit was still active (understandably he didn't pay much attention to military stuff after he was discharged), I wonder what he would have thought if he knew the Seabees went coed...

Regardless, this is a portrait of a Seabee putting in some wiring in, in a new facility at Camp Krutke, the evolving Seabee camp adjacent to Camp Leatherneck. The Seabees are adding a lot of value to the COIN effort with local construction projects, so it's only natural that they're building their own digs in Helmand. (I do think it's interesting that they built the base for the Marines first...but I guess you can't have development if you don't have security first...). If you're interested in the efficacy of COIN in Afghanistan, take a look at this article. Now, I'm a hardcore COINdinista myself, but the leaked memo in that piece gave me a moment of pause. Anyways. It's a conversation for another day.

(Also, there's a great piece on Afghanistan here by a soldier/contractor who spent 6 1/2 years there. Scroll down to the contents and click on "Building Bridges". It will enlighten you as to the difficulty that anyone- especially our Seabees- have doing development/construction work in Afghanistan.)

Stay safe Seabees. Keep up the good work.
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  1. Yum!Yum!The prim,proper schoolmarm/librarian look has always drove me nuts,like on this Wave CB.Saw maybe 8 waves my entire enlistment back in the 70s and then only at a great distance.The new female enlisted dress uniform is ridiculous,its as if the Navy cant decide wether they're male or female.

  2. From what I've read around the internet (for what it's worth) the new uniform changes just seem to be inspired by the need to save money- not aesthetics... (Which doesn't explain the new digitized camouflage working uniform...but I think that's for recruiting...if your average teenager wants to go into the military he wants digital camo, regardless of the branch of the service...)

  3. I wish someone would do a quick sketch of W.A.V.E.S drinking and carousing.Kind of like a female version of Paul Cadmus's painting"The Fleet"s In"(1932)which shows sailors and marines raisinf hell.So scandalous that the Navy withdrew it from public view when it was first shown and put it away in storage for 60 odd years.Now its in the Pentagon.Probably in some admiral's office.

  4. Let me know if you find any source material...I wonder what that would look like... :)