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Verizon CEO Lowell MacAdam Shares What He Learned From The U.S. Navy Seabees

July 06, 2016

Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam credits his time working as an officer in Navy Civil Engineer Corps with Seabees for six years, for helping him find a “higher gear” that is needed to lead the United States’ largest wireless communications service provider.


Lowell McAdam says he has learned three things from the Seabees:

  1. FOCUS ON STEM: Seabees were a master course in what we now call STEM skills – science, technology, engineering and math – which are the bedrock of a career in any technologically complex industry.
  2. RUN TO A CRISIS, NOT AWAY: Lowell learned what it means to lead people during challenging times by taking risks and taking charge in times of stress. These skills are ingrained in the Seabee way of operating.
  3. FIND THE HIGHER GEAR: Lowell recently reflected that the most successful people he has met in life all believe that every day presents an opportunity to improve and raise the bar on your performance, and the first place he truly saw that philosophy in action every day was with the Seabees.

A Seabee is a member of the United States Naval Construction Forces. The Seabees were first formed during World War II when the United States Military needed to complete ambitious construction projects under difficult and dangerous conditions.

The Navy formed the Naval Construction Battalions under the direction of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps.

They were trained to fight and defend themselves during enemy attacks while they were building infrastructure that was needed to aid the war effort. Because of their exceptional contributions during World War II, the Seabees became a permanent fighting force for the Navy and have fought in every conflict since.

The term “Seabee comes” from the initials “CB” which in turn comes from the term “Construction Battalion.”

Over the course of their 75 years of history, the Seabees have undertaken numerous construction projects such as bases, airstrips and roadways.