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CEC junior officers graduate Basic Qualification Course

09 May 2022

From Daniel Davenport

PORT HUENEME, Calif. - Fifty-two Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) junior officers graduated from the CEC Basic Qualification Course at the Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) May 6.

CECOS provides CEC junior officers with the necessary skills, knowledge and education to enhance lifelong learning and to provide quality support to the fleet.

Graduation from the course is a requirement for new U.S. Navy CEC officers before they report to initial assignments as public works officers and construction managers at Navy and Marine Corps installations or as platoon commanders and staff officers in the Naval Construction Force.

The 15-week-long course covers a wide range of topics such as leadership, professional development, public works, construction technology, contracting, expeditionary construction and combat operations.

Commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) and 45th Chief of Civil Engineers, Rear Admiral John W. Korka, served as the guest speaker for the graduation ceremony.

“Our business is the warfighting business.  Each of you are warfighters,” said Korka. “Many of you are headed to Seabee battalions where you will deploy around the globe to strengthen our Navy’s construction and engineering readiness.  Some of you are headed to NAVFAC commands where you will manage large-scale construction projects or direct repairs to infrastructure and you will hear repeatedly that we support the warfighter.”

Korka also thanked the families, friends and spouses of the class, commending them for their loyalty and describing his deep respect and gratitude for their sacrifices.

“I am living proof that family readiness equals operations readiness and mission success,” said Korka. “I could not be where I am today without my family’s unyielding support.”

This was the second Basic Class to graduate under the command of Capt. Peter Maculan. 

“This class has made an excellent first impression on their fellow Civil Engineer Corps officers over these past 15 weeks,” said Maculan.  “I look forward to serving with them in the fleet.  Good luck to all and Godspeed!”

Nine students were recognized for displaying outstanding character and competence during the 15-week course.  The honor graduate, representing the top student of the class, was Ensign Julianna Pereira. 

Distinguished graduates, representing the top 15% of the class, were evaluated by their academic performance, leadership, physical fitness, personal initiative and enthusiasm.  Basic Class 272 distinguished graduates included Ensign David Marler, Ensign Kensey Dahlquist, Ensign Alan Haduong, Ensign Jared Dingel, Ensign Elise Tessero, Ensign Jacob Muenchau and Ensign Kylee O’Conner.

The Commodore Hunt Commemorative Esprit de Corps Award, named after Eileen Hunt, a long serving CECOS civilian employee and an honorary Seabee who stood the watch faithfully for nearly 45 years at the school, is granted to the student who best represents the class, personifies the spirit of camaraderie, teamwork and demonstrates an infectious and unwavering positive attitude. 

The Basic Class 272 recipient of this prestigious award was Ensign Jordan Pugh.

Basic class 272 was made up of students who represent a cross section of society who come together in pursuit of a common goal; becoming a CEC officer.  Each student took a different path to reach their goal and a couple of graduates shared their journey.
Ensign Huy Duong was born and raised in the Republic of Vietnam until the age of eleven. He did not speak English upon his arrival to the United States. His grandparents assisted the U.S. military during the Vietnam War and were forced into “re-education” camps following the end of the war. Eventually, Duong’s grandparents were granted entrance into the United States as political refugees. 

Duong and his family were sponsored by his grandparents to immigrate to the United States twelve years ago. The Duong family initially arrived in Tampa, Florida. Three months later they then moved to the Seattle, Washington area to begin their American journey.

“I joined the United States Navy because my grandparents are very pro-American as well as my parents, and I felt that this was a good way to pay back this great country for everything it has given my family,” said Duong. 

A graduate of Washington University in civil engineering, Duong begins his military career with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 located in Port Hueneme, California. 

“I have wanted to become a part of this team since my sophomore year of college because of the rich tradition and history,” said Duong.

Ensign Cleofe Jaurigue is another young officer who took a challenging path to becoming a CEC officer.

Jaurigue came to the United States at the age of twenty and enlisted in the U.S. Navy to help set a structured path for herself.  As a construction mechanic, she deployed to Dubai, United Arab Emirates where she became fascinated with the “beautiful” infrastructure. 

“I began watching videos and became very interested,” said Jaurigue. “I was fortunate to take advantage of the Naval Career Intermission Program and complete my degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Being in the Navy really helped me reach my goals.” 
Jaurigue enjoyed being part of Basic Class 272, especially during the FTX training. 

“The advisors enabled everyone to lead without stepping on toes. It helped confirm that I have what it takes to be a highly effective Naval Officer,” said Jaurigue. 

The next stop for ENS Jaurigue will be Public Works Department Battalion, Great Lakes located in Illinois. Here she is excited to start her next journey mentoring and leading our nation’s warfighters.

A small community of only 1,300 officers, CEC officers are found all over the world in highly visible positions supervising skilled personnel while working on construction projects, infrastructure repairs and maintenance, facility support contracts, real estate management, natural resource management, environmental planning and management, expeditionary construction and many other infrastructure management areas.  From the very beginning, CEC officers obtain engineering management and leadership experience far exceeding that of a typical recent college graduate in engineering or architecture.

CECOS, located at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, California, provides Seabees, civil engineer corps officers, facility engineers and environmental professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge and education to enhance lifelong learning and to provide quality support to the fleet.

For more info about CECOS, visit or follow CECOS on Facebook at


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