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Seabees recreate Medal of Honor recipient’s sacrifice to honor him for Veterans Day

Marvin Glen Shields was the first and only United States Navy Seabee to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 7:42 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Seabees paid tribute Tuesday to Marvin Glen Shields, the first and only Seabee to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

A reenactment of Shields’ actions while serving with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 is now part of the Chief Petty Officer Initiation Season.

“To be able to come out here and put ourselves in the shoes and carry on the tradition and the heritage of Marvin Shields, the only Seabee Medal of Honor Recipient, is an extremely humbling and proud day for all of us,” said Chief Petty Officer Select Kyle Ciopryna of NMCB 133.

The special forces unit that Shields was assigned to was attacked by the Viet Cong on June 10, 1965. Despite being wounded twice, Shields helped transport others more severely wounded to medical care.

Chief Perry Officer Select Daurell Winchester of NMCB 11 portrayed Shields in the re-enactment.

“It depicts the sacrifices made by someone who served long before I got to serve, so it is very important to tell his story and pay homage to his family,” Winchester said.

During the battle, Shields later volunteered for a mission to take out an enemy gun position. After taking out the enemy gun, Shields was fatally shot.

Marvin Glen Shields was the first and only United States Navy Seabee to be awarded the Medal of...
Marvin Glen Shields was the first and only United States Navy Seabee to be awarded the Medal of Honor. A recreation of his actions on June 10, 1965 while serving with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 is part of the Chief Petty Officer Initiation Season.(The Wall of Faces)

The re-enactment of the battle brought out the intensity of combat.

Winchester has served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. That experience was no different from Shields’s and gave insight to his heroic actions.

“You just have to react right away,” Winchester said.

Those lessons have also made Winchester ready to take on a leadership role with the Seabees.

“Always be ready and to make sure that those that I lead are ready as well at any moment’s notice,” he said.

Honoring the sacrifice made by Shields is important to the Seabees, especially those about to become Navy Chiefs.

“It’s a very humbling day. This entire process of becoming a chief petty officer is a huge lesson in humility,” Ciopryna said.

Shield’s Medal of Honor was presented to his family by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 13, 1966.

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