Capt. Kurgan Legacy of Service> Seabee Magazine> News

Captain Christopher M. Kurgan, former Commander, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE) and Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) retired during a ceremony held at Seabee Chapel aboard Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Port Hueneme, August 27, 2021.

Kurgan, originally from Chicago, retired after 30 years of service.

“Kurgan’s service journey comes to a complete stop,” said Rear Admiral John W. Korka, commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAFAC) and chief of civil engineers. “Over his 30 years of service, Chris Kurgan has demonstrated exceptional competence, unwavering compassion, unflappable adaptability and an extremely wide range of operational, staff and mission missions. commandment.”

Kurgan served in many expeditionary units in many commands. This includes the Camp David Public Works Officer, the Operations Officer of Mobile Naval Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4, the Commander of NMCB 133, the Deputy Commander of NAFAC Pacific, the Commander of NAFAC Northwest, the Commander of CSFE and CECOS, Commodore of Naval Construction. Group (NCG) 1. Kurgan has led theater troops on multiple deployments as a commander or commodore, four times during his career.

“As you can see, he’s a man who never took the easy way out and his service tells the story,” Korka said. “He’s an officer with seawater in his blood. The one who was born to lead.

Kurgan established his reputation for leadership during his 2004 deployment from US Central Command to Iraq in Operation Enduring Freedom, with NMCB 4. During this tour, his leadership contributed to the success of the command and recognition for service members who have received the Battle-E, Peltier Award, Moreell Medal, Marvin Shields Award, Robert D. Stethem Steelworker Award Second Class and Rear Admiral Lewis B. Combs Award.

“NMCB 4 suffered casualties supporting the Marines in the Second Battle of Fallujah,” Korka said. “It was a difficult time, but Chris rallied command to accomplish the mission and established a bond of unity, trust and trust. This propelled Chris’ career for years to come and explains why he has so many following command towers; leaders want Chris Kurgan.

Kurgan took the stage to address the audience with his final remarks in uniform. He thanked people by name, his family and his military colleagues; many who have traveled across the country to wish him goodbye.

“When I think back to my 30 years of service in this country, all that matters is the absence of two sets of fingerprints,” Kurgan said. “It’s because I’ve been carried a lot. I was carried by my faith and by the military community, their leadership, their friendship, their heart and their love. I appreciate everyone who carried me and with whom I served, especially my wife who was responsible for much of the heavy lifting. “

Kurgan graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program in 1990. He received a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2001 and completed Executive Training Program, Kellogg School at Northwestern University in 2012.

“There’s a good reason I can only remember one college professor,” Kurgan said. “I have learned more from the Chief Mess than anything I have learned in higher education institutions. I have learned what is real and what is important in life and am eternally grateful for these lessons.

His awards include Bronze Stars, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Joint Service Medals and the Presidential Service Badge.

“I believe in the constitution,” Kurgan said. “I believe that a small number can make a big difference, I believe that 56 great souls can change the world, that one great soul can change the landscape. No matter how badly things are in the world, America will be safe because of the minority who sacrifice themselves to protect the majority; and I have been eternally grateful to serve and lead this small group.

Kurgan is arriving for the last time in the era of great power competition, Korka lamented.

NBVC is a multi-dominant mission facility that operates the world’s largest instrumented maritime range. NBVC is home to Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, San Nicolas Island, Laguna Peak, the Pacific Coast Seabees, Westcoast Hawkeyes, 3 War Centers and 80 tenants. It is Ventura County’s largest employer and actively protects California’s largest coastal wetlands through its award-winning environmental programs.

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