Any ex navy divers out there?

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joe3235412

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Been looking into trying to be a navy diver lately. I know it is extremely hard and has a high wash out rate but would love some input from ex navy divers or people who are educated on navy diving.
 

Akimbo

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@Akimbo was a navy diver...

Guilty. :wink:

Joe

"Diver" is a primary rating now, meaning that it is the job your advancement is based on. Diver was a secondary rating before sometime in the 1990s and when I was in. The distinction is important because you had to take advancement tests for skills that you may not be working in. For example I was an Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technician, or AX2 (DV) -- basically an electronics tech, and never saw an aircraft or the electronics onboard.

I heard that advancement is currently limited for Navy Divers from a career standpoint. The rating is now "Navy Diver" or ND. That means that there are a limited number of billets open for higher ranks. Getting perfect performance evaluations and scores on tests still might result in not moving to the next pay grade.

Here is the US Navy Training Schedule:
  • Scuba, 25 training days
  • Second Class Diver, 89 training days
  • First Class Diver, 65 training days
Yes Navy Diver training is hard, but nothing like BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training where you become a Special Warfare Operator or SO. A "training day" is a good 8 hours and includes PT (Physical Training), classroom, and in-water training. A motivated individual with good swimming, physical, and mechanical skills will have no problem. I could never have been a SEAL. I just don't have the cold tolerance required to do the job even if I didn’t "ring the bell".

Check with your local recruiter. You "might" be able to take some tests that pre-qualify you for the ND rating. That is no guarantee since the "needs of the Navy" always takes precedent in an enlistment contract, but puts you way ahead of people who don’t take that step.

The primary job for a Second Class Diver, which is a rating and not the rank, is ship’s husbandry. For example your rank, or pay grade, could be Third Class Petty Officer with a Second Class Diver rating. Ships husbandry is mostly shallow work inside harbors inspecting and repairing ships, submarines, and port facilities. More exciting billets go to First Class Divers, usually with years of experience and First Class Petty Officer (ND1) ranks and above -- work like salvage, submarine rescue, R&D at NEDU, support for Special Warfare operations, and Saturation Diving. As a Second Class Diver you will become very panic resistant, comfortable working in zero visibility, certified in open-circuit SCUBA and surface supplied diving, learn basic skills for salvage and repair, and air/Nitrox diving physics and physiology far beyond what recreational divers are exposed to.

Where do you live? Navy Diver training and NEDU (Naval Experimental Diving Unit) are located in Panama City Florida. You could probably get a tour if you ask the right people. You can also learn a lot by buying a few drinks at local diver bars. This is a career decision that could effect the rest of your life, even if you only spend four years in the Navy. As an enthusiastic recreational diver, it would be worth the trip just to see NEDU even if you decide to become an accountant!
 

abnfrog

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listen to this man he's giving you years of experience in 1 post
 
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joe3235412

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Guilty. :wink:

Joe

"Diver" is a primary rating now, meaning that it is the job your advancement is based on. Diver was a secondary rating before sometime in the 1990s and when I was in. The distinction is important because you had to take advancement tests for skills that you may not be working in. For example I was an Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technician, or AX2 (DV) -- basically an electronics tech, and never saw an aircraft or the electronics onboard.

I heard that advancement is currently limited for Navy Divers from a career standpoint. The rating is now "Navy Diver" or ND. That means that there are a limited number of billets open for higher ranks. Getting perfect performance evaluations and scores on tests still might result in not moving to the next pay grade.

Here is the US Navy Training Schedule:
Scuba, 25 training days
Second Class Diver, 89 training days
First Class Diver, 65 training days

Yes Navy Diver training is hard, but nothing like BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training where you become a Special Warfare Operator or SO). A "training day" is a good 8 hours and includes PT (Physical Training), classroom, and in-water training. A motivated individual with good swimming, physical, and mechanical skills will have no problem. I could never have been a SEAL. I just don't have the cold tolerance required to do the job even if I didn’t "ring the bell".

Check with your local recruiter. You "might" be able to take some tests that pre-qualify you for the ND rating. That is no guarantee since the "needs of the Navy" always takes precedent in an enlistment contract, but puts you way ahead of people who don’t take that step.

The primary job for a Second Class Diver, which is a rating and not the rank, is ship’s husbandry. For example your rank, or pay grade, could be Third Class Petty Officer with a Second Class Diver rating. Ships husbandry is mostly shallow work inside harbors inspecting and repairing ships, submarines, and port facilities. More exciting billets go to First Class Divers, usually with years of experience and First Class Petty Officer (ND1) ranks and above -- work like salvage, submarine rescue, R&D/Research at NEDU, support for Special Warfare operations, and Saturation Diving. As a Second Class Diver you will become very panic resistant, comfortable working in zero visibility, certified in open-circuit SCUBA and surface supplied diving, learn basic skills for salvage and repair, and air/Nitrox diving physics and physiology far beyond what recreational divers are exposed to.

Where do you live? Navy Diver training and NEDU (Naval Experimental Diving Unit) is located in Panama City Florida. You could probably get a tour if you ask the right people. You can also learn a lot by buying a few drinks at local diver bars. This is a career decision that could effect the rest of your life, even if you only spend four years in the Navy. As an enthusiastic recreational diver, it would be worth the trip just to see NEDU even if you decide to become an accountant!
Thanks for the info! So even if I prequalify for diver rating there's still no garuntee I would make it into dive school? Is there ANY way I can get a 100% garuntee I could make it into dive school before deployment? I've read some things of people saying in DEP you can get a guarantee.
 

Akimbo

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Thanks for the info! So even if I prequalify for diver rating there's still no garuntee I would make it into dive school? Is there ANY way I can get a 100% garuntee I could make it into dive school before deployment? I've read some things of people saying in DEP you can get a guarantee.

AFAIK, there are no 100% guarantees, but a lot has changed since I was a sailor so investigate carefully. There was always a "Needs of the Navy" clause in contracts in the past . DO NOT take anything your recruiter or that you read on the Internet as absolute fact without cross-checking... including my posts. Recruiters are sales people with expectations that they must meet to keep their boss happy. The majority are far more honorable than their used-car counterparts but you are not likely to find one who is a ND and has exceeded his/her quota for the year.

I had a "guarantee" for Aviation Electronics School when I enlisted but knew most anything could invalidate it, not the least of which was the "Needs of the Navy". It worked out great for me but was a gamble. Screwing up in boot camp, low test scores, more involved physicals that find a disqualifying problem for diving, and the Navy deciding that they have too many divers all come to mind.

Read your enlistment contract carefully and gather information where you can. My incredibly fortunate time in the Navy resulted from an off-hand comment made by Bev Morgan, of Kirby Morgan Corporation, before I enlisted. He said that the Navy's Man in the Sea Program was desperate for electronics trained divers. I was the youngest sat diver certified in the Navy a few years later. Without that, I would have been cleaning sea chests in Port Nowhere if I got into diving school at all. See why I suggest investing in a trip to Panama City? See if there is a Naval Diving Locker on a base that is closer if Florida is too far away. You can get current information and see a great deal for yourself. You may also learn that Navy diving is nothing like what you expected or want.

Read through the posts in the Commercial Divers Forum. The Navy is very different than the commercial diving industry but the nature of the work is similar enough for you to get the flavor for the real world of underwater work. I am not trying to discourage you in any way but hope you know what you are diving into. Nothing is as glamorous as recruiting posters or trade school brochures imply.

Thank you for considering serving your country. That has its own rewards.
 
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abnfrog

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not sure about the navy but my army recruiter promised me the world (that was common in the 70s ) there's a reason they called it a dream sheet . Ill bet though its not the same now ,
 

JohnN

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Here is a video on US Navy Diver training:

A couple things are surprising (to me)
I can't think of a good reason why the Navy would use yoke first stages (on the backup gas for surface tended and free divers)
There was way too much hand sculling on those free divers. I would expect much better control
 

Akimbo

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A couple things are surprising (to me)
I can't think of a good reason why the Navy would use yoke first stages (on the backup gas for surface tended and free divers)

Momentum and inventory is my guess. Yokes do the job and there are so many regulators, spares, and valves spread all over the fleet that converting to DIN would be hard to justify. And then there's all the manuals... the military has manuals for everything.

There was way too much hand sculling on those free divers. I would expect much better control

Maybe, but it looks about right to me. It's a harassment dive in a 10' pool so there's a lot of fast unpredictable moves.
 
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