Insight from US military divers

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Powertrip

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Harrison, NJ
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Hello everyone! I'm a long time diving enthusiast who has yet to even set foot in the water, currently trying to find a top shelf instructor in the Harrison NJ area (north Jersey). In addition to diving and several other hobbies, I enjoy writing. Mostly for myself but occasionally I share what I work on if I know people are interested. As I attempt to track down a trainer and get started actually writing I wanted to write a short story where the main character is a former Navy Diver who now does commercial diving and I want to make sure I get details right (I've been in law enforcement since 2004 and a firearms instructor since 2007 and it bugs the snot out of me to the point my girlfriend won't watch cop or gun movies because of how worked up I get when they get details wrong and I don't want to be that guy who does the same thing about the military in general and diving in specific). I initially reached out to @Akimbo and he suggested I post here to get as many perspectives as possible from the SB community.

List of questions in no particular order:

1. what rank / rating would a ND be if he worked underwater salvage, both SCUBA and surface supplied? Chief Navy Diver, First Class (secondary did I get how it is written/said correctly?)

2. Is the USD Conshelf 14 still the only regulator actually in use by the Navy? I know several are approved like Mares Abyss Navy II and the Apeks MTX but I could find nothing about whether they were actually used by the Navy or just good marketing to be approved.

3. Which model of Kirby Morgan helmet is used by Navy Salvage Divers? I can find so much info on the rebreathers used by the Navy but not this and I don't know enough to try and identify it based on youtube videos of Navy Divers

4. I read somewhere that the algorithm used by the Navy beyond Navy Dive Tables is the Thalmann Algo? Is this still true? Are there any dive computers that use it? (I tried researching that but could only find info on Bulman algos)

I plan on sharing my story on here as I work on it and I'd love feedback on that as well, hopefully I can come up with something that is accurate, not overwhelming to non diver people, and entertaining. Inspiration for HOW to write the story goes to Tom Clancy and the gentleman who wrote the Shane Schofield series as they do an amazing job of explaining technical things without overwhelming the reader.

Cheers! And thank you all for your service!
 

Alaskan Scuba Dude

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it bugs the snot out of me to the point my girlfriend won't watch cop or gun movies because of how worked up I get when they get details wrong and I don't want to be that guy who does the same thing about the military in general and diving in specific).
Movies don't get it wrong since they have technical advisers on set. However, police work is tedious and boring, so much of it is dramatized form. A true professional would only scoff.

 

FF / EMT

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Thought the navy was using posideon regulators.
 

Akimbo

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1. what rank / rating would a ND be if he worked underwater salvage, both SCUBA and surface supplied?

That depends a lot on the job and circumstances. The US Navy doesn't do a lot of salvage anymore. For example, a small boat or barge could sinks at the dock verses something very high profile in deep water that the brass wants back.

@ND5342 can give you more recent insights than I can. I believe he was on one of the two MDSU units, which handles the fly away packages and many of the high profile projects.

@Duke Dive Medicine is also an ex-Navy Diver and worked with EOD.

Chief Navy Diver, First Class (secondary did I get how it is written/said correctly?)

NDs (Navy Diver) follow the same enlisted and officer ranks as everyone else. Separate from rank are diving qualifications like Scuba Diver, Second Class Diver, First Class Diver, Master Diver (Master divers must be chief petty officers). This Wikipedia page might be useful: Navy diver (United States Navy)

It can be a little confusing because Second and First Class Petty Officers and divers use the same terms. For example, I was a Second Class Petty Officer and qualified as a First Class Diver (NEC 5342) and saturation diver. That was before the ND rating. Diving was a secondary rating before sometime in the 1990s.

You can also learn a lot from the Faceplate Newsletters.

2. Is the USD Conshelf 14 still the only regulator actually in use by the Navy?

Quite a number of regulators are approved, but I can't say which ones dominate.

3. Which model of Kirby Morgan helmet is used by Navy Salvage Divers?

That's a little tricky. They started with the Kirby Morgan Dive Systems Superlite 17 but Kirby Morgan says they are using the Kirby Morgan 37 now. The Navy has a different designation used in their supply system that I can't remember.
 
OP
Powertrip

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Ha, ha this is great!
That’s bovine excrement, not sure if anyone on this site has called you out, but I am.
I was gonna let it go as it's not directly relevant here, LoL. Even with advisers they still screw up. They best in the last decade has been John Wick and if you look super hard you can find one or two mistakes.
 
OP
Powertrip

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Thought the navy was using posideon regulators.
The last authorized list I could find is out of date, and I don't know how to navigate the Navy website for the current list. I'll add Poseidon to my list
 

Akimbo

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https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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