Insight from US military divers

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Akimbo

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bakodiver391

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I did some diving with the guys from USS Safeguard on scuba. They were using double tanks with a single central outlet and USD Conshelf regs. This was about 14 years ago though.
 

Gene

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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.

Having worked in the film industry since 1993, I can say that yes, technical advisors are sometimes on set, (or are involved at some point), but as any anxious-to-get-the-shot first AD or director will say, "this is a movie, not a documentary!"
 
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I did some diving with the guys from USS Safeguard on scuba. They were using double tanks with a single central outlet and USD Conshelf regs. This was about 14 years ago though.

Thanks! That's about what I've seen as well, even on more recent training videos I've seen
 

Zef

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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!

My recommendation is to get in touch with Smit Salvage (US Headquarters is in Houston Texas)...they have former US Navy personnel on their staff and they are one of the primary contractors that the US Navy has for salvage.

-Z
 
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There are also a lot of videos on the dive school on YouTube:

Yup! I've watched several. And they've given me a lot of basic info. Mostly I was just nitpicking on details that I hadn't seen covered. Specifically which rank/title would be most likely doing the certain work I was thinking of for my main character. Most of my equipment questions were answered.

Specifically I'm confused on if Navy Diver is a rank like petty officer, so like Chief Navy Diver or Navy Diver First Class, or if current structure would have like a chief petty officer, diver first class. I know someone attempted to explain it to me but I read somewhere they changed it or something within the last ten years? law enforcement ranks are so much simpler LoL
 

Akimbo

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Specifically I'm confused on if Navy Diver is a rank like petty officer, so like Chief Navy Diver or Navy Diver First Class, or if current structure would have like a chief petty officer, diver first class.

It is confusing for sure. Here are the Navy Diver Ratings and enlisted designators

For example, a Third Class Petty Officer (PO) ND (Navy Diver) rank can be a Second Class Diver (NEC 5343). Any of the Chief Petty Officers rank (Chief, Senior Chief, Master Chief) may be a First Class Diver (NEC 5342) or a Master Diver (NEC 5341).

Requirements change but the minimum rank for a First Class Diver, NEC 5342, was a Third Class PO (E4) in may day, before the ND rating was created. I think you have to be a Second Class PO now.

Here is an image of ND1 Cody Levin, 2021 Sailor of the Year:

1651439181722.png


Here is the breakdown on the uniform:

1651439081909.png

Here are the different pins:

1651438588041.png

Note that the ND rating insignia is essentially the same as the Second Class Diver pin.

To confuse things even more, Navy Hospital Corpsmen can qualify as a diving medical technician (DMT).
 

Duke Dive Medicine

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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!
Very cool about the story! Answers below, with the caveat that I retired in 2010.

An enlisted Navy diver's rank would typically be anywhere from a Petty Officer Third Class to a Master Chief Petty officer, though you do occasionally see a Seaman fresh out of dive school. The more junior folks would be more likely to actually be in the water doing the work. If you're looking for a seasoned diving professional who's still in the water doing the business he would probably be an ND2 (Petty Officer Second Class) or ND1 (Petty Officer First Class). Chief Petty Officers and above generally function more in a supervisory role though that's by no means a hard and fast rule.

The ranks are to be distinguished from the training - a Second Class Diver is trained in scuba and surface-supplied air diving. A First Class Diver has additional training in surface-supplied mixed-gas and diving supervision. A Master Diver can be a Chief Petty Officer, Senior Chief Petty Officer or Master Chief Petty Officer. Master Divers have extensive field experience in a variety of diving settings and go through a rigorous evaluation process prior to designation.

For scuba regulators, when I retired in 2010 we were primarily using the Conshelf XXI but the Conshelf XIV is still listed as primary on the civilian version of the ANU (approved for Navy Use) list (also linked by @tursiops above).

Re surface-supplied helmets, the Navy is currently using a militarized version of the Kirby-Morgan KM-37, designated KM-37NS.

The decompression tables in the current version of the Navy Diving Manual are based on a modified Thalmann algorithm.

If you want to integrate some cool tech, check out the DAVD system.

Hope this helps! Would be interested in reading the final product.

Best regards,
DDM
 
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That DAVD system sounds cool! Thank you for breaking it down. It’s only for a small detail but I like getting it right
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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