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Issued by: United States Navy
Type Enlisted/Officer rating
A Navy Diver refers to a member of the community of officer and enlisted personnel in the United States Navy who are qualified in underwater open/closed circuit breathing apparatus, deep sea type diving apparatus and saturation diving. Personnel in the Navy Diver (ND rating) are part of the Navy Special Operations (NSO) community. Navy Divers serve at several diving platform types including; Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), Navy Special Operations/Special Warfare commands, Marine Corps dive teams, rescue/salvage and repair diving detachments, saturation diving commands and diving research/development to name a few. Some of the mission areas of the Navy Diver include; deep sea underwater salvage, harbor clearance operations, in-water ship/submarine repair, demolition operations, submarine rescue, SEAL Delivery Vehicle deployment/recovery, saturation diving, experimental diving, underwater construction/welding as well as serving as diving technical experts at SEAL/Marine Corps/and United States Navy EOD diving commands. In 2006, the U.S. Navy established a new Navy Diver (ND) rating. Navy Divers are the foremost experts in all types of diving operations in the U.S. military and serve as the single resource managers for diving technical knowledge and training across the entire Department of Defense (DOD
Training and ratings
Navy Divers are trained at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City, Florida. Initial training is an arduous 8-10 month process from when someone enters “Boot Camp” until they are rated as a Navy Diver (ND). Although rated as an ND, Navy Divers are not authorized wear of the Second Class Dive pin until they qualify as Diving and Salvage Warfare Specialist (DSWS) at their first assignment — this normally takes an additional
The Navy Diver works in extreme conditions, performing various underwater tasks ranging from underwater ship repair, underwater salvage and special operations/special warfare type diving. Because their mission areas are so varied, they can be required to utilize any type of diving equipment for use in any depth or temperature in any part of the world. Certain diving qualification allows ND’s to live and work at extreme depths for days or weeks at a time, a discipline known as saturation diving.
Personnel that graduate from Second Class or First Class Dive School; and ultimately Master Diver comprise the rating Navy Diver (ND). ND’s are the in-water operators and supervisors for the various mission areas mentioned previously as their primary day to day mission is that of in-water operator and/or supervisor. There is also the Diving Officer designation/badge for Commissioned Officers. There are three enlisted diving badges/qualifications in the ND rating:
Second Class Diver – E-4 thru E-5 personnel. This is the basic diving qualification in the ND rating awarded upon completion of ND ‘A’ School (pin awarded upon warfare qualification). Primary duties are to serve as in-water operators during various missions.
First Class Diver – E-6 thru E-8 personnel. Advanced Diving Qualification awarded upon completion of ND ‘C’ School. In addition to duties as a Second Class Diver, First Class Divers serve as diving and chamber treatment supervisors.
Master Diver – The highest degree of technical diving operational knowledge in the military. Awarded upon successful completion of the Master Diver course. Oversees diving operations and train/qualify diving supervisors.
Personnel in the Seabee ratings can qualify as Underwater Construction Technician (UCT). Like Navy Divers, UCT operators are primary in-water operators that conduct underwater construction. They also have three qualification levels with similarities to those in the Navy Diver (ND) rating.
Navy Hospital Corpsmen can qualify as a Diving Medical Technician (DMT), where they are given training in medical aspects of diving. Primary responsibilities are to provide medical advice and treatment to diving personnel. They also instruct members of the diving team in first aid procedures when the presence of diving medical personnel is indicated.
Additionally, there is a SCUBA Diver qualification primarily for those stationed on submarines to serve as sub divers in a limited capacity.
Navy SCUBA Divers are also trained at NDSTC at a 4 week course. Their duties comprise primarily of conducting occasional inspections on the submarine they are stationed on. SCUBA Divers maintain their Navy rating such as ET or QM as their diving NEC is a collateral duty not their primary one.