Their accomplishments are epic. Their expertise is unrivaled. No other force is more intensely trained to succeed in the perilous world of underwater adventure. Each assignment they take on is crucial and backed by a steadfast dedication to teamwork.
Navy Divers are part of an extraordinary community. They journey anywhere from the darkest depths of the world’s oceans to freezing arctic-like conditions underneath icebergs, accomplishing a number of tasks only few can perform, with no margin for error.
Navy Divers may be expected to:
Perform a variety of diving salvage operations and special diving duties worldwide
Take part in construction and demolition projects
Execute search and rescue missions
Support military and civilian law enforcement agencies
Serve as the technical experts for diving evolutions for numerous military Special Operations units
Provide security, communications and other logistics during Expeditionary Warfare missions
Carry out routine ship maintenance, including restoration and repair
Your job as a Navy Diver could encompass many dive specialties, including:
Salvage and recovery – Locating and retrieving wreckage; conducting harbor and waterway clearance, underwater repairs and salvage operations in all environments
Deep submergence – Probing the greatest depths in the name of research and other classified missions
Ship husbandry – Inspecting and repairing ships and submarines
Saturation diving – Working and living at extreme depths for days or weeks at a time
Fittingly, the Navy Diver motto is “We Dive the World Over.” Members of this Special Operations force travel the world, working everywhere imaginable, in just about every possible undersea environment – from cold, muddy water where underwater tasks can be completed by feel only - to warm, tropical waters clear enough for underwater photography.
Training & Advancement
Training to become a Navy Diver challenges your willpower, intelligence and physical strength – and puts your desire to the test. Complete the training, and you’ll rank among the world’s elite underwater adventurers. Training includes:
Diver Preparation Course (7 weeks) at Naval Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill. for training in basic electrical and engineering courses, water adaptability and physical fitness
Second Class Dive School (15 weeks) at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City, Fla., for training in any or all of the following:
Air and mixed gas diving
Underwater cutting and welding
Recompression chamber operations
Underwater hydraulic tools
Ship maintenance, repair and salvage
Fleet Training – You will be assigned to one of the Navy Diving Units to be trained to perform underwater ship repair, salvage and construction, using either SCUBA equipment or a surface-supplied-air diving system. Training for Diving Medical Officers and Diving Medical Technicians is also part of Fleet training.
Advanced Training – Many experienced divers return to NDSTC for further course work so they can qualify as First Class Divers and Master Divers.
For those with further leadership aspirations and a college degree, Officer roles are available – providing opportunities to lead and train others.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance. It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.
Members of the Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations (NSW/NSO) community have any number of unique opportunities to advance their education. Navy training provides skills and knowledge in everything from military tactics, deep-sea diving and a number of other tactical military procedures.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy training in the NSW/NSO community can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education. You may also continue your education through opportunities like the following:
Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance
Post-9/11 GI Bill
Qualifications & Requirements
Males and females are eligible to apply to become enlisted Navy Divers. No college degree is required, but a high degree of difficulty and satisfaction is standard. Training is tough and ongoing. You can apply for the Navy Challenge contract for Divers at any time during your first enlistment.
Eyesight 20/200 bilateral correctable to 20/25 with no color blindness
Minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score: AR+VE=103, MC=51
Pass a physical examination required for divers
Be 30 years of age or younger
Must be a U.S. citizen and eligible for security clearance
The chart below highlights the current minimum Navy Physical Screening Test (PST) requirements for Navy Challenge Programs.
NOTE: You should consult your physician or other health-care professional before starting any exercise regime or other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. This is particularly true if you (or your family) have a history of medical illnesses or ailments that could be made worse by a change in physical activity. Do not start a fitness program if your physician or health-care provider advises against it.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.