Articles

100 YEARS OF THE MILITARY DIVER

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Military Diver as well as 100 years of the MK V Diving Helmet, 40th year since the Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) moved to Panama City Beach, FL, and the 35th anniversary of the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) at Panama City Beach, FL.

To remind the public of all that military divers have done for this great nation, the training center created a power point presentation of the calendar of events for May 2015 and history of Navy Diving.

Received another excellent piece that explains a lot in a small folder that can be printed out and taken with you when you visit PCB to attend the various events this May. The folder, which you can download and save, is the Year of the Military DiverTri Folder

Brotherhood of the Deep

I saw this article in the October 2012 FRA Today magazine. There are a couple of good articles in this edition, but I thought I would bring your attention to the well-written article that begins on Page 18 of the attached PDF file

Navy Divers History

Elk River - IX-501

MDV Bill Mesplay was digging through his archives and found this old article on the "Moose Creek". He emailed the article to me today (01-04-2010) and he is going to try and find the two hour episdoe that was on NBC.

Navy Divers Rating History

The below history is courtesy of NDCM(MDV) Dave Gove, Navy Diver Enlisted Community Manager.

Diving History -- History of the Navy Diver Rating.

The very first Diving rating was Gunners Mate.  Instruction in simple diving had been part of the course at the Gunnery School because Gunners Mates were assigned as ships divers as a collateral duty.  The introduction of the torpedo, a weapon that revolutionized Navy warfare caused the Navy to require a more in depth training pipeline to support torpedo testing and recovery.  In order to support this, the Navy established a school under Chief Gunners Mate Jacob Anderson to teach diving (in 1882).  Chief Anderson's two week course was the first designed solely to train divers.
Based in Newport, RI; the school trained divers to descend to a maximum depth of 60 feet to recover exercise torpedoes.  The course of instruction was based solely on dress of the diver and underwater procedures.  Things like decompression, DCS or AGE were years from being discovered.  As the mission of the Navy Diver grew, so did the training and recognition of the program.

In 1929 two Diver's distinguishing marks (patches) were introduced. The Master Diver mark had a block letter "M" on the breast plate and the First Class Diver mark had the numeral "1".  Shortly there-after, two additional Diver distinguishing marks were added; Second Class Divers and Salvage Divers.  These cloth marks were awarded based on in-water/operational knowledge as much as they were on the training the individual received.

The outstanding contributions the Navy Diver had during WWII caused the Navy to attempt the establishment of a Diver rating in 1948.  This rating was called Underwater Mechanic - Established in 1948 from wartime diving details but never actually activated.  Originally this rating fell under the Exclusive Emergency Service Rating (in response to WWII needs) and later was planned as a General Rating that would be placed under the Engineering and Hull ratings.  The specialty badge consisted of a MK-V helmet superimposed over a two headed wrench with the rating designator of UM.  The Navy planned the rating and had manufacturers even create insignia for it, but never implemented it until 1964 when it was disestablished.  It was also at this time that the metal qualification badges that we all wear today would be created and approved for wear.

In July 1, 2006 the Navy Diving (ND) rating was officially established as a general rating and falls under the Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations ratings.  The MKV helmet on the rating badge reflects our main operational environment as well as our heritage/history.  The pins are still worn on uniform to distinguish both warfare qualification as well as level of diving training/qualification.

Bob Barth CWO

September 2010 - Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) dedication of the CWO Robert A. Barth Aquatic Training Center,Panama City,Florida.

Behind Bob is the current Commanding Officer of NDSTC CDR. (CAPT Select) Tim. Richardt SEAL USN.

"Photo by Bernie Campoli"