Photo: U.S. Navy Links updated 12/4/2015
American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEADWe received a report on May 15, 2015 that the Coast Guard has finally established an enlisted rating and Warrant Officer speciality for Divers. The Coast Guard has had active duty divers throughout most of the post WWII era. However such divers generally held a general service rating such as "Boatswain's Mate" , or "Machinery Technician" , or "Damage Controlman". Though assigned primarily diving duties such petty officers had to advance through their general service rating's practical factors, course work, time in grade requirements, and competitive service wide exams for advancement in rank. Being a diver was considered a "Personal Qualification Code". Maintaining those qualifications was often more demanding than maintaining qualifications in the general service rating. Often those holding the more complex "personal qualcodes" were at a disadvantage when trying to advance in rate /rank ( Rate ="boatswain's mate. Rank = Petty Officer 3ird, 2nd, first, Chief etc.). Now Coast Guard divers will have the advantage of needing no other rate and have a career path open from Third Class Petty Officer all the way through Chief Warrant Officer.
Diving is becoming more complex every day and complexity adds to the danger of the activity. The Coast Guard lost two divers beneath the Arctic ice about two years ago, a female commissioned officer and a male petty officer , neither one yet 30 years old. We believe their deaths helped illustrate the point that diving deserves full time attention and top quality training. We applaude this move by the Coast Guard as a tightening of the rein on operational safety and efficiency, and welcome relief to the service's divers.
About 50 enlisted personnel and three chief warrant officers will initially transition to the Diver (DV) rating and Diving (DIV) specialty, respectively. The first of the newly transitioned diving petty officers received "plank owner certificates" in the new rating signed by the Commandant and the Master CFhief Petty Officer of the service around May 15, 2015.
Divers support a variety of Coast Guard missions. They service aids to navigation, conduct subsurface search and recovery, inspect and maintain Coast Guard vessels, and provide technical expertise with remotely operated vehicles, sonar equipment, and underwater imagery.
For more information on the history of the Coast Guard’s diving program, please visit:http://www.uscg.mil/history/articles/CoastGuardDivingProgramCOTPSanFran.pdf. If you are a young person interested in becoming a Coast Guard diver we suggest seeing the nearest Coast Guard recruiter in a few weeks when more information on the new program is more widely distributed.