Want to Become a Navy Diver?
Careers begin at CEODD Great Lakes
For incoming Sailors who have aspirations of becoming a Navy Diver (ND), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) or Diving Medical Technician (DMT), their rigorous journey begins at Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (CEODD) Learning Site, Great Lakes.
"Students used to check into dive school and within the first two days they were doing their physical skills test (PST) and their AA's," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (DSW/SW) James R. Butts, assistant officer in charge, CEODD. "If they didn't pass in six attempts, they were gone. The students now get two attempts to pass their PST and 12 attempts to pass their AA's.
While the additional attempts may seem to be beneficial to the students, many continue to struggle with the course requirements especially those who had a misconceived idea of what being a ND, EOD or DMT actually entails.
"The big misconception students have is they think they are coming here to be SEALs (Sea, Air, Land). We're two separate things completely. Recruiters tend to lump special operations jobs together and that's fine for recruiting but the mission sets are completely separate," said Chief Navy Diver (DSW/AW/PJ) Jamie Fricton, leading chief petty officer. "Many will get here and think they'll be Special Warfare operators and that's not the truth."
Butts adds that many students believe they're going to suit up to perform the same mission skill sets that are required of the SEALs and are very surprised when they discover what the job really entails.
"We're divers, not direct assault assets. We walk the bottom of the ocean in zero visibility and try to find things that most people don't want to find or do work that is very strenuous and laborious. It's not glamorous - it's tough, it's challenging and it's exciting," said Butts.