How to Become a Navy Master Diver! Join the Seabees, the U.S. Naval Construction Force!

Special thanks to the always amazing Popular Science for this!

The U.S. Naval Construction Battalions (aka: the Seabees) build all sorts of military constructions projects for the U.S. Navy. 

*Fun Fact*

Detroit’s Selfridge has one of the best Seabees units in the U.S. Naval Reserve!

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 26, based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, was awarded the Rear Adm. John R. Perry Award as the most outstanding naval construction battalion in the U.S. Navy Reserve. 

 

underwater welding
How to Become a Navy Master Diver! Join the Seabees, the U.S. Naval Construction Force!

A sailor welds two pieces of metal together in a training pool.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Charles E. White

From salvaging wrecks to building aquatic infrastructure, master divers like Chief Warrant Officer James ­Emerson handle some of the U.S. Navy’s most complex subaqueous projects—­because if something is tricky on dry land, it can be diabolical in the drink.

Emerson is in charge of turning Seabees (the name comes from the abbreviation for “Construction ­Battalion”) into underwater experts. Out of 160 Seabee divers, only 2 to 4 percent will ultimately earn the title of “master.”

 
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man in construction hat welding

STEP 1: JOIN THE SEABEES

Enlisted sailors learn construction and ­demolition, without the added pressure of doing it underwater.

 
 
 
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welding underwater in a scuba suit

STEP 2: BECOME A SEABEE DIVER

Now to perform those same tasks in scuba gear. Lessons include hydraulic cutting and welding—and avoiding electrocution.

 
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person in scuba gear swims with chainsaw

STEP 3: LEARN ON THE JOB

One of Emerson’s first tasks was to cut up a ruined Virginia pier in “some of the coldest, darkest water you can imagine.”

 
 
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man performs CPR on dummy

STEP 4: GO BACK TO DIVE SCHOOL

Five or more years later, Seabee divers can try for First Class level, learning project management and how to treat injuries.

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man giving orders to scuba diver

STEP 5: TEST FOR MASTER DIVER

After 12 to 20 years, a written test, and rigorous dive simulations in the Gulf of Mexico, you’re certified as one of the Navy’s best.

Seabees

http://www.public.navy.mil/seabee/Pages/default.aspx

Learn more

https://www.navy.com/careers/engineering-applied-science/construction#ft-key-responsibilities

 

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