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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 15, 2023

E4s and E5s apply now for Diver school  

By Kyle Ford, MyCG Writer 

If you have a calling to be a Coast Guard diver (DV), your time is now. The application window for this round of DV school candidates is open and completed packages must be received no later than May 5.  

  • Prior dive experience is not necessary, but there are other eligibility requirements. Prospective candidates will be:  
  • E5 and E4 with completed Enlisted Performance Qualifications (EPQ) 
  • Under 35 years old with less than 10 years of active duty service and eligible for reenlistment 
  • And meet the minimum physical screening test  

Physical and mental toughness are extremely important for members wanting to be a part of this rating, according to Chief Petty Officer Thomas Hansen, U.S. Coast Guard Dive School chief.  

“I encourage everyone who is eligible to apply to this opportunity,” Hansen said. “This is a highly competitive rating but worth it to be among the few Coast Guard members in the service who get to dive in waters all around the world.” 

On the physical side Hansen encouraged DV hopefuls to focus on calisthenics, swimming and running rather than weightlifting. The physical screening test (PST) is the bare minimum level of physical fitness required to complete the training. He suggested that candidates should aim to be able to complete the PST twice back-to-back.  

The PST consists of: 

  • A 500-yard swim less than 14 minutes; 
  • Minimum of 42 push-ups;  
  • Minimum of 50 sit-ups; 
  • Minimum of 6 pull-ups; 
  • Run 1.5-mile in less than 12:45. 

“Come prepared,” Hansen said. “It is 100% worth it.  

Anecdotally, it’s often the mental, not physical, part of the training that eliminates candidates. In fact, it’s been said that DVA school is like boot camp all over again.  

“That’s because during a dive, if things go wrong, things can go wrong fast and with dire consequences,” Hansen said. “We need to make sure our future divers can handle the stress of keeping calm and making decisions when that need arises.” 

After the rigorous, lengthy accessions program, newly minted divers will receive orders to one of three Regional Dive Lockers (RDL):  

  • RDL West  in San Diego;  
  • RDL East on Base Portsmouth, Virginia;  
  • RDL Pacific on Base Honolulu.  

All RDLs fall under Maritime Security Response Team West (MSRTW) command. 

DVs are highly trained military divers whose duties may include weapons recovery, ship maintenance or repair, and clearing obstructed waterways. DVs use side scan sonar equipment, underwater remote-operated vehicles, metal detectors, and various exothermic cutting and hydraulic power tools. You’ll be trained to succeed in waters from the pristine tropics to frigid conditions under polar ice.  

For more information, application content and templates, visit the Diver Rating Force Master Chief Site. Completed application packets should be sent encrypted to DV A-School Chief and CC the DV RFMC at no later than May 5. For more information please see the AY24 Diver Rating Solicitation ALCGENL 033-23   

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