Diver insignia

Diver insignia

The Diver insignia (known as "diver badge" in US Army parlance) is a military qualification of the United States armed forces awarded to servicemen qualified as military divers. Originally, the Diver insignia was a cloth patch decoration worn by US Navy divers in the upper-portion of the service uniform's left sleeve. The diving patch was created during WWII, and became a breast insignia in the late 1960s.

Currently, the United States Navy and the United States Army issue diver insignia denoting degrees of qualification. Coast Guardsmen and Marines are eligible to earn the naval Diver insignia. The United States Air Force awards the Special Operations Diver insignia to graduates of the USAF Combat Dive School in Panama City, Florida, required of USAF Pararescuemen and USAF Combat Controllers.

United States Navy, Marine Corps & Coast Guard

United States Navy diver insignia are awarded, per degree of qualification, to sailors, Marines, and coast guardsmen. The elementary naval diver insignia is the Scuba Diver insignia, awarded upon qualifying as a Navy Scuba Diver. Previously, the Scuba Diver insignia was awarded in two degrees — one for officers, one for enlisted men; the Navy eliminated the officer's insignia in the 1990s, yet it remains in service within the Coast Guard.

Currently, the silver-color scuba diver insignia is issued to qualified sailors and Marines. In 2001, the Marine Corps authorized the creation of a new badge, the Combatant Diver insignia, attesting to the wearer's closed-circuit rebreather and reconnaissance combat diver training; the gold-colored Combatant Diver insignia depicts a wet suit hood, low-profile mask, and chest-mounted re-breather apparatus.

The Navy's deep sea diver qualification insignia are awarded in three degrees; Second Class Diver; First Class Diver; and Master Diver; there also exists a Diving Officer insignia awarded to officers who passed the Basic Diving Officer course. In the Navy, the master diver is the most qualified diver; he must be a Chief Petty Officer before applying to attend the Master Diver course.

The Diving Medical Officer and the Diving Medical Technician insignia are awarded to medical personnel qualified as a diver and as a medical technician, the "Master Diver" and the Diving Officer insignia resemble the Diving Medical insignia that are decorated with a caduceus; the Diving Medical Officer insignia is gold-colored, the enlisted man's Diving Medical Technician insignia is silver-colored; Deep Sea Dive school-qualified corpsmen wear it.

Like the Navy's Surface, Submarine, and Aviation enlisted specialty marks, dive-qualified enlisted men place a term after the rating, for example, if Boatswain's Mate Second Class Jones is dive-qualified, he is referred to, in writing, as BM2(DV) Jones.

United States Army

The United States Army's diver badges resemble the badges of the U.S. Navy, except for the Master Diver badge, as the Army has no such officers and medics, however, Navy-awarded diving officer and medical officer diver badges are authorized for wear on Army uniforms with written approval from the U.S.A. HRC.

  • Master Diver Badge
  • First-Class Diver Badge.
  • Salvage Diver Badge.
  • Second-Class Diver Badge.
  • Special Operations Diver Badge (formerly Scuba Diver Badge)
  • Special Operations Supervisor Badge

The Army's Scuba Diver badge was identical to the Navy's scuba diver badge until July of 2005. The new design includes sharks and two daggers in saltire, is named the Special Operations Diver badge, and an additional grade, the Special Operations Diving Supervisor badge was created.

See Also

USA armed forces divers

Official links

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