Shallow Water Diver’s Patch

Unlike the Royal Navy where diving is a specialist trade, in the army it is an additional qualification on top of soldier and trade skills and divers are not employed in the role on a full time basis. Despite this the training and requirements are just as rigorous and the award of a shallow water diver’s badge at the end of the training is treated with great pride. The badge is in the form of an old fashioned diver’s helmet, embroidered in yellow or gold thread on a suitably coloured background. This example is in yellow on a khaki piece of felt:skmbt_c36416121312260_0001Army divers train at the same facility as the Royal Navy, at the Defence Diving School at Horsea Island and high levels of fitness and teamwork are essential. Once they have completed their training they can expect to be employed in a number of tasks such as underwater demolitions, underwater concreting, searching and recovering equipment and people and underwater engineering tasks. The training is spread over four different courses:

  • Army Diver Selection Course (SEL).

The aim is to select those Officers and Soldiers suitable for training as Army Divers. DTU(A) assess physical fitness, diving aptitude, ability to learn new information and attitude towards military Diving. Only those who are selected can apply for the next course.

  • Army Diver Class 2 Course (AD2).

The aim is to train Officers and Soldiers, who have successfully passed an Army Diver Selection Course, in the use of SABA MOD 1, in-service self contained equipment, in techniques that will allow them to operate at depths of up to 30m, as a member of a Unit Diving Team. The 5 week course includes first aid, underwater search techniques, demolitions, minor repair, object recovery and removal and fast water search.

  • Army Diver Class 1 Course (AD1).

The aim is to train Class 2 Army Divers in the use of the Open Space Diving System (OSDS), in-service surface demand equipment, in techniques that will allow them to operate at depths of up to 50m, as a member of a Unit Diving Team. The 6 week course includes underwater engineering, concreting, hydraulic tools and decompression diving.

  • Army Diving Supervisor Course (ADS).

The aim is to qualify Class 1 Army Divers as Army Diving Supervisors or a percentage of personnel for training as SABA supervisors by means of assessing them in the following supervisory roles over 5 weeks; local agency tasking in both OSDS and SABA, fast water tasks and deep diving tasks.

Here we see a pair of army divers at Horsea, note the shallow water diving qualification badge on the sleeve of the left hand diver:surg-lt-jamie-vassallo-being-prepared-for-army-diving-session

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