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Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School

Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School


Ninety miles off the coast of Cuba, under
these calm waters, U.S. Army Special Forces are at work. Welcome to Key West. Sgt. Gorey: The first thing I say when I jump
in that water is thank God it’s warm. 2nd Lt. Ryerson: My mom, I don’t tell her
much of what we do. Key West is one of the hottest tourist destinations
on the planet. Duvall Street is where everyone goes, but most don’t realize that several
miles away is an entirely different world. These students are here for the Combat Diver
Qualification Course. The class is made of Green Berets, Rangers and even West Point
Cadets. 2nd Lt. Ryerson: The closed circuit system
that we use as combat divers, it does not give any bubbles, so there’s no trace that
you’re actually under the surface. Closed circuit dive equipment is much more
complex than open circuit and under the water there’s no room for error. Lt. Ryerson: They inspect us. They do a pre-dive
inspection and if we have something wrong, that’s on us. If a student makes a mistake during preparation,
there’s no yelling. Just calm remedial training. Sgt. 1st Class Gosselin: The students, when
they first come here and they first show up to the course they’re treated-or they’re
very much micromanaged. Every little thing they do is dictated. Every little mistake
they make is corrected. The instructors are everywhere. They see everything. Sgt. Gorey: I had
an extensive background in free diving, growing
up on the water, but I knew nothing about combat diving. Previous experience in the water doesn’t
always help. Capt. Schwartz: The most challenging obstacle
that I faced since starting the course was the One Man Confidence Exam. Students must recover after having their ability to see and breathe ripped from them. 2nd Lt. Ryerson: That’s one of the most stressful days I’ve had at this course. So leading up to that was very very hard on me. Not everyone will make it through this portion but those that do say the same thing. Sgt. Gorey: You have to remain calm. And I think that’s the biggest goal here for us as students is to learn how to remain calm under situations that you don’t think you’re going to make it out of. The ring of this bell signals he’s ready to go home. Sgt. 1st Class Emmons: Every attempt to train , teach, coach mentor is made. They’ll get extra training, anything to help them stay on track, but if somebody washes out it’s because he quit, like on himself, and there’s not a lot you can do about that. He’s already made his mind up. Maj. Eaton: It takes a special Green Beret to want to become a combat diver. It requires a self starter, somebody who wants to accept the challenge of this course. It’s a very difficult and challenging course but one with proper training and preparation that Green Beret or Ranger will succeed here. From Naval Air Station Trumbo Point, I’m Petty Officer Glenn Slaughter


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