Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Combat Divers Hold Underwater Graduation

What better place?

The base pool at CFB Gagetown was the scene of an unusual parade recently when 12 members of Combat Dive Course 0022 graduated underwater.

With the sound of regulators being checked, Canadian flags hanging in the water at the deep end and soldiers sliding into the pool, history was made.

“This is the first underwater grad parade in Canada. The last time that we can remember a grad parade being held underwater was when 4 Combat Engineer Regiment was at CFB Lahr, Germany in the early 90s,” said LCol Paul Mann, Commandant of the CF School of Military Engineering.

“The parade came to be primarily out of fun,” explained WO Marc Beauregard, Sergeant-Major of Army Dive Unit. “The Colonel Commandant of the school is posted out this summer. He is the OPI of Army Diving and I wanted him to become the reviewing officer for the course. The email went forth to him and he came back with the suggestion that he would love to do it if we could do it in the water, in CABA (compressed air breathing apparatus) and he wanted a swim past instead of a march past.”

As in any other specialty in the CF, it takes a special kind of soldier to make a combat diver. The prerequisite for the Combat Diver Course is you must be an engineer first and you must be chosen to attend a two-week preliminary training course. The successful candidates are then off to the Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic in Halifax for six weeks where they learn to dive.

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