The Prep course is formally listed as 8 weeks long but is actually 9 weeks with the inclusion of an inprocessing “Zero Week” . "That kind of complacency will get a guy killed. He could drive you as far into oxygen debt as he wanted. Depending on where you do it, pre-dive can be worse than dive school. "We can't just send them out of here with a 70 percent and think, 'Oh, they're probably good enough.' The infiltration includes a mission for an entire team, and the instructors serve as the opposing force. In order to fully understand the dangers involved with diving, the types of injuries that could occur and how to prevent them, students must understand basic anatomy and physiology.The academic portion of the course, essentially, "explains what can kill these guys," Smith said solemnly. You start out at the top of the food chain, but after the injury, I was at the bottom of the chain. Sometimes, repair, construction and patrolling take place beneath the surface. They would push us into the deep end so everyone was crowded and with Twin 80s, BCD vests, mask and fins, and weight belts, we clung to the edge of the pool. Candace Le, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment January 14, 2013. Talmadge's left leg was severely injured by a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade. "Especially if you're already a diver and looking to do instructor time, this is the place to do it. The Sapper Leader Course is a demanding 28 day leadership development course for combat engineers that reinforces critical skills and teaches advanced techniques needed across the Army. We don't have to choose anything. Other training includes obstacle courses, rucksack marches, diving physics, dive tables, metric manipulations, medical terminology, dive terminology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, weapons qualifications, history of PJs, and leadership reaction course. is a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a number of other live fire locations. Cool under pressure, they move with no doubt that they can fix any medical problem from arterial bleeding to syphilis. I'm 30, 166 lbs, and have never failed a PRT, averaging 1230, 1200 on the run, 80 push ups, 75 sit up last cycle. ""For example, we're not going to waste time by using a bunch of Latin terms that the students aren't going to understand. It's the drive. On the cadre’s whistle, you let go, pushed off and swam underwater to the other side. "It was life changing, especially in the beginning. They selected Fleming Key, and during the next 20 years, the site grew from a collection of tents to an advanced maritime special operations training facility.Early dive technology can also be attributed to military contributions. Sgt. For example, combat divers often use diver propulsion devices, DPDs, small, open submarines capable of carrying two divers. Staff Sergeant Chuck Gates was an active-duty Green Beret from 19th SFG in Utah. The most highly selective program available to cadets, the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) has less than fifteen cadet slots each year. Not everyone who is Special Forces is [high altitude/low opening]-qualified. There was a designated safety officer who counted heads and made sure everyone resurfaced. This phase is 4 weeks long. The water was hazy, and they could not see the bottom of the pool. Air Force Combat Dive Course is a SOCOM approved course that incorporates diving fundamental in both Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) and closed circuit underwater breathing apparatus (UBA). So, getting there is only half the battle. For those who do make it into the course, one out of every three will never finish.Regarded by many Soldiers as the toughest military school to endure, CDQC is run by C Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Once the initial tests are completed, the course moves on at full speed.Sgt. Dive prep is designed to weed out people and it's tough for a reason. She then attended Navy Dive School and spent two years as a Coast Guard Diver at Maritime Safety and Security Team 91109. These classes are meant to provide students with the qualities of teamwork, […] Posts navigation. The School is designed to prepare military divers and skilled submarine professionals. What recruits do need, however, is mental and physical toughness, as well as the will to learn. But, Talmadge said that he has intentionally, and sometimes forcefully, taken an active part within his own recovery process, which has helped him maintain a positive outlook. The problem is we've got a lot of 10-pound craniums walking around here who understand it in-depth. He blew through the PT test and had no fear of anything through pool week. "So at that point, they need more team training. We understand ads might not be why you’re here, but our ad revenue is one of the ways we keep the lights on and our veteran writing staff paid. "As Talmadge began regaining strength and mobility, he did laps around the nurses' station. The purpose of this drill was explained several times, but the story was never the same twice and never made any sense. One of my buddies suggested I come here to CDQC as an instructor, which would allow me to continue my rehab, especially swimming," he explained.Still walking with a cane when he first arrived to CDQC, Talmadge began swimming, and with help from the other cadre, he began running again. This infiltration method grew to become another platform for Special Forces to get to work.Known for using cutting-edge technology, the school served as field tester in the 1970s for a rebreather unit that used mixed gas in a closed-circuit system. It is as intense mentally as it is physically, with an attrition rate that truly begins before each class cycle does.In order to be accepted to the course, candidates are required to pass as intense physical fitness and swim test at their home units, which must be documented by their command. "Being regular Army, a commander makes your decisions. The secret was to remain calm and breathe deeply with the time you had. b. "For many students, the toughest part of the course takes place in the classroom. Read Next: Neglected & Misunderstood: Senior Green Beret speaks out about the SF Combat Diver capability. With boring efficiency, they raised Chuck from the dead and got him breathing again. I did this correctly only once, on test day. Repeat until told to stop. "When you exhale underwater, the air, the bubbles come up to the surface. It has about a 40% passing rate. You hear it in Special Forces and around Rangers. The training is physically and mentally exhausting, so preparation above and beyond the basic requirements of the school is mandatory. Read Next: Think like a Green Beret: Never Quit. Airborne Instructors in 1977. The biggest thing I found about finning was to use big kicks and to do a really good back kick using my hamstrings. We do a lot of testing, a lot of study hall to make sure these guys understand. Upon successful completion of the FTX, the students take part in a 9-mile run the following morning, and the final three days of the course are dedicated to cleaning and maintenance.As one can imagine, the elation of completing such a grueling school renders the new combat divers overjoyed. He didn't merely catch shrapnel from the blast. This course helps prepare students for the rigors of training and the demands of these lifestyles. They advise that the key to passing it is not to panic but to remain calm, which for some students is easier said than done.Drown-proofing requires swimmers' hands and feet to be bound with Velcro straps. It's their sense of duty, loyalty and honor.Having spent 10 years as an engineer in the regular Army, Tabberer decided to go Special Forces, but he said he had never considered being a diver. There is no warning sensation, and victims typically drown quietly. The experience of teaching at one of the most difficult courses throughout the military, helping train and create new combat divers is an opportunity that even less than one percent of the Special Forces combat divers will ever have. The U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, known as USMAPS, the Prep School, or West Point Prep, was formally established in 1946, but the history of "prepping" Soldiers for West Point has been done since Congress enacted legislation in 1916 authorizing Soldier appointments to West Point. Tabberer said. Support authentic military journalism and a 100% veteran editorial staff. All of these activities are in succession, and hands and feet remain bound.Once the swim is complete, students must perform a front flip and back flip underwater in the deep end of the pool, without touching the bottom or sides for assistance. Usually the water does the choosing for us. So, we spend a lot of time talking with each other about the best teaching methods. The low guys tried to stay as high as they could so they used less energy. Soldiers meeting the right criteria may attend specialized schools and leadership training. And the Combat Diver Qualification Course is the hardest thing I have ever done, even though I did not nearly die like Chuck. Instructors say Week One weeds out those who aren't meant to be combat divers.Weeks Two and Three are devoted to closed-circuit training, navigational diving, buddy breathing and tactical swims in full gear and equipment.Week Four includes boat and watercraft training. First, swimmers must bob up and down in 10 feet of water for five minutes. "I thanked God that I was alive, but there were times that I got pretty down. The first week, they issued full open circuit gear, complete with twin 80-cubic-foot tanks. "I've got my feelers out there, seeing what's going on back at group, so I can get back on a team, get back to training and the daily grind. Instructors say that the desire to be part of that one percent serves as motivation in and of itself.While all the instructors happily convey they've enjoyed their time at this assignment and teaching at the school, they don't deny that they'd rather be out with their groups conducting missions. Q4 SOFREP Sweepstakes - Over $4,000 in prizes - Click here for more information → If I am revived and offered a chance to quit, I am going to take it. Course Code: 011-ASIQ5 . Dropping the mask, breaking their restraints, touching the sides of the pool, or not completing the five bobs appropriately means failure.Students are given a second chance if they fail to complete a test correctly. However, should they fail a second time, they are recycled to the next iteration of the course. Hyperventilation prior to diving depletes carbon dioxide in the system, leaving a diver susceptible to shallow-water blackout. Leave a comment. The AIRR guys went down to Florida for their schools, and the ND and EOD guys stayed in Great Lakes for dive prep. "We're very tight on the students. I saw a couple videos of the navy guys who were in my class. Matthew D. Smith, chief instructor in charge of the curriculum, said that a lot of what takes place at the school involves academics.Having a medical background might help a student in this course, but most who attend do not have that luxury. The biggest stressor with dive school is that you can be dropped at any point for failing anything. While we got plenty of experience donning and wearing these primitive behemoths, we did not turn on the air and use regulators until week two. Master Sgt. Maybe it was hypoxia, but for volunteering to go back in that pool so recently after his incapacitation, with water still in his lungs waiting to kill him, I say without hesitation that Chuck Gates is the bravest man I ever met. My question is really geared towards divers. The cadre with the whistle controlled the pace. Alternatively, he'll descend ever so slightly with each exhalation. 1st Class Thomas N. Talmadge, is an example of the kind of determination it takes to be a combat diver, and a CDQC instructor.Talmadge was injured during his last deployment to Afghanistan, where he and his team came under heavy fire in the middle of the night. Even too many quizzes. At that point, there were about 25 guys still in the class. Because it is so efficient in recycling and rationing oxygen, the rebreather allows combat divers to remain underwater for four hours straight. ", 'Santa Todd' goes virtual to provide holiday joy to children, AFC remains future-focused while supporting present challenges, ‘Game-changing’ program enables COVID-19 patients to safely recover at home, Amid pandemic, Army initiative safely moves Soldiers home in time for Christmas, People first: New task force seeks Army-wide changes, Army medical facilities in Europe to receive COVID vaccine, Army preps Strykers for laser combat shoot-off, Soldier builds unbreakable bond with military working dog, Top Soldier stories of 2020 show resilience in trying year, Army to widen scope of legal counsel program for victims of sexual assault, Operation Warp Speed goes on offense against COVID-19, New retirement extensions allow the Army to retain critical talent. He explained that it was SF autonomy that pushed him through the qualification course, and the prestige that attracted him to dive school. Graduates are awarded the Combat Diver Qualification Badge. He had recycled because of crossovers. Of course, there are several types of equipment available now, but the school utilizes the Draeger LAR-V, which is a design based on the original LARU apparatus from the 1940s.Master Sgt. The Prep training staff includes olympic-trial athletes, prior operators, a sports psychologist, nutritionist, stre… It's the heart. Half the class would line up on each side of the long axis of the Olympic-sized pool. They finally stopped the drill and pulled the lifeless body of Chuck Gates from the bottom. While they may not be called on for dive missions in the Middle East, these combat divers are fighting professionals.In fact, most candidates who enter CDQC usually have four to seven deployments under their belts. 1 2 » Military Academies in all States - Military Prep Schools. The second count was one guy short, but the class was back underwater before he could stop them. Not to mention ... family comes to see you in the hospital, and you can't do anything for yourself. The safety cadre guy missed a headcount because the pace was so quick. It takes approximately 20 minutes to get to the airport. Just another day’s work. Instructors said their location offers challenging navigational tests, as there are many shallow passages around the Florida Keys.Finally, Week Six puts everything the students have learned into practical application by conducting a 48-hour field training exercise. This extended amount of time allows combat divers to infiltrate strategic locations far from off-shore.There's also a noticeable difference in buoyancy. Samuel Winter, an instructor for the Army Diver Phase 1 Course. Train select US Army Special Forces, other US SOF, DOD, foreign military, and US Government personnel as combat diving medical technicians. Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School makes its mark on Key West. If you have never worked with an SF medic, they are a wonder to watch. We're looking for people who can overcome those pitfalls and remain confident. I asked him about it. They must have the desire to be part of the elite one percent of Special Forces combat divers. 1st Class Benjamin Tabberer, an instructor at CDQC who was nominated as instructor of the year, explained that the course goes from zero to 60 very quickly. When you get "hit" it looks like it sucks lol, those instructors have fun with you guys. CDQC is open to Special Forces and Ranger noncommissioned officers. "Talmadge advises anyone who might be interested in attending or becoming an instructor at CDQC to get the ball rolling. These specialties are one notch above the standard (Special Forces duties). I went through CDQC before it was a seven-week marathon — my hat is off to those guys who took the course after I did. Travel from the airport should be by taxi to "the Army dive school on Trumbo Point." PURPOSE. Q4 SOFREP Sweepstakes - Over $4,000 in prizes - Click here for more information →, Sweepstakes: Enter to win $4,000 in prizes →, Neglected & Misunderstood: Senior Green Beret speaks out about the SF Combat Diver capability. This gives the students the opportunity to work as a detachment," as they would with their groups.With Week Five comes insertion training. "These poor guys train all day and then go sit in the classroom at night. All Rights Reserved. "ELITE SOLDIERSWhile virtually every instructor or staff member at the CDQC will humbly say that what they do is just another way to get to work, indeed there is something that sets apart the Special Forces combat diver from the standard Green Beret. Black Hats. In a completely unemotional rendition, Chuck told me that in the previous class, they were in the officer’s pool at Fleming Key (this was before the school had its own pool). Literally, the grenade hit his leg, and the unexploded round had to be yanked out of his tissue by a teammate during the firefight.Talmadge said the chaos of the firefight made finding cover a difficult task, but once he was in a better position, the medic applied several tourniquets and called for a medevac. The Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) or, informally, the Q Course is the initial formal training program for entry into the United States Army Special Forces.Phase I of the Q Course is Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). The brain has special circuits to warn you that you are dying and cause panic. That is where he nearly died. He should have plenty of free time still, we were done at around 1630 and off on weekends. after becoming a ranger i wanted to complete SF combat diver school for the reason that i just want to have that particular skill under my belt. Ten out of 19 cadets attended and successfully completed AFCDQC or SFCDQC. Chuck didn’t remember much about crossovers from that day, so I got another version from one of the cadre I knew: On that day, as the class was crossing the pool, they somehow provoked the ire of the whistle guy by probably displaying too much affinity for normal breathing. Students will not be allowed to leave the compound before 1200 on the graduation date. He said that a lot of people on the street believe that being a combat diver means you're one of the best of the best. As such, the aim of the ADS Course is to qualify AD1 divers as military diving supervisors by means of assessing them in the following three supervisory roles: But when they would put you in, you couldn’t move that way because you didn’t want to screw your buddies, so there was a natural rotation. Make sure the taxi is able to get onto base. There is no try. To be elite, one must endure the hardships that tough training requires. He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense, a casual hero and a student of science. Over 700 hours of military entertainment and video content, 12 free e-books, breaking news from the front lines and exclusive interviews with the people in charge. "Cadre members agree that potential candidates for the course must be mature, disciplined, intelligent. Dylan Dubas, a recent course graduate. This course is also designed to build esprit de corps by training Soldiers in troop leading procedures, demolitions (conventional and expedient), and mountaineering operations. One side went low and the other went high. In the military, those among the elite have paid certain dues and performed to such a level that they can now be considered the top 1 percent.The main reason combat diver qualification is so tough, Tabberer explained, "is when you take a human being, a common air-breather, put him under the water and take away his source of air - it can make the biggest, meanest, baddest human being become very weak, panic-stricken. 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