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71 percent of the world’s surface is covered by water. Conducting military operations in this challenging environment is the Army Diver. Divers are masters of their environment, with exceptional physical and mental capabilities. Trained in both SCUBA and surface supplied diving operations, they are called upon to perform a multitude of underwater missions. To become a member of this small, elite force, you must pass tough, stringent and challenging requirements.

As a Diver, your duties and responsibilities may include: inspecting, cleaning and repairing watercraft propellers and hulls, installing and repairing underwater pipelines and mooring systems, conducting harbor salvage operations, and constructing or repairing ports and waterfront facilities. Along with an interest in diving, this career field requires individuals who are also interested in mechanics and construction who feel comfortable working in and around water in extreme conditions, have the ability to stay calm and solve problems while under stress and possess a high degree of self-reliance and self-confidence.

After successfully completing Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, you will remain at that station and attend 3 weeks of Diver Phase One training. Phase one is designed to evaluate and select Soldiers that demonstrate the aptitude and physical ability to graduate from phase two. In phase one, you will learn the basics of diving physics, gas laws, medicine, decompression procedures and diver line-pull communication signals. Training also includes charting basic dives, and instruction on in-water skills involving the use of a mask, snorkel and fins. Because of the nature of this work, to be successful, you will need to be in top physical and mental condition. The small percentage of Soldiers who successfully pass phase one will then move on to the rigorous second phase of training at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Florida.

In the next 26 weeks of training you will learn advanced principles of SCUBA and surface-supplied diving operations, underwater cutting and welding, the use and care of hand and hydraulic power tools, how to handle and use explosives and the operation and maintenance of a variety of diving and diving support equipment to include the hyperbaric recompression chamber.

After successfully completing Advanced Individual Training, you will be awarded the second class diver badge and be eligible for worldwide assignments as a member of an engineer unit. You may have the opportunity to advance in your career through additional technical, tactical, and leadership training. The skills you learn such as teamwork, discipline, and leadership, may help you transition from the military to the civilian work force where you may find employment in the construction career field; or with further education and certifications, in the engineering and commercial diving fields.

 An elite member of the Army engineer team is an Army Diver.

Diver (12D)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • National Guard
  • Entry Level


A diver performs tasks such as reconnaissance, demolition and salvage in underwater conditions. They specialize in either scuba diving (below the surface of water) or deep-sea diving (longer periods of time in depths up to 190 feet).

Job Duties

  • Inspect and clean watercraft propellers and hulls
  • Patch damaged watercraft hulls
  • Salvage sunken equipment
  • Patrol the waters
  • Assist with underwater construction of piers and harbor facilities
  • Survey rivers, beaches and harbors for underwater obstacles


Those who want to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of tests that helps you better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you.


Diver candidates must complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 29 weeks of Advanced Individual Training. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field, with on-the-job diving practice and repair work.

Some of the skills you’ll learn:

  • Principles of scuba and surface-supplied diving
  • Underwater welding and cutting
  • Use and care of hand and power tools
  • Maintenance of diving equipment
  • Explosives

Helpful Skills

  • Interest in mechanics and building
  • Ability to stay calm under stress
  • Interest in underwater diving
  • High degree of self-reliance

Required ASVAB Score(s)

Skilled Technical (ST): 106
General Maintenance (GM): 98, General Technical (GT): 107

Learn more about the ASVAB and see what jobs you could qualify for.


Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Earn Cash For In Demand Jobs

You could earn up to $40,000 in cash bonuses just for enlisting under certain Military Occupational Specialties. Visit Jobs in Demand to see if this job qualifies for an enlistment bonus.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

The skills you learn will help prepare you for practically any position in the field of construction.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experienced and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at


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