Combat Diver Question

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by kar358, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. kar358

    kar358 New Member

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    So I'm very interested in attending the combat diver qualification course next summer, and I've begun training to prepare for it. I was wondering if anyone here could provide me with information on being selected for the course, beyond the basic "swim a lot and get a good gpa/apft score." Specifically, I read somewhere that getting scuba certified will help your resume, although I would like to confirm that. Tips and pointers of that nature would be much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Army Combat Dive or the Navy Sharkmen's School? There's a major difference between the 2.
     
  3. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    I'm going to assume you mean CDQC. My son graduated from there last summer. He secured the only available slot in 7th brigade - some brigades had multiple slots. This varies year to year. His cadre really went to bat for him and called in some chits in order to land him the slot. I believe this is both because they knew he was serious and felt he could pass the course.

    Keep in mind that being "selected for it" means getting a slot in what ROTC calls the "strong swimmer course"' - a one week pre-scuba program in Key West. By no means does it mean you'll make it to cdqc. Many did not. All in all DS's course started with about 63 and graduated 36.

    Although slots for cadets have been reduced almost to 0, they are rumored to still exist. The max # of attendees for the summer class last year was 62. Next summer, it's 32. They've essentially cut the cadet slots. Last year, there were about 20 WP and 10-12 ROTC cadets. You do the math.

    My son was told "it'll never happen" repeatedly up until the time he was given the slot. Don't give up. Make sure your cadre are aware of your interest, and give them reason to believe you can pass the course. He was not scuba certified before he went. His very general qualifications were -
    #1 in battalion
    4.0 GPA
    340-ish PT test
    Member of Bde-winning Ranger challenge team/ Sandhurst team
    4-year high school state-level swimmer
    7-year national-level triathlete

    There are lots of things to do in preparation, such as dive physicals, etc. Keep preparing physically on the off chance you're able to get a slot. If you wait until you have one, you've short changed yourself. Oh, and flutter kicks. Lots.
     
  4. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Oh - and you will probably drown several times too - they'll pump you out and toss you back in - just keep swimming. NEVER surface during back and forths either. Get used to being able to swim the width of an Olympic sized pool repeatedly with just a breath or two when you hit the other side and back across. It's VERY stressful. Be prepared for probably the toughest skills Q course in the U.S. military. Wear that bubble with pride - you've earned it...

    V/R

    Romad
     
  5. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Not related to the Kents of Smallville, are you? Does your son have a shirt with a large "S" on it?
     
  6. kar358

    kar358 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. JCC123, I'm a little worried about the weight they place on the different criteria.
    My pt score is around 340 right now, so hopefully it will be at least in the 370 range by next fall. However, I ran 4 years in high school and only swam for 2, so I'm quite a bit better on my feet. Do you know if your son was able to brag about his state level accomplishments and triathlons when his battalion submitted the application? Or was it limited to OML-based criteria? And did anyone ever ask if he had scuba dived before?
    I will be swimming several times a week, but do you think I should join my school's club swim team just to get it on my resume (their workouts are a joke compared to what I did in high school)?
     
  7. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Haha - no, but if it'll help him branch Infantry, he'll go buy one!

    KAR - I do not recall their being a formal application, but he did make sure his cadre were aware of his relevant skill set. I saw your post on Go Army. As far as the physical, etc. - you absolutely will not be able to do this without a lot of help from your cadre. (And the Army won't schedule or pay for your dive physical until you have a slot). Be respectful, but stay on them, make sure they know how much you want to go and, most importantly, why they should seek out a slot for you.

    As far as anyone asking if he had scuba dived - no. There is very little (no) resemblance between recreational scuba diving and what you learn in Key West. As far as I know, no one cared.

    Regarding swimming - if you can, you're probably fine. Most of the SF guys were just adequate swimmers. If I recall, the longest open water swim was 1500-3000m in ACUs. Far more important than pure swimming ability is your comfort level in the water. If you haven't already, watch the Surviving the Cut episode on CDQC. It'll give you an idea about what drown proofing and one man comp are about.

    If you're scoring 340 on the PT test now, you ought to be fine. Run, run, run, and do flutter kicks. Lots of them. Wearing flippers.
     
  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Be aware that while they may send a number of cadets, the school only has an allotted number of slots, fewer then what shows up. The school will trim the number of cadets, some will drop out and others will be dropped, sometimes for not completing certain tasks and sometimes just because they need to trim the numbers.

    My son was one of the unlucky ones, he got a 349 on his first APFT, completed the first week just fine. When the second week started they had another APFT, this time he failed the sit ups, just stopped counting a couple before the minimum. He was sent home later that day, he knew it was coming because the night before someone slipped up and said they were taking him and two others to the airport the next day.

    He was told before he left to apply again, he was offered a slot this year but because of how busy he was at school he chose to do CTLT instead.

    If you are lucky enough to get a slot just be ready for anything and don't take it personal if your sent back, it happens.

    Although my son didn't get the chance to continue he gained a lot of confidence from just the first week, not everyone gets to feel what it's like to drown. You will be pushed past what you think is your limit.

    Jcc123 is probably the best source of information on this board about the course.

    As far as being selected, my son's stats were very similar to Jcc123's son, except for the triathelte part.
     
  9. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Honestly in the grand scheme of things, CTLT was probably a better choice for his growth and development. Yeah a combat diver badge is pretty cool as well as rare but how will it mold him to be a better officer? CTLT taught me a lot of things I use today and I apply those skills when I have to brief commanders in training meetings. THAT is the purpose of the program.

    Just a thought.
     
  10. kar358

    kar358 New Member

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    JCC123 - Thanks again, that's all excellent to hear! I didn't feel a compulsive need to drop $1k on scuba certs if I didn't have to! Still a little worried that I'll need damn near a 4.0 gpa, since the school has allegedly lost a lot of cadet slots. Regardless, I have no plans to give up, and maybe I'll get lucky and bump into the right senior officer to push my application through - it happened to a cadet I talked to who was good enough to make it all the way through cdqc afterwards.

    JCleppe - That's terrible to hear that they dropped him like that. Not too long ago, I wouldn't have believed the army would ever do something like that, but I'm sad to say that it doesn't surprise me at all any more. If given the choice though, I won't take any other training. For me, CDQC will give me a chance to interact with and test myself alongside members of the SF community, 5 years before I'll ever get to go to selection. I speak a few languages and have always thought of myself as the type of person who would fit well in an ODA, and CDQC is my best opportunity to see if I'm right about that. Of course, it is also some of the most badass training in the military, which is a big perk for someone like me.
     
  11. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    KAR358 - stay in touch. If you get a slot, DS has mentored SF guys going to CDQC this summer, and I'm sure would be happy to help you out as well.
    Best of luck.
     
  12. kar358

    kar358 New Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate it!
     

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