Commitment in Navy Diver training

Writer’s Note: This story just goes to show you how I’m coming out of my comfort zone putting my stories on social media. It’s not something that I’ve had a lot of opportunity to share with others but it is also a story where I faced failure and personal judgment at not being able to do something. But there is a reason to be very humble and to be grateful despite my physical weakness, for the judgment of qualified Navy Divers who saw something valuable in my effort despite the circumstances and also to a supportive class of Navy and Marine students who I had the pleasure and honor to go through the experience with.

So have you ever not quit even though you thought you were going to fail?

Let’s me tell you my story… (you can click on the photo or the link here or down near the bottom to watch the video).




Some of the proudest moments in my Navy career, that I can write or talk about, are when I received my Submarine Dolphins and when I was awarded my Navy Scuba Diver’s pin.
Navy Scuba School in 1985 was a 5 week course that was 5 of the longest weeks I ever experienced in the Navy. If you thought Boot camp was maybe physically easy (despite its shock value), going to a Navy Diver School was all the physical training you never got in boot camp.

It’s expected that you be of a certain physical qualification to be a Navy Diver and so that’s what makes this story tough for me, because it is still humbling to think about, to think about having to pass the open water swim.

The open water swim had to be done with dual steel tanks, fins and on your back and using all legs. In our case, out in Pearl Harbor. I didn’t have any problems (well it still took work) passing the other qualifications, including the evolutions in “pool” week when most people fail, and other timed swimming tests, but there is something damned odd for me about surface swimming on my back, at least during that important evolution in 1985.

Rather than me rewriting everything I’ve said on video, unlike most messages, I know for me it is too tough right now to describe it all in writing. I hope you’ll get the personal development message from a real life story, where it pays to stay committed, following through, and not to quit.

The other message is, in something like Navy Diver’s School, if you go all out on everything, show that you are not slacking in your effort in any area, that just might, I say might, leave you some slack where you didn’t expected it.

Oh, and by the way, I don’t think I could swear as much writing about it as I do in the video, so it would not be quite the same. So please be advised, a sailor recalling his Navy experience from almost 30 years ago. Man, has it been that long already? And I still feel the pain, struggle, emotion, pride, humility and gratitude.

For me, there is the lasting knowledge that in all of my striving, know that it is not occuring in a vacuum, I remain dependent on the discernment of others and indebted to God’s providence.


What goal can you see that you can keep on striving for?


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I’ll see you… on the next page

Challen Yee

Challen Yee


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