A team of scuba divers made an appearance at the Secret Reef Exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium to celebrate Navy Week, which is an effort to highlight the military branches’ capabilities.
Navy Week planner for Chattanooga Lieutenant David Carter said part of the job is educating citizens nationwide about what the Navy is doing around the world.
“But within that, there are so many specialties and so many opportunities that exist out there and a lot of folks just don’t realize it until we have these face to face opportunities to really tell them about that,” he said.
The Navy divers at the Aquarium were members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team and talked with Tennessee Aquarium Dive Safety Officer Mark Craven during a special underwater interview.
The divers were under water while they talked to Craven, who was outside the tank.
One of the divers, Navy Senior Chief Bryan Cummings is a Chattanooga native.
His wife Angela Cummings and his three children traveled from their home in White Plains, Maryland to see him dive.
This was the first time any of them have been able to see him work.
“We never get to see him dive and when he dives it’s pitch black you can’t see anything so this is really different for him,” Angela said about her husband.
The divers go through about a year to 18 months of schooling and training to be able to become an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team diver, Bryan said.
“You have to be strong to be a diver,” he said while underwater. “You have to be comfortable in the water…”
Navy Week also highlights the importance of Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics in their day to day lives.
“The emphasis on STEM is as important for us in the military as it is in schools and we get behind all the efforts that really reinforces that message,” Carter said.
About 85 different events celebrating Navy Week took place in the Chattanooga area.