The grueling seven-week Combat Diver Qualification Course, or CDQC, at the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, Fla., is neither for the weak of heart, or the idle of mind. It is as intense mentally as it is physically, with an attrition rate that truly begins before each class cycle does.
Here are some of Cadet Stewart’s thoughts on his experience:
I went to the Combat Dive Qualification Course in Key West, Florida. On the weekends we were able to go out and catch lobster, go snorkeling, or enjoy the food on the island.
The hardest part for me, was the one-man confidence test, where you are tested to stay calm in simulated rough seas. Overall, the course was separated into 6 parts: pool week, intro to open circuit diving, advanced open circuit diving, intro to closed circuit diving, advanced open circuit diving, and the field training exercise week. Personally, my biggest takeaway was the absolutely necessary attention to detail, as your equipment is your lifeline underwater. As this is a special forces school, being around all of the green berets really helped show their part of the Army you don’t get to see as often, and really enjoy the camaraderie between them all.