U.S. Navy Diver Third Class Valerie DeFreitas


After I got through Dive School and realized what I had accomplished, I feel like I could do anything in my life now. It’s all about commitment and anyone can do it. A man, a woman, it doesn’t matter what you are. If you commit yourself and make up your mind to do it, you can take on any challenge. At Dive Prep. They challenged me every day. They wanted to see how I would deal with it, what I would do, and how I would react. We learned how to do a little bit of everything. We did some underwater welding, some underwater drilling; we learned how to turn wrenches. We touched on pretty much everything that you would need to know to be a Navy diver. The Pool Week phase is the last part of Dive Prep and it’s what gets you a ticket to Panama City Dive School. When we go through Pool Week, we do the In-Water Procedures with the tanks and we have a full week of all these different evolutions that we have to pass. The learning does not stop after you graduate Dive School. It actually is just beginning. As soon as I would watch a video on Navy diving, I was like, “That’s what I want to do. I want to be a Navy diver.” I really feel like it’s a family and everybody knows the same knowledge. We know what each other’s talking about. We almost know what each other’s feeling sometimes. It’s a really good feeling to be that close. My family looks at me differently now. It’s like, “Oh, my daughter’s a Navy diver.” “My sister’s a Navy diver.” They love it. They’re so proud of what I’ve accomplished and that feels amazing to have someone be proud of you. I’ve had great leadership. Good chiefs that have taken the time to help me and teach me the things I need to know to become a Navy diver. My everyday job, in general, is – it’s always different. It’s always changing. It’s always challenging. And that’s what I was looking for when I came into the Navy – a physical challenge, a mental challenge; new people, new friends; travel. I’ve got it all every single day and I wouldn’t change it – I mean, I wouldn’t go back to the civilian world right now for anything. I love it. I’m Navy Diver Third Class Valerie DeFreitas. For more information go to navy.com or find us on Facebook.

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