Army dive unit holds change-of-command ceremony underwater

Sunday, February 01, 2015

With the mission of performing underwater reconnaissance, demolition and salvage operations across the Pacific theater, it only makes sense for the Army’s 7th Engineer Dive Detachment to conduct its change-of-command ceremony in a location its troops consider home – underwater.

The unique unit, that falls under the 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s 130th Engineer Brigade, changed leadership during a ceremony at the bottom of Richardson Pool at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

After leading the detachment through two years of missions in Hawaiian waters and across the region, from Alaska to Cambodia, Capt. Robert J. Meyer passed the honor to Capt. Troy F. Davidson.

Lt. Col. Eric Noel, 84th Engineer Battalion commander, and the detachment’s first sergeant, 1st Sgt. David Chebahtah, joined them underwater to facilitate the symbolic Army tradition, as their troops, families and friends waited for the soaked leaders to exit the pool.

Noel emphasized the exceptional and critical support the divers provide to joint, multinational and interagency partners across the Pacific.

He said, "These divers and the Deep Sea Detachment deliver every time."

Meyer thanked and credited the detachment’s diverse mission accomplishments to the unit’s divers and their ability to autonomously operate across the region with a flexibility that reflects the Army’s intent of mission command.

Davidson concluded the ceremony by honoring another Army diving tradition symbolizing his official assumption of command.

With his diving equipment removed, he dived back into the pool and, on just one breathe of air, swam to his new formation of troops waiting on the other side.