RN Diver Shortages

Reading the Armed Forces Pay Review 2014 I came across the quotes;

  1. 3.35. The RN’s diving branch had a deficit of six per cent overall as at 1 April 2013. The figuremasks some more severe gaps at certain ranks such as OF2 (28 per cent) and OR6-7(15-16 per cent). OR6 was classed as an Operational Pinch Point, with OR7 considered
    a ‘Fleet Risk’.


  1. 3.36. Recruitment targets for RN Other Rates were achieved over the last two years althoughthe picture was not so positive for Officers. Voluntary outflow rates have dropped since2009 for both Officers and Other Rates. MOD considered this was largely due to thewider economic situation for Officers, while for Other Rates it was due to the introductionof the CDPS. The commercial diving industry acts a major pull-factor for Service divers,and increasing demand for EOD expertise could also have a pull on this group.

Why the shortages and why are officers not being recruited in large enough numbers? Is it because Officers are also being pulled towards commercial diving (I'm not sure I believe that)?


Lantern Swinger
It's maybe to do with the fact that diver officer is quite a niche branch and as such promotion prospects aren't as good as others. People who join as officers always want to think they can be 1SL or CDS someday.

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War Hero
Doubtless one of our resident Divers will put us right, but a few possibilities, happy to stand corrected:

Diving Officers very seldom Dive, they supervise those that actually do the underwater aspect of the job. EOD yes, getting wet not often.

The branch is small in relation to most others. A 6% overall shortfall, if there are only 300 in the branch, is only 18 people.
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