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While some info posted here is true, some isn't. You do not have to join the Navy to become a CD. You do not have to be in the Navy to get onto a Ship's Team Diver's course. Does it help? Yes. On my STD course there were 4 "out of Navy" candidates, how did they get there, they simply requested the course. I know CD's who were given places on a prelim as Commercial Divers and even one from the combat arms who didn't hold a caba certificate. Talking to a truly INFORMED recruiter may give you more insight on how to become a CD without going through several years of wasting yours and that trades time.