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Armed Forces Programs

Active Duty Service Members

  • Utilize the DOD SkillBridge Program and GI Bill® benefits to transition into a career in the dive industry!

  • Earn dive certifications and gain valuable experience here at Duggan Diving Enterprises or at an authorized NAUI dive shop affiliate all over the world while on Active Duty using the DOD SkillBridge program, no previous diving experience required.

  • Earn NAUI certifications / licenses and become a NAUI Professional Instructor at no cost using your GI Bill® benefits.

Veterans

  • Earn NAUI diving certifications at no cost using your GI Bill® benefits, either for recreational diving or to become a dive professional.

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GI Bill Reimbursement

NAUI is proud to announce that you can use your G.I. Bill® to pay for many of our scuba certifications and licenses. You can choose from a wide selection of programs we offer. Are you interested in learning to dive, improve your diving skills, and becoming a dive professional? The G.I. Bill® can help you accomplish this. Through these series of programs, you will learn the basics of diving and progress up this guided path to become a professional diver. We can help "Take You as Deep as You Want to Go!"

This program is designed for veterans by veterans. Service members who qualify can be reimbursed for their certifications and licensing exams. Restrictions follow same guidelines as the VA licensing and certification reimbursement program – please refer to this website: 
https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/how-to-use-benefits/test-fees/

Service members can use one month of G.I. Bill® benefits per certification or license exam and can progress as far as they want. Service members can use up to one month to six months of benefits to get scuba certified or become a NAUI dive professional. Please see course package prices and step by step instructions in the buttons below.

  • For Veterans and Active-Duty Service Members.

  • Use either the Post 9/11 or the Montgomery GI Bill® to get reimbursed for NAUI certifications and licenses.

  • Progress from no diving experience to becoming a NAUI Professional Instructor by only using six months of GI Bill® benefits or earn the certifications you want to recreationally dive.

  • NAUI approved VA training and testing centers are available across the United States.

  • It’s easy to get started

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DOD SkillBridge

NAUI’s internship allows you to use your G.I. Bill® to become a NAUI Dive professional at Duggan Diving Enterprises or one of our other 74 NAUI VA approved testing centers around the world. We have 5,000 positions around the world where you can use your new license and experience to start a new chapter and/or just explore something you’ve never done before.

If you end up liking what you are doing at your specific internship, there may be an opportunity for you to be hired on after your internship is completed (all based on the need for each location).

If you are a certified dive instructor read Part 1. If you are not a certified dive instructor read Part 2.

 

  • For Active-Duty Service Members

  • Opportunity to gain valuable dive experience, dive certifications, dive shop business mentoring and ultimately become a dive professional before transitioning from the military.

  • Learn and work at over 5000 facilities around the world while still receiving your military pay and benefits.

  • Utilize the GI Bill® while on SkillBridge to get reimbursed for your certifications and licenses, become a licensed dive professional with no cost to you.

  • Already a Certified Dive Instructor? You can still participate in SkillBridge with NAUI as an instructor. If certified with another agency you may use your certification to crossover to a NAUI certification during SkillBridge.

Part 1 - Certified Dive Instructors

If you are already a certified dive instructor, you may participate in NAUI’s Skillbridge program as an instructor. If you are certified with an agency other than NAUI, your certification may be used to crossover to a NAUI certification. Instructors will be able to work at one of more than 5,000 NAUI locations across the world for on the job training.

 

Part 2 - Dive students

NAUI’s SkillBridge program is designed for service members to become a NAUI scuba instructor as well as learn the diving business. The program will last 120-180 days in the SkillBridge location of your choice. You may research and pick your SkillBridge location at:

https://www.naui.org/locate-dive-centers/

(Use the "Filter By Designation" filter and choose "NAUI VA Testing Center" to see locations accepting SkillBridge applicants)

Keep in mind that you are responsible for your housing in the location you select, and you will not receive additional housing allowance beyond what you are already receiving. During the internship you could work Monday through Sunday as long as it is not over 40 hours a week.

Service members can begin the program with any level of scuba certification they may already have, or none at all! If you have a certification from another scuba agency, it can crossover to NAUI.

The SkillBridge program allows the use of the G.I. Bill® to fund the certifications and licenses you will need to become a NAUI instructor and be able to make a career in the diving industry. If you do not already have any scuba diving certifications you will use 6 months of your G.I. Bill® benefits to get all the certifications and licenses you need to be a NAUI instructor. You can choose between using the Post 9/11 or Montgomery G.I. Bill®.

You will have to pay for the courses upfront and out of pocket, and then submit for reimbursement from the VA once you have completed the certification or license. With that being said, make sure you have the funds to be able to initially pay for the courses out of pocket.

It is advised to apply for your G.I. Bill® first so you can submit for reimbursement by the time you have completed your first certification. You can apply for your G.I. Bill® at https://www.va.gov.

Other out of pocket expenses include any scuba gear you may need (i.e. fins, snorkel, mask, etc.). These can range from $100 to hundreds of dollars depending on the gear you choose to buy for yourself.

Interested? Check out the complete details and apply below!

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SkillBridge FAQs
  • Will I be receiving additional housing allowance for the location of my SkillBridge?

    • Answer: No. If you are already receiving housing allowance you will continue to receive it for your current duty station, NOT your SkillBridge location.

       

  • If I have a dive certification through another agency (e.g. PADI, SSI, etc.) can it crossover to NAUI?

    • Answer: Yes, your certifications will be able to crossover.

       

  • Will I still be able to participate in the SkillBridge program if I will have less than 120 days left in service when I start SkillBridge with NAUI?

    • Answer: Yes. Though the program is designed to be 120-180 days, you may still participate if you have less than 120 days left, though there is no guarantee you will be able to complete all the dive certifications in that time.

       

  • Can I finish my scuba certifications even after my SkillBridge has ended?

    • Answer: Yes. You are welcome to continue using your GI Bill®, or pay out of pocket, to finish your scuba certifications or licenses once your SkillBridge has come to an end.

       

  • Do I have to use my GI Bill® to pay for the courses?

    • Answer: No. While using the GI Bill® is the most popular option to pay for the courses, you may also choose to pay out of pocket with the total coming to $10,000 for all the certifications and licenses. It is also important to note that each certification and license are offered as separate modules so starting the program does not require you to see it through to the highest level of certification. For example, if you’d only like to take the program to Rescue Diver or Dive Master you may do so. For those thinking about using their GI Bill benefits, the program has been optimized to use the least amount of your benefits (1 month of benefit per course) in comparison to other programs.

       

  • Which GI Bill® can I use for this SkillBridge?

    • Answer: You are allowed to pick from the Post 9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill®, whichever best suits you. Remember that you must first apply for your GI Bill benefits through va.gov in order to use them. Since it’s a lengthy process, it’s better well in advance.

       

  • Can I start my scuba courses before I start my SkillBridge?

    • Answer: Yes. You are welcome to begin classes before your SkillBridge begins.

       

  • Do I have to begin the SkillBridge at a certain time or date?

    • Answer: No. The SkillBridge timeframe is 120-180 days from your end of service date.

       

  • Can I use this program if I’m currently enrolled in school?

    • Answer: Yes. You can use this program and go to school.

       

  • Do I receive the BAH from the GI Bill® benefits while on this program?

  • Can I use Tuition Assistance or the COOL program for this course?

    • Answer: No. Those are two separate programs that are not able to be used for this program.

       

  • Is equipment included in this program?

    • Answer: Yes and No. Your first two courses will include rental gear but once you get to your Rescue Course you will be required to have your own gear. Some of our dive shop and affiliate locations offer different discount and loyalty programs to help with the cost of purchasing gear. For more information on locations that offer these incentives reach out to Ray Reneau at armedforces@naui.org.

       

  • Does this SkillBridge lead to work opportunities after I finish?

    • Answer: Yes. Upon completion of your SkillBridge program the location at which you obtained your certifications may choose to hire you as a member of their staff. SkillBridge allows the business to evaluate your performance during SkillBridge. You do not have to accept employment and could instead apply and work anywhere using your certifications and licenses. As a NAUI instructor diver you could even set your own schedule teaching private groups how to become safe competent divers.

       

  • Can I participate with prior or existing medical conditions?

    • Answer: As SkillBridge members are primarily preparing to disembark their military careers this question may arise, especially for those awaiting the result of a pending VA claim. Diving in and of itself does pose some inherent risks. As such a medical professional’s recommendation will be required for certain situations, however this shouldn’t deter you from applying. Most situations can be accommodated.

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