Fresia Duque, mother of Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Duque, takes a moment to visit the memorial to her son's death. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Honoring our fallen, changing in the wake of tragedy

The service has established an enlisted diver rating, and soon will have the first rated enlisted divers and warrant officers with a dive specialty. Allowing these dedicated individuals to focus on diving as their primary duty, rather than as a collateral one, represents an unprecedented change in the wake of the tragedy that took the lives of two Coast Guard divers, and is perhaps the greatest way to honor the service and legacy of Lt. Hill and Petty Officer 2nd Class Duque.

NEWPORT, R.I. – A Regional Dive Locker East Diver signals how much air he has remaining after completing the annual hull inspection and cleaning of the Coast Guard Cutters Hammerhead and Sailfish, Aug. 25, 2011. The divers inspected and cleaned 11 cutters’ hulls, removed line from their propellers and also inspected the ships’ corrosion protection systems. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Anderson.

Creation of new diver rating and warrant officer specialty

The creation of the DV rating – the Coast Guard’s 22nd rate – and DIV specialty was the result of a 17-month analysis by the Diver Career Management Working Group that considered mission requirements, safety issues and longstanding workforce management considerations. Following the review of the working group’s results, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp directed the establishment of the DV rating with at least 64 enlisted personnel and seven DIV warrant officers.