NORFOLK, VA (NSN) —
MARMC’s First Ever Navy Diver of the Year
By Chris Wyatt, MARMC Public Affairs Specialist
NORFOLK, VA (NSN) – Navy Diver 1st Class Bryan L. Myers assigned to Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center’s Dive Locker, was selected as the Navy’s 2019 Diver of the Year.
The Navy Diver of the Year award was established in 2014 to recognize the Navy diving community’s commitment to excellence. The award specifically honors the Navy diver who overcame a significant personal or professional challenge to demonstrate the unwavering courage and determination embodied by the legendary Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Carl M. Brashear.
Brashear was the first African-American Master Diver whose life is depicted in the movie Men of Honor. He is a pioneer and his impact on the diving community, and the Navy as a whole, is kept alive by the Carl M. Brashear Foundation of which his son, Philip Brashear, serves as the president.
Throughout his life, Myers has encountered his fair share of obstacles – all of which led him to being a Navy diver.
“I was born in El Paso, Texas, and I’m an Army brat, so we moved around quite a bit,” said Myers. “I graduated from Round Rock High school in 2005. I attended Centenary College after High School where I competed in swimming and graduated with a degree in communications in 2009.”
Myers continued, “I did a little bit of public relations (PR) work in Dallas, Texas, for a while. Unfortunately, this was right after the economic recession of 2008, so most businesses were combining offices and downsizing in order to stay afloat. A fellow coworker and I ended up losing our jobs as we were replaced with interns.”
With slim job prospects in the midst of a recession, Myers thought back on how he had always wanted to join the Navy.
“Even though I grew up an Army brat, I’ve swam my whole life. The Navy seemed like a perfect fit,” said Myers.
Myers had a vision for himself once he joined the Navy, but fate had another curveball lying in wait.
“I enlisted in the Navy in 2010 with the plan to become a rescue swimmer,” said Myers. “Unfortunately once I got to boot camp I was disqualified due to my vision. Fortunately, a Navy Diver in boot camp helped me get one of the last two diving contracts and the rest is history. One saying that’s always stuck with me – ‘is to control what you can and everything else will fall into place.’”
Myers has lived by that motto and it has helped him get to where he is today.
“When I thought about the perfect Navy Sailor, ND1 Bryan Myers immediately came to mind,” said MARMC Dive Locker Master Diver William Wenzel. “He is a smart Sailor, great communicator, leader and probably one of the best I’ve ever seen in the water! He is a solid overall performer, I cannot think of one area where he has a weakness. No matter the job, scope or location, I can send him and know that the job will be completed.”
Myers was surprised and thankful when he was notified of his selection for the award.
“I think that anytime a diver gets anything associated with Carl Brashear, it’s going to mean a lot,” said Myers. “I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the entire dive locker. I’m a reflection of everyone I work with here and the leadership within this dive locker. My wife, one daughter and three sons – I know are very proud. I hope to do the award justice.”
MARMC Commanding Officer Captain Tim Barney congratulated Myers as well.
“The competition was very tough this year and the board of directors commented that Myers has raised the bar for all future competitions,” said Captain Tim Barney, commanding officer Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center. “I’m confident Master Diver Brashear would be as proud of his selection as I am.”
Myers now has his eyes set on another important milestone of any enlisted Sailor’s career – becoming a Chief Petty Officer while continuing to move up that ladder within his dive community. The ultimate goal is to make Master Diver and someday Warrant Officer.
“This community has been so good to me over the years,” said Myers. “They have allowed me to advance and be present for every one of my children’s births. I dedicate myself every day to this team and family we have here at MARMC. Hooyah – go Navy!”
Myers serves as 1st Class Dive Supervisor for MARMC’s Alpha Dive Team and is responsible for the planning, training, execution and supervision of ship maintenance and repair.
MARMC provides surface ship maintenance, management and oversight of private sector maintenance and fleet technical assistance to ships in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and provides support to the 5th and 6th Fleet Area of Responsibilities. They are also responsible for the floating dry-dock Dynamic (AFDL-6).