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Utility Navigation

Frequently Asked Questions

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Where can I get more RASS bottles (13 cu ft)?


NOAA diving units can:

  • purchase Reserve Air Supply System (RASS) bottles at a local dive store
  • contact the NOAA Diving Program and we will send you as many as you need


I am currently in another branch of service, how can I transition into NOAA Corps?


NOAA Corps has two venues to transition from another branch of service:

  • Inter-Service Transfer:

Requests for Inter-Service Transfer to NOAA Corps are evaluated individually. The decision to accept or deny an Inter-Service Transfer request is based on the immediate needs of NOAA Corps and the rank, skills, and experience of the applicant. Qualified Inter-Service Transfer applicants may be considered for direct placement in NOAA's aviation or maritime program.

All Inter-Service Transfer applicants must have less than 12 years total creditable service time and rank no higher than O-4.

Commissioned officers retain their rank at 100%. Enlisted and Reserve personnel are not eligible for Inter-Service Transfers.

For more information click on Inter-Service Transfer

Note: Banner at top of page will indicate type of Inter-Service Transfer applicants (aviation/maritime) NOAA Corps is currently accepting.

  • New Recruit:

Prior service members (commissioned/enlisted) and reservist applicants that do not qualify for an Inter-Service Transfer may apply for the NOAA Corps as a new recruit. New recruits must be fully discharged or a conditional release authorized prior to the start of BOTC training. Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements

Prior commissioned officers receive credits of at least 50% of their commissioned service time for promotion purposes.  If creditable service time is granted, it will be applied upon appointment to the grade of lieutenant (junior grade) or above.  100% of all prior creditable service time is used for pay/retirement purposes.

Prior enlisted personnel receive no credit for promotional purposes. 100% of prior creditable service time is used for pay/retirement purposes.

Note: 4 or more years of creditable service qualifies for O-1E pay; For more information click on Pay and Benefits

For more information click on New Recruits. All new recruits attend the same Basic Officer Training regardless of prior service.


What is an OSHA-subject Dive? What is an OSHA-exempt Dive?


Any dive that you are doing as part of your job must follow OSHA regulations. However, if the dive is conducted for the advancement of science it may fall under the Scientific Exemption. To find out if a dive qualifies for a scientific exemption, you must review the criteria set forth by OSHA and answer a set of basic questions. You can find this information and more in the Diving Program regulations page.


What needs to be in an Oxygen Kit?

  • Bag-valve mask (with line)
  • Non-rebreather mask (with line)
  • Oxygen cylinders
  • Oxygen regulator with hose and demand valve
    • Regulator must be capable of delivering oxygen to two patients
    • Demand valve must be tested annually (32-48mm Hg)


What is blue water diving?


Blue water diving occurs when divers cannot see the sea floor or other bottom landmarks during their dive. 


What are the educational requirements to apply for NOAA Corps?


Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree awarded from a postsecondary institution accredited by the U. S. Department of Education. Accreditation can be verified at the Department of Education website. Preferably the applicant's major is in a course of study related to NOAA's scientific or technical activities.

All applicants, regardless of degree(s) awarded, must have completed at least 48 semester (72 quarter) hours in science, math or engineering course work pertaining to NOAA's missions. Course work shall include college level calculus and/or physics.

For more information click on eligibility requirements


Does the Dive Person in Charge (DPIC) need to be a certified NOAA diver?




What do I do if I am assigned to a new diving unit?


Every NOAA Diver must inform the NOAA Diving Program of a change in duty station as soon as it occurs. Divers should complete the NOAA Form 57-03-04 Diving Unit Change to update the unit contact information. This allows the Diving Program to change the information in the Diver Management System (DMS) and to charge equipment fees to the correct unit.


I just submitted my Annual Medical History 3 months ago and now I am getting messages that it is past due.  Why?


The Dive Management System (DMS) is programmed to prevent long gaps between Annual Medical History (or NF 57-03-54 Report of Medical History - Annual Update) submissions, so if you submit a report too early it will want another one in the month it was actually due. It is best to wait until the month it is due to submit the report, otherwise you will have to complete another form. 


What should I send to the SEP for service?


The following equipment must be sent back to the Standardized Equipment Program (SEP) office for annual service:

  • Primary regulator first stage and second stages with pressure gauge, UWATEC, and LP inflator hose
  • Reserve Air Supply System (RASS) regulator first and second stages with pressure gauge
  • Alternate Air Source with Buoyancy Compensator connector (remove from BCD at shoulder)

The most convenient way to safely pack the items for shipping is to put them in your regulator bag.

The shipping address is:

Standardized Equipment Program
NOAA Diving Center
7600 Sand Point Way NE, Building 8
Seattle, WA 98115

If you have any questions, please send an e-mail message to

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Reviewed: March 30, 2015. Contact us with page issues.

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