In 2009 the USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) was named in honor of Master Chief Boatswain's Mate (Master Diver) Carl M. Brashear (1931-2006), who joined the U.S. Navy in 1948. He was a pioneer in the Navy as one of the first African-Americans to graduate from the Navy Diving School and was designated a Navy salvage diver. He was the first African-American to qualify and serve as a master diver while on active duty and the first U.S. Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee, the result of a leg injury he sustained during a salvage operation. After 31 years of service, Brashear officially retired from the U.S. Navy on April 1, 1979.
The training ground for the diving school was filmed on the Columbia River, along the Oregon and Washington border. The city in the background is Longview Washington. Weyerhaeuser paper mill can be seen along the bank in Longview. This site is currently a sheet rock factory.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
In the hearing to determine if Senior Chief Brashear can remain a diver, his insignia is gold and Chief Sunday's is red. Chief Sunday has had a record of bad conduct. Gold chevrons are used if an enlisted man has a good conduct record of at least 12 consecutive years.