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VA benefits and rebreather training and equipment

Discussion in 'Rebreather Diving' started by oldenred, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. sabbe

    sabbe ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern VA
    Scuba Cobra,

    Very few people make a full-time living teaching scuba diving unless they're working at a resort or also work sales in a scuba shop full-time. Here in northern VA there just isn't enough scuba business. The running joke with the part-time instructors where I work is we don't make money, we just lose less money than if we didn't DM/teach.

    Ballpark fees is $1200 for divemaster and an additional $2200 for instructor not including equipment. More or less depending on certifying agency and how much time spent on a boat.

    I checked out the website you included, there's at least four programs going on, vocational rehabilitation, tuition assistance, pre-9/11 GI Bill, and post 9/11 GI Bill. The website states gear is not covered when using tuition assistance. Jumping over the the Hawaii Scuba University webpage gear is covered by post-9/11 GI Bill.

  2. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia, USA
    20k to be an endentured servant for a year...that's funny.
  3. tracydr

    tracydr Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    Imagine getting kicked out of the service for seemingly minor injury when you are 20 years old. Say a Medical discharge but you only got 0-10% disability. Imagine your MOS is something that isn't commercially marketable-maybe sniper,missile launch operator. Also imagine that you got a chance to dive somewhere along the way and your dream is to dive for a living when you get out.
    Why wouldn't you use your GI benefits and what is wrong with that?
    Retraining injured or unfit service members is part of the agreement between our volunteers and our military.
    Yes, we also have a duty to take care of our badly injured or even not injured service members when they finish their commitment.
    As a VA doctor, disabled and retired veteran who has used some vocational benefits, I am forever thankful that I decided to give part of my youth to the military,even though I do have some invisible and visible scars to show for it.
    TTPaws likes this.
  4. Caveeagle

    Caveeagle Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: High Springs, FL
    I agree that it's a good idea to consider the ROI for any training or education.

    Having said that.... if your going to disqualify education and training based on the % of full time employment, you might as well shut down over half the universities and community colleges. Take a minute to research the high levels of unemployed university graduates.

    Higher education no longer has a primary mission of preparing adults for a career or vocation. It's a money making industry with a strong bent towards political activism.

    It's also important to note that at least one part of the current GI bill requires "enrollment" with a monetary contribution from the service member. IIRC, my kid told me it would be something like $100/paycheck to opt In for that part. For my kid, the plan is to seek out flight school training after separation.

    I agree with some urging caution, and for the OP to consider ROI. But these benefits were earned! I pay a crapload of taxes each year that get wasted on stupidity. I don't consider these benifit pay outs to be wasted, even if they choose to go learn about basket weaving...
    tracydr likes this.
  5. Scuba Cobra

    Scuba Cobra Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    I will admit I had not looked at that website only because I ASSumed it was only in Hawaii.

    Gear isn't an issue, I already have all of my own gear, tanks aside.

    As @tracydr said, I'm not in a very marketable MOS (0311-infantry)

    From the general consensus it sounds like everybody kinda thinks it's a scam/ not worth it?
  6. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    I work at a place in Key Largo and part of my work is as a course director. We run many veterans through our instructor development program. These are men and women who have decided to be dive professionals as a career.

    They leave with all the experience they need, we help them all the way through their instructor examinations.

    They leave with equipment they need to gear themselves properly, and in some cases with gear enough for a student or two. All gear paid by the VA.

    Go look at the website at www.keysidc.com. The VA program is on that site. Call Chris Adams and talk to him about it if you are interested in how it works, or if you are a vet and want a career change.
    rjack321 likes this.

    TONY CHANEY Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mount Holly, NC
    So back to the OP where we do not have a sniper who hurt his foot. We have some one asking for VA cover for rebreather training and equipment. Period!
  8. David Brown

    David Brown New

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Enterprise AL
    The VA handles GI Bill Benefits Tony.
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  9. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington State
    Yes and there's basically no plausible "career" path for a DM. And the zero to hero instructor path is crazy talk.

    Most (but not all) dive centers training vets are just trying to liberate those who served from their benefits with no regard for future employability or actual benefit to the vet.
    TONY CHANEY likes this.
  10. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: United States
    I had a friend that was seriously looking into this. He ultimately decided that it would be more fulfilling personally, and more lucrative financially, to get his GI Bill to pay for trade school. He spent 6 months in school and became a welder with a boatload of certifications in a bunch of processes and positions, and takes a couple weeks to a month off every couple months and goes and dives with no responsibility, nor personal financial burden.

    I think his (paraphrased) words were, "the number of instructors without a second job that don't make poverty level wages could fit in a room the same size as you'd need to fit all the honest politicians in Washington."

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