If you see an officer wearing the Diving Medical Officer (DMO) breast insignia, the chances are good he or she is also the owner of a Submarine Medical badge. That’s because the course that officers must successfully complete to earn the DMO insignia is actually a subset of the Naval Undersea Medical Officer Candidate (UMOC) program that’s required to earn the Submarine Medical designation.

The DMO Course constitutes the second phase of the UMOC program. Held at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City Beach, Florida, the DMO training regimen places heavy emphasis on physical training to complement the class-room and hands-on learning. SCUBA diving is the focus of the first two weeks of the course, with special course segments devoted to closed-circuit rebreathers employed by SEAL and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams. Diving Medical Officers will go on dives during the course of their training.

Diving Medical Officers are critical components of dive teams, and at the DMO course they are taught how to treat illnesses and injuries associated with diving, including decompression sickness and gas embolisms using equipment such as hyperbaric chambers. Just as important, however, is their role in determining the fitness of dive-team members through regular examinations and pre-dive evaluations. At the conclusion of the course, DMO candidates will have earned qualifications in SCUBA, Hyperbaric Chamber Inside Tender, Surface-Supplied Air Diving.

The Diving Medical Officer breast insignia is identical to the one worn by U.S. Navy Diving Officers save for the addition of a caduceus on the breastplate of the Mk V diving helmet.

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