Father and son make history as first Master Diver duo

Naval Support Activity Panama City

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — History was made at Naval Support Activity Panama City during a recent Master Diver (MDV) pinning ceremony.

Chief Navy Diver and now Master Diver, Ryan Crider, not only reached a personal goal but his accomplishment made him the first legacy diver in Naval history to reach this level.

Ryan’s father William joined the Navy in 1982. He, too, was a diver and was pinned a Master Diver 18 years into his career.

“There’s a second class diver working in the water, a first-class diver which is the guy who’s supervising a dive up topside and there’s a Master Diver who oversees every operation for that specific evolution,” Ryan said.

Growing up, William says he never pushed for his son to follow in his footsteps.

“My wife was trying to talk him into joining the Navy and I never did. Then he decided to go to college in Portland, Oregon. He went out there and found out what it was like living on his own at 18 and then he called one day and says “Does the Navy feed you?”,” William said.

Ryan said the option was always in his mind.

“When I first told him I was going to join the Navy, he knew it was a possibility, he didn’t know that it was in the forefront of my mind at all. I told him I was going to join and didn’t want to do anything but be a Navy Diver,” Ryan said.

Now going into the 13th year of his career, Ryan is a Master Diver.

“This was actually my second time going. I went for it last year and did not make it. This was definitely a treat to make it this time.”

As sons do, Ryan played a little bit of a joke on his dad when delivering the news.

“He had my pin, holding it for luck and he came in looking real down and was like ‘I need to give this back to you.’ and I said, ‘okay’ and he’s like ‘so you can pin me later,” William said.

This accomplishment makes the Master Diver father- son duo the first in the Navy’s history.

“What was actually really cool, that was brought to our attention by my mom, of course, is that he made it on December 7, 2000, which was a Friday and I made it and I made it on December 6, 2019,” Ryan said.

William says he questioned the title at first.

“We really started looking to see all the previous master divers and see if there’s any type of correlation, are we missing something but because it is such a small community and so few do it, he’s the first legacy to make it to that level,” William said.

The two have been by each other’s side each step of the way.

“He’s been there for me and pinned me for each level. Second class diver, first-class diver and now master diver,” Ryan said.

Ryan has worn his father’s pins each time, and this time is no different.

“It’s extremely special and I know it means a lot to him too to see that passed on,” William said.

Ryan says he wouldn’t have gotten to where he is without the support and guidance of his dad.

“He’s been my biggest support through this whole thing and my Naval career. It was a beautiful moment to go to him and let him know that I made Master Diver.”

William retired in 2011 as a Command Master Chief at NSA PC.

Ryan will soon return to Virginia Beach to finish his tour there.

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