7 February 2016
As the Navy joins our nation in the observance of African-American/Black History Month, Navy Live is sharing profiles in U.S. Navy leadership – both past and present.
Visit this blog each day as we post a new profile – showcasing how the diversity of our people strengthens our Navy and reflects the nation we serve.
Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Carl Brashear
Master Chief Brashear enlisted in the U.S. Navy in February 1948. In October 1954, Brashear graduated as a salvage diver at the Navy Diving School in Bayonne, N.J. In September 1960, he was promoted to chief boatswain’s mate and reported to USS Nereus. In 1966, while participating in the recovery of atomic bombs following the crash of two U.S. Air Force planes off the coast of Palomares, Spain, a towing line broke loose, striking Brashear’s left leg and immediately giving him life-threatening injuries. Evacuated from the area, he was transferred to Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Va., where the portion of the leg was eventually amputated. During this time, Brashear was promoted to senior chief boatswain’s mate. In March 1967, he recovered from his injuries and reported to the Diving School at Harbor Clearance Unit Two, Little Creek, Va., for rehabilitation and training. After
becoming recertified in March 1968 as a diver, the first amputee to serve as such in the U.S. Navy, he reported to Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Va.
In June 1970, Brashear graduated from the Deep-Sea Diving School at the Experimental Diving Unit located at the Washington Navy Yard at Washington, D.C., and became the first African-American Master Diver in the U.S. Navy. While on USS Recovery, Brashear was promoted to master chief boatswain’s mate in 1971. In June 1975, he was the Master Diver at the Naval Safety Center at Norfolk, Va. In June 1977, he reported back to USS Recovery. In April 1979, Brashear retired from active duty and remained in the area serving as civilian employee for the U.S. Navy until 1993. He died July 25, 2006.
Adm. Cecil Haney Adm. Haney is a career submariner who served at sea aboard USS John C. Calhoun (SSBN 630), USS Frank Cable (AS 40), USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) and USS Asheville (SSN 758). He commanded USS Honolulu (SSN 718), Submarine Squadron 1, Submarine Group 2 and the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Today, Haney is commander of U.S. Strategic Command, one of nine Unified Commands under the Department of