Vern Armstrong

I enlisted in the Navy just after I graduated from Dodge City Senior High School in 1961. After boot camp and Interior Communications Class A school in San Diego, California, I went to Submarine School in New London, Connecticut. I served on six submarines: USS Swordfish SSN 579, USS Halibut SSGN 587, USS Barb SSN 596, USS George Washington Carver SSBN 656, USS Plunger SSN 595 and USS Pintado SSN 672.

I applied and went through Navy SCUBA diver school in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a First Class Petty Officer. For my next tour, I was assigned to recruiting duty in Lynnwood, Washington, where I advanced to Chief Petty Officer. I also applied for commissioning as a warrant officer W-1. I was selected for the program and was assigned to USS Holland AS-32 in Holy Loch, Scotland. While there, I was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-2). After two years in Scotland, I was sent to Buffalo, New York, as an enlisted program officer. During that tour, I was selected for full commissioning as a Limited Duty Officer, Lieutenant Junior Grade, O-2. I applied to become a Deep-Sea Diving Officer and was sent to six months of school at the US Naval School of Diving and Salvage in Washington, DC, Navy Yard. My first diving officer position was aboard USS Proteus AS-19, homeported in Guam, USA.

My last tour was Trident Refit Facility, Bangor, Washington Nuclear Quality Assurance Officer and Diving Officer. During my 24 and a half years in the US Navy, I went from Fireman Recruit, pay grade E-1, to Senior Chief Petty Officer, E-8; Warrant Officer, W-1 to W-4; Limited Duty Officer, Lieutenant Junior Grade, O-2; and Lieutenant, O-3.

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