In 1975 Hull Technician 3rd Class Donna Tobias made history when she became the first woman to graduate from the Navy’s Deep Sea Diving School as the Navy’s first female hard hat diver.
She chose the rate of a hull technician when her recruiter told her “no way, women can’t get in” as a diver. With persistence, she worked for a waiver to attend dive school. After graduation, without the ability to get sea duty orders at the time, her first assignment was as an instructor at the Submarine Escape Training Tank at Submarine Naval Base in New London. Tobias was involved in search and salvage operations in Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean and participated in the sinking of a World War II ship to construct an artificial reef in Chesapeake Bay.