CAMP PATRIOT, Kuwait -- Upon the completion of the Salvage Diver Board, one soldier out of eight was recognized for doing the best out of all the participants.
Therefore, in a small ceremony, Spc. Joey Deitzler, a Salvage Dive Board candidate, with the 511th Engineer Dive Detachment, received the Army Achievement Medal from Lt. Col. Christopher Leung, the Brigade Special Troops Battalion commander, Feb. 2, Camp Patriot, Kuwait.
"I don't give out these awards very lightly, I think they are special and they need to be treated that way." said Leung, after pinning Deitzler with his AAM. "But in this case, it is very well deserved."
Deitzler's actions on the board proved to his superiors that he was more than qualified to advance to the rate of salvage diver. The rate of Salvage Diver is the second rate out of four to become a Master Diver.
"A Salvage Diver is a lead diver," said 1st Sgt. Tyler Dodd, the first sergeant for the 511th Eng. Dive Det. "They are responsible for setting up the equipment, coordinating dive locations and is an expert that can facilitate training for fellow divers."
The Salvage Diver board is the last step these candidates have to pass in order to advance from 2nd class diver to salvage diver. During the board, candidates must past an oral board and pass hands-on exercises such as correcting deficiencies on equipment, welding and creating dual charged explosive devices.
"I'm extremely proud of his performance," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Bevell, Deitzler's platoon sergeant in the 511th Eng. Dive Det. "He out performed his peers in the oral board and today just watching him go through the practical exercises, was outstanding."
With only 175 combat divers in the fledging career field, the ascension into each rate is cause for celebration and honor. Bevell caveated that all the candidates did well on the Salvage Diver board, and noted that the candidates had no idea one of them would be picked for an award.
"I'm a little surprised that I got picked. I believe that there are guys who are a little bit better than me who deserved it more," said Deitzler, a Redlands, Calif., native.
His humble attitude and desire to do the best that he can helped launch him above his peers. However, he acknowledges and thanks those who helped him along the way.
"I thank everyone for their support, helping me with a lot of questions," said Deitzler. "I couldn't have done it without everyone, or doing those study groups, it's where I got most of my knowledge from … so thank you."
While Deitzler is modest about his accomplishment, his actions speak louder than words to his superiors.
"[Deitzler] is a quiet professional," explained Bevell. "He is very hard working, puts his head down and goes above and beyond what's expected of him. I can't express enough how absolutely proud I am of him."