Tay­lor Dives Into Navy Record Book

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Front Page - By CHRIS FLECK

Pearl Har­bor Naval Ship­yard and In­ter­me­di­ate Main­te­nance Fa­cil­ity diver Kamele Tay­lor ex­its the wa­ter dur­ing a re­pair on USS Colum­bus. Tay­lor grad­u­ated sec­ond in her class in Au­gust from the Navy Div­ing and Sal­vage Train­ing Cen­ter in Florida. U.S. Navy photo by Katie Vanes.

Mililani res­i­dent Kamele Tay­lor achieved a new mile­stone for the U.S. Navy Aug. 5 when she rose to the ocean’s sur­face in Panama City, Fla., as the first civil­ian fe­male from Pearl Har­bor Ship­yard to grad­u­ate from the Navy Div­ing and Sal­vage Train­ing Cen­ter.

“I’m glad I made it through dive school,” she said. “It was pretty tough phys­i­cally, and emo­tion­ally chal­leng­ing.”

Tay­lor en­ter­tained the idea of be­com­ing a diver when ship­yard divers Gar­rett Doi and Derek Maikai no­ticed her swim­ming laps each morn­ing and en­cour­aged her. They told her she would be a prime can­di­date. “I was a strong swim­mer at Mililani High School, and my dad was a free diver,” said Tay­lor, who has seven years ex­pe­ri­ence as a ship­yard rigger.

NDSTC stu­dents un­dergo gru­el­ing phys­i­cal train­ing, do hun­dreds of pushups and run up to 10 miles daily, ac­cord­ing to CWO Chris Spann, ship­yard div­ing di­vi­sion head. Tay­lor’s fin­ish did not go un­no­ticed by her in­struc­tors ei­ther.

“Ms. Tay­lor’s ef­fort, mo­ti­va­tion and pos­i­tive at­ti­tude were in­fec­tious,” said chief Navy diver Ja­son Pitts. “No mat­ter the task, she rose to the top while never ceas­ing to amaze my

team­mates and me. I am proud to call her a fel­low deepsea diver.”

Tay­lor brought her Hawaii up­bring­ing and can-do at­ti­tude to NDSTC for mo­ti­va­tion dur­ing the rig­ors and stresses of train­ing. “Some peo­ple let their minds take con­trol of them, but you have to take con­trol of your mind,” she said. “Pride was my mo­ti­va­tion, to rep­re­sent the Is­lands at dive school in Florida, show­ing that lo­cal girls can do it too.”

Tay­lor con­tin­ues to ap­ply her train­ing and work ethic to her new po­si­tion as a novice ship­yard diver. On her sec­ond day on the job, she al­ready was as­sist­ing with re­place­ment pro­pel­ler sup­port on the USS Colum­bus.

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