The Navy proved to me that I had more to offer than what I thought. It has been a long road and just really, really rewarding for me.
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Service: 6.5 years
When Ashley Wagner first joined the Navy, she wanted to be a Navy Diver. She loved being in the water and knew it was the perfect job for her. Being a diver requires candidates to be extremely physically fit, so Ashley trained for a few years to get into shape. While training, she went into the Navy as a different rate. Ashley was a Quartermaster, where she worked in boat navigation. Then, when she was able to pass the physical fitness test, she was accepted into the Navy Diver program.
While training to be a diver, Ashley learned about the role of a Navy Diving Medical Technician, which piqued her interest because of her lifelong aspiration of being in the medical field. When she realized she could combine her two interests of diving and working in medicine, she was ecstatic. And that is what led to her career choice of Diving Medical Technician.
As a Diving Medical Technician, Ashley has been able to go through mammal-handling school, a Navy program where dolphins and seals are trained to find underwater explosives or other threats to peers in the waterways. Ashley was very excited to learn how to be a mammal handler and has developed a new appreciation for dolphins.
“They’re just amazing, smart, beautiful creatures that I get the opportunity to work with,” says Ashley.