Carl knew Chief Warrant Officer Axtell, the man in charge of the diving school in Washington, D.C. Pleading to let him dive, so he could prove (with pictures) that his injury should not mandate his discharge, Brashear convinced Axtell to help him break the rules. Carl recalls the reaction from his friend:
Ax said, "My career goes right out the window if I let you dive and something happens to you."
Nothing bad happened to Carl as he did his dives in the deep-sea rig and the shallow-water rig. Nothing bad happened when he dove with scuba gear. He had the pictures to prove it. But he wanted more pictures. He kept sneaking out of the hospital, diving, working out and being photographed. He wanted to build a portfolio of evidence to prove he was still up to the job.
Carl had one major problem, however. He was still assigned to the naval hospital. In order to be transferred to a naval station, he had to convince someone to sign transfer orders. He didn’t have to look far for the signature.
Between the naval hospital and the naval station, I endorsed my own orders and put, "FFT"[for further transfer] to the second-class diving school.
When he reported to the second-class diving school, more than a few people were baffled. The Lt. Commander called to find out how he got there.
Carl had a simple - and truthful - answer: