Carl Brashear (follow this link to see him in later years) retired from the Navy in 1979 - a shining example of what a person can achieve despite great obstacles. He experienced all kinds of incredible events in the Navy, despite early widespread discrimination against him and other African-American Navy personnel.
Only a handful of enlisted people have been honored with Oral Histories from the U.S. Naval Institute. Carl - a role model to many - is one of them. He learned, during his Naval career and afterward, that trust and confidence in one’s own abilities is a key ingredient to achieving one’s goals and dreams.
But Carl Brashear never forgot he could not “do it” on his own. Along the way he experienced the power of a supportive team, working together as one unit to accomplish unbelievable goals. The sign on his diving locker summarizes one of the driving forces of his extraordinary life:
There’s no one of us smarter than all of us.
Master Chief Petty Officer Brashear died at the Naval Medical Center of Portsmouth on the 25th of July, 2006. His son, who was serving in Iraq at the time, was summoned home because his father was suffering from respiratory problems and heart failure. Despite the seriousness of his condition, Carl - age 75 - held on until his son could be at his side.
All quotes in this story are from the U.S. Naval Institute’sThe Reminiscences of Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Carl M. Brashear, U.S. Navy (Retired). You can obtain a copy from the U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis, Maryland.