Academy of scuba is now operation blue pride’s west coast training facility for disabled veterans
Academy of Scuba is Now Operation Blue Pride’s West Coast
Training Facility for Disabled Veterans
See What New Partnerships Mean for Operation Blue Pride
Phoenix, AZ, March 21, 2014 - Academy of Scuba announced today it has been selected as the
West Coast training site for Operation Blue Pride (OBP) scuba certification program for veterans.
OBP is a nonprofit organization out of Chicago focusing on scuba dive training for veterans who
are severely mentally and physically injured. Diving is part of their rehabilitation and helps them
integrate back into society while providing them with a sense of adventure and accomplishment.
Once scuba certified, veterans will help with conservation projects through Operation Blue Pride.
Currently OBP is working on a new partnership with Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. AWSC's
vision is to increase knowledge of Atlantic white sharks and change public perception to conserve
the species and ensure biologically diverse marine ecosystems.
Operation Blue Pride and Atlantic White Shark Conservancy will be raising funds to send OBP
veterans on white shark research and tagging trips with four veterans joining each trip. Academy
of Scuba is slated to start training veterans in May 2014, and is looking to train over 50 people in
the next 12 months.
Specially trained staff at Academy of Scuba will work with the specific needs of the veterans.
Staff at Academy of Scuba have been trained by the following agencies: Handicapped Scuba
Association (HSA), NAUI Adaptive program, and the SDI Scubability program.
Academy of Scuba has multiple locations in Phoenix Arizona, that is easily accessible from the
West Coast and their facilities allow dive training year round. Operation Blue Pride is using Scuba
Emporium, out of Chicago, for the East Coast training facility.
“The two new locations give OBP the opportunity to go above and beyond its original amount of
veterans to certify. Both locations bring years of experience with a true passion to help veterans
and do whatever they can do to help our returning veterans without exploiting them. I am really
looking forward to this year’s new partnership,” said Chris Maddeford, from Operation Blue Pride.
“What’s great about this program is that they get scuba certified which is a great first step, but it’s
only the beginning because the good they can do with the conservation programs through
Operation Blue Pride will benefit them and the oceans,” said John Flanders, CO at Academy of
“OBP is eager to get our veterans enveloped in this exciting partnership to continue our mission of
having returning combat veterans help save our oceans' marine life, while self healing,” said
“I think it’s invigorating,” Flanders said. “When you have someone who has gone through a
traumatic situation, and they get in the water, it’s great seeing the spark in their eyes. These
veterans are amazing and they want to prove to themselves that they can overcome obstacles.
The sense of pride they show sends shivers up your spine and can bring a grown man to cry.”
To watch an informative and motivational video of Operation Blue Pride click here. (
About The Academy of Scuba™
Academy of Scuba Inc., with multiple locations in Arizona, is a PADI Five Star IDC Training
Facility, a DAN Training Center/Business Member, a DEMA Member, and a member of the Better
Business Bureau. The Academy of Scuba is an industry innovator for developing, implementing,
and reinforcing advanced level Scuba diver training programs. The Academy of Scuba focuses on
training with an emphasis to create “great divers”. The sole purpose of the Academy of Scuba is to
not just put people in the water, but to keep people in the water. The Academy of Scuba assists
divers in increasing enjoyment, adventure, and safety through better education and more
frequent dive experiences. Visit Academy of Scuba at http://www.academyofscuba.com/
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