Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS)

SUDS is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. SUDS exists solely through charitable donations. Combined Federal Campaign – National Capital Area CFC # 94754

Established in 2007

(S.U.D.S.) is based at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD,  where our first SUDS scuba class was offered.

The SUDS program is for service members wounded, ill and injured with a permanent physical disability requiring adaptation. The scuba training offered to the service members is a challenging and rewarding activity which can help facilitate the rehabilitation process and offers them an activity that they can enjoy for years to come.

SUDS is a chapter of Disabled Sports

The program is designed to help improve the lives of our injured service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan SUDS offers scuba certification tdi programs through Scuba Diving International (SDI). The program is run by a dedicated staff of volunteers who are passionate about helping our injured service members and about the sport of diving.

About Organizations Name

SUDS” is the trademark and registered trade name of the “Soldiers Undertaking Disabled SCUBA” program, a charitable non-profit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia. The name SUDS is not a generic term to describe any adaptive SCUBA program and while there are other programs that offer Twin eagle raysadaptive SCUBA to injured veterans, they are unrelated activities and should not operate under the program name “SUDS”. Furthermore, any other like organization using the name SUDS, or referring to their operation as a “SUDS-like” organization, but operating outside of these installations is unrelated to the “Soldiers Undertaking Disabled SCUBA” program.

Not A Simple Jump-in-the-water Program

SUDS is not a simple jump-in-the-water program. Each veteran completes his or her academic and pool work at the hospital under the care and direction of several core SUDS volunteer instructors who have training in the Scubility Diver Program from Scuba Diving International (SDI). Next, SUDS arranges dive trips so the divers can complete their open-water training at destinations such as Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guantanamo Bay and others. They finish the program as certified divers capable of diving just about anywhere.

The SUDS dive instructors are American Red Cross volunteer and most are former or active duty military.

The fundamental training is online utilizing SDI’s training system which allows the participants to learn the basics at their own pace. The practical adaptive scuba program is taught at the aquatic therapy pools at the medical facilities. The majority of the service members trained have received severe injuries and any members who are not able to perform a skill that meets the SDI open water standards is offered the chance to earn their scuba certification with a Scubility™ certified scuba instructor.

“SUDS pays for all the veterans’ expenses, from airfare to meals and lodging. There is no cost to the participant. SUDS, a subordinate chapter of Disabled Sports USA, which is a grassroots nonprofit organization based at Walter Reed in Bethesda, Md. It has only one paid employee and relies solely on donations from the general public. Local restaurants, residents and dive operators offer assistance during trips.