Job description: underwater investigator of the gendarmerie

Categories: Blog

Today, the National Gendarmerie has a little over 250 divers in its workforce. The majority of them occupy the trade of‘underwater investigator for the departmental gendarmerie. Each year, many candidates try to integrate this specialty but places are expensive and, even if they pass the entrance tests, candidates still have to survive a very dense training.

Summary :

What are the diver’s missions in the National Gendarmerie?

The missions of a diver specialist within the National Gendarmerie are numerous. We mainly find:

  • The search for objects that may constitute clues or evidence in the context of legal investigations (weapons, ammunition, explosives, stolen objects, vehicles, drugs, etc.).

  • The people search missing.

  • the assistance to people endangered during natural disasters.

  • The securing sensitive areas during visits by personalities.

These underwater investigators can work in different environments. In river brigade, the diving gendarmes intervene in rivers, lakes, ponds and rivers while in coastal brigade, the divers of the Gendarmerie intervene at sea or in the ocean.

Diver view from below

The qualities required to integrate the divers of the Gendarmerie

The Gendarmerie divers are above all soldiers, gendarmes who have specialized. They therefore need the same qualities as their brigade or squadron colleagues, namely:

  • Analytical skills

  • Esprit de corps
  • Rigor

  • Physical capacities

In addition, there are specific qualities. Indeed, thediver investigator must above all be a excellent swimmer. In an aquatic environment, the diver must also redouble his sense of observation since the evidence can be even more difficult to find than at a crime scene on dry land. Her technical mastery of kicking must be excellent in order to avoid any risk of destruction of indicia and not to obscure visibility. Finally, Gendarmerie divers are regularly exposed to extreme working conditions (water temperature, very poor visibility, waves, …), which requires excellent physical condition and mental strength.

National tests to become a Gendarmerie diver

For become an underwater investigator of the National Gendarmerie, applicants must pass national tests which are organized by the National Center for Nautical Instruction of the Gendarmerie (CNING). Although it is not absolutely necessary to have experience in diving in the civilian world, it goes without saying that this helps the candidates to support the density of this training with more serenity.

Candidates must be medically fit and be no more than 35 years old on December 31 of the year of entry into the initial internship. Sometimes pre-tests can be organized.

Subsequently, candidates submit to national tests which generally include four trials :

  • 800 meters with fins, mask and snorkel, without arms;

  • 50 meters of bucco-nasal dissociation;

  • 100 meters without fins of aquatic course with two phases of freediving of 15 meters;

  • A lift lasting 5 minutes on the spot to palmer with a weight of 2 kg above the head.

The candidates selected following these national tests will then enter initial training.

diving equipment

The training of divers in the Gendarmerie

The initial training lasts six weeks at theFrench Navy diving school in Saint-Mandrier in the Var (83). At the end of this training course, the soldiers have the diploma of ” board diver »For the departmental gendarmerie. The GIGN gendarmes are awarded the diploma of ” intervention diver ».

Additional training must be completed within 18 to 22 months of probationary period. It lasts four weeks and the place and its content differ:

  • GIGN divers : an internship at the Saint-Mandrier school allows them to master closed circuit diving as part of their offensive underwater missions.

  • Departmental Gendarmerie divers : divers follow training at the National Center for Nautical Instruction of the Gendarmerie (CNING) in Antibes (06) which includes a theoretical part and practical exercises in sea and freshwater in order to receive the underwater investigator diploma.

To note : the profession of diver in the Gendarmerie requires continuous training throughout the career of the military because of the high technicality of its missions.

The salary of diving gendarmes

To become an underwater investigator for the Gendarmerie, you must have at least the status of non-commissioned officer of the gendarmerie but the diver can also be a gendarmerie officer. The salary therefore depends on the status, rank and step of the soldier as well as his marital and family status.

What are the prospects for development?

After obtaining the underwater investigator diploma, Gendarmerie divers can specialize again by passing the Diploma of Technician in Underwater Investigation (DTIS) by following a 3-week training course at the CNING in Antibes. This training will allow them to take on greater responsibilities and investigate larger crime scenes. In the long term, the diving gendarmes can also orient themselves towards a career of instructor.

Vetsecurity: an alternative to Vetigend for the clothes, shoes and equipment of the gendarme

On our online store, you can find thousands of clothing, equipment, material, luggage, shoes, accessories and badges for all gendarmes. Find all our gendarmerie products as well as a large selection of brands at the best quality / price ratio on the market.