Mary Bonnin
Photo from 1980 at Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, FL. Mary Bonnin, accompanied by First Class diving students Walt Boyd and Chuck Bloomer, preparing for a Mark V mixed gas training dive.
BornBaraboo, WI
AllegianceUnited States
Years of service20
RankMaster Chief
AwardsFirst Female Master Diver

Mary Bonnin is a former Master Chief in the United States Navy. She retired from her position in 1996. She had been with the United States Navy for 20 years, graduating at the top of her class in both air and gas surface-supplied diving. She then became the first woman Master Diver,[1] and later she would be one of the first women to enter the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

Military career

Mary Bonnin enlisted in the United States Navy in 1976. She graduated top of her class, and later became the first enlisted female diver certified in both air and gas diving. During her tour she trained over one-thousand divers, and worked in various posts around the ship. She also served as the leading diver safety authority. Mary Bonnin eventually retired from the Navy in 1996.[2]


Over the course of her military years, she has won many awards and honors. She was added into the Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) in 2000.[3] The WDHOF was designed originally to give tribute to the most notable divers, however it quickly developed into a tribute of women that helped the exploration of the sea. Many notable women have been inducted into the WDHOF such as: Dr. Eugenie Clark, U.S. Chief Scientist Kathy Sullivan, and many others.[2]


  1. ^ "She stays afloat in a mostly men's world: Mary Bonnin is the Navy's first and only female master diver". Virginia Beach Beacon. 17 February 1994. Retrieved 22 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Navy. "Dahlgren Employee Inducted into Women Divers Hall of Fame" (Press release). Retrieved September 21, 2009.
  3. ^ "Members List: A-E". Women Divers Hall of Fame. 2009. Archived from the original on October 5, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2009.