Welcome to Team Joe VandenOever!

Joe's Story:

Navy Diver Chief Petty Officer, Joe VandenOever

Joe entered the Navy and following boot camp, attended Engineman “A” School at Great Lakes followed by Second Class Dive School in Coronado, California. His first duty assignment was with the newly commissioned Submarine Escape Training Facility in New London, Connecticut. During his tour, he assisted in bringing the submarine escape training facility and re-compression/hyperbaric wound treatment chamber into an operational status.

Chief VandenOever then transferred to the dive locker on board the USS Sierra AD –18. During a 6-month deployment to the Mediterranean he qualified as an Enlisted Service Warfare Specialist. Following the decommissioning of the USS Sierra en route to his next duty station, he attended and graduated from First Class Dive School and Ship Salvage Construction Demolition Diver School in Panama City, Florida. His next assignment was with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6 -  Mine Recovery Detachment.


Chief VandenOever was deployed as a Diver Supervisor to East Moriches, New York for the recovery of TWA flight 800, where the combined efforts of Navy, FBI, Police, Fire, and Army divers managed to recover 217 out of 237 bodies and 99% of the plane from an average depth of over 100 feet below sea level. In recognition of his team’s success, Chief VandenOever was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.


After 10 years of active duty service, he was honorably discharged and transitioned to the Navy Reserves. His first assignment was to Navy Reserves SEAL Team 8 where he worked as the Dive Planning and Re-qualifications Supervisor. Chief VandenOever then transferred to Navy Experimental Dive Unit Great Lakes and served as the Senior Diver in charge of Planning and supervising.


He was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in September 2011 and retired in 01 November after 24 years of exemplary and Honorable Naval Service. Chief VandenOever passed away 10 January 2014 and is survived by his wife Jill, and three children Jessica, Savannah, and Andrew.  Joe's son, Andrew,  is currently serving in the Navy onboard the USS Ashland, Sasebo, Japan.


Please join Team Joe by walking/running in the 5th Run Forrest Run 5/10K on March 30th. This can be done by registering for the Virtual Run (packet sent by USPS to your location) or on campus at Notre Dame on March 30th at 9:30 am. Register for the 5K at RunForrestND.com and under “Classification” Team Joe VandenOever. All funds raised will be donated in Joe’s honored memory to the Gary Sinise Foundation. Questions: email Nathaniel at ND4GSF@gmail.com

Hosted by Notre Dame's ROTC Service Groups 


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