Cornelius “Neil” Begley was first introduced to scuba diving during gym class at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon graduation, Neil was commissioned a Field Artillery Officer in the United States Army, and served in a variety of positions at different bases throughout the country. While stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Neil developed a love of the underwater world and a strong desire to help introduce others to the experience. Neil became a master scuba diving trainer with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and a diving emergency specialist instructor with the Divers Alert Network (DAN).
In 2002, Neil was medically discharged from the Army for a severe shoulder injury. As a disabled Veteran, Neil has great empathy for those with physical disabilities and a deep understanding of the benefits scuba diving can offer. Not only is scuba diving a great sport in its own right, Neil believes it can also help others overcome some of their challenges. Neil became a scuba diving instructor with the Handicapped Scuba Association International (HSA) because he knows what a great adventure diving can be for those with physical disabilities. Neil has spent many hours sharing the underwater world with people who have a variety of disabilities and in doing so, has shared the wonderful world of scuba diving with those who might not otherwise be able to participate.
Neil holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University and is the Principal of Saint Leo the Great School. In his spare time, Neil is a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) on a number of emergency management organizations.