Bob Coggin, from Charleston, S.C., served as a U.S. Navy "frogman" diver. A "frogman" is someone who is trained in scuba diving or swimming underwater for military or police work. During the Vietnam War, Coggin was part of a Navy SEAL underwater demolition team. Just after returning to the U.S. from his tour in Vietnam, Coggin received his next assignment: to train for the possibility of recovering the Apollo 8 spacecraft. Once a spacecraft returned to the earth, "frogmen" would assist with its recovery - performing duties such as attaching flotation devices to the spacecraft, and assisting the astronauts' egress from inside the spacecraft.
Coggin was one of these "frogmen" stationed on the U.S.S. Yorktown who assisted astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, after they returned from orbiting the moon on Apollo 8.