Men of Honor is a 2000 drama film, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The film was directed by George Tillman, Jr. It is inspired by the true story of Master chief petty officer Carl Brashear, the first African American master diver in the United States Navy. Carl Brashear (Gooding, Jr.) decides to leave his lifestyle in native Kentucky in 1948 and the life of a sharecropper by way of joining the United States Navy. As a crew member of the salvage ship USS Hoist, where he is assigned to the galley, he is inspired by the bravery of one of the divers, Master Chief Petty Officer Leslie William "Billy" Sunday (De Niro). He is determined to overcome racism and become the first black American Navy diver, even proclaiming that he will become a master diver. He eventually is selected to attend Diving and Salvage School in Bayonne, New Jersey where he arrives as a boatswain's mate second class. He finds that Master Chief Sunday is the leading chief petty officer and head instructor, who is under orders from the school's eccentric, bigoted commanding officer to ensure that Brashear fails.