Lately, the Navy SEALs have attracted a lot of attention in the media and for good reason. Over a week ago, SEAL Team 6 took out Osama bin Laden, public enemy number 1. While America rejoiced over the victory, I was curious to know what kind of training these brave men go through.
After reading various articles, I agree with the Daily Beast who said it is “a bone-wrenching, spine-rattling affair.” You might want to make sure you are using your SweatBlock before you move on to the next paragraphs because just reading about the Navy SEAL training will make you sweat.
First, here’s some background. The acronym SEAL (SEa, Air and Land) comes from the fact that these men are able to operate at sea, in the air, and on land. Their ability to operate underwater sets them apart from any other military unit. So what does it take to be a Navy SEAL? Well, I’ll tell you. Just remember this fact: 1,000 men start SEALs training and only 200 to 250 actually pass.
Before aspiring Navy SEALs can even enter into the rigorous training program they have to go through the physical screening test (PST). The test consists of swimming 500 yards within 12.5 minutes, followed by 42 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, 6 pull-ups, and then to top it all off, they’ll need to run 1.5 miles within 11.5 minutes. They call this the “bare minimum” test in order to check the Navy SEALs fitness level. I call it the “hardest work out of my life”.
After these Navy SEALs pass the PST, they move onto more rigorous training. The first phase is called BUD/S (basic underwater demolition/SEAL training). During this phase Navy SEALs start with a five week indoctrination course, followed by physical conditioning for eight weeks, and then practice land warfare tactics for nine weeks. Some of the training during this time consists of the candidates being bound by their hands and feet while being expected to swim, bob, and retrieve an object from the bottom of the pool with their teeth. This is what they call “drown proofing.” But that’s only a small part of their training under water.
The last week of training is called “hell week” because it includes five and a half days in which candidates run more than 200 miles on as little as four hours of sleep while doing physical training for more than 20 hours per day. If candidates pass that, then they move on to the second phase. I say IF, because by this time, many candidates drop out.
The second phase is where candidates go to the Military Free fall School where they learn about military freefalling tactics. If I ever made it to this phase, I would die in a nervous sweat puddle before I even had the chance to jump.
The final and third phase is the SEAL Qualification Training. This is the last step in receiving their status of a US Navy SEAL and requires special knowledge and high tech weaponry skills.
So after reading this post, do you think you have what it takes to be a Navy SEAL? For me, I’ll pass thanks.