United States Navy SEAL selection and training
The average member of the United States Navy's Sea, Air, Land Teams (SEALs) spends over a year in a series of formal training environments before being awarded the Special Warfare Operator Naval Rating and the Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) 5326 Combatant Swimmer (SEAL) or, in the case of commissioned naval officers, the designation Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Officer. All Navy SEALs must attend and graduate from their rating's 24-week "A" School known as Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) school, a basic parachutist course and then the 26-week SEAL Qualification Training program.
All sailors entering the SEAL training pipeline with a medical rating or those chosen by Naval Special Warfare Command must also attend the 6-month Advanced Medical Training Course 18D and subsequently earn the NEC SO-5392 Naval Special Warfare Medic before joining an operational Team. Once outside the formal schooling environment SEALs entering a new Team at the beginning of an operational rotation can expect 18 months of training interspersed with leave and other time off before each 6-month deployment.
- 1 Screening
- 2 Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School (8 weeks)
- 3 Parachute Jump School (3 weeks)
- 4 SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) (26 weeks)
- 5 SEAL Troop (TRP) Training
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
|Graduated recruit training||58|
|Completed SEAL pre-indoctrination||90|
|Completed SEAL indoctrination||85|
|Completed BUD/S phase 1||33%|
|Completed BUD/S phase 2||87|
|Completed BUD/S phase 3||96|
|Graduated Airborne School||100|
|Completed SEAL Qualification Training||99|
Entering training to become a Navy SEAL is voluntary, and officers and enlisted men train side-by-side. To volunteer, SEAL candidates must be male, between 18 and 29 years old, and US citizens in the U.S. Navy. Occasionally, personnel from foreign armed forces allied with the United States will also be invited to take part in BUDS training. For a period of two years, of an initial seven planned, members of Coast Guard were allowed to attend SEAL training until the exchange program was suspended in 2011. Waivers are available for 17-year-olds with parental permission and on a case-by-case basis for 29- and 30-year-olds. Academically, all applicants must have the equivalent of a high school education, have a composite score of at least 220 on the ASVAB and be proficient in all aspects of the English language. Medically, all potential applicants must have at least 20/75 vision, correctable to 20/20, be able to pass the SEAL Physical Screening Test and have no recent history of drug abuse. Lastly applicants must have "good moral character" as determined by his history of criminal convictions and civil citations.
The U.S. Navy, as of August 2015, is developing a plan for women to possibly eventually join the SEALs, if they can meet the same acceptance guidelines as for men, following the decision by President Obama and the U.S. Defense Department to open all uniformed service positions to women within a reasonable time span, unless the services are able to receive a waiver from the Secretary of Defense, currently Ashton Carter, to continue excluding them from certain positions due to truly legitimate concerns.
Assignment to BUD/S is conditional on the SEAL Physical Screening Test (PST). Prospective trainees are expected to exceed the minimums. The minimum requirements are 500 yd (460 m) swim using breast or combat sidestroke in under 12:30 with a competitive time of 9:00 or less, at least 50 push-ups in 2 minutes with a competitive count of 90 or more, at least 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes with a competitive count of 90 or more, at least 10 pull-ups from a dead hang (no time limit) with a competitive count of 18 or more, run 1.5 mi (2.4 km) in running shorts and boots in under 10:30 with a competitive time of 9:30 or less.
The training curriculum begins at Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School in Great Lakes, Illinois. Here, aspiring SEALs are given a crash course in the physical standards required to even attempt to become a SEAL.
It starts with the initial Physical Screening Test and ends with a more demanding Physical Screening Test, one that includes a timed four-mile run and a timed 1,000-meter swim. The goal is to increase the SEAL candidates' physical readiness between the two tests so that they are ready to move on to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training. Those unable to pass the final test are removed from the SEAL training pipeline and reclassified into other jobs in the Navy.
Parachute Jump School (3 weeks)
Upon successful completion of BUD/S, SEAL candidates go on to receive both static line and free-fall training at Tactical Air Operations in San Diego, CA. The accelerated 3-week program is highly regimented, facilitated by world-class instructors, and designed to develop safe and competent free-fall jumpers in a short period of time.
To complete the course, candidates must pass through a series of jump progressions, from basic static line to accelerated free fall to combat equipment – ultimately completing night descents with combat equipment from a minimum altitude of 9,500 feet.
SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) (26 weeks)
SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) is a 26-week course that will take the student from the basic elementary level of Naval Special Warfare to a more advanced degree of tactical training. SQT is designed to provide students with the core tactical knowledge they will need to join a SEAL platoon.
The class will learn advanced skill sets in weapons training, close-quarters combat, small unit tactics, land navigation, demolitions, unarmed combat, cold weather training in Kodiak, Alaska, medical skills and maritime operations. Before graduating, students also attend Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training.
Graduation from SQT culminates in the awarding of the coveted Navy SEAL Trident – after which new SEALs immediately are assigned to a SEAL Team and begin advanced training for their first deployment.
|SEAL Qualification Training|
SEAL Troop (TRP) Training
Following SQT, new SEALs will receive orders to a SEAL Team and assignment to a Troop (TRP) and subordinate Platoon (PLT). New operators will join their Platoon wherever they are in their deployment cycle. The normal workup or pre-deployment workup is a 12- to 18-month cycle divided into three phases.
Individual Specialty Training
Phase one of a work-up is Individual Specialty Training. Individual Specialty Training is 6 months long where individual operators attend a number of formal or informal schools and courses. These schools lead to required qualifications and designations that collectively allow the platoon to perform as an operational combat team. Depending on the team's and platoon's needs, operators can expect to acquire some of the following skills (Items in parentheses are Joint SOF Unit Course equivalent):
- Sniper | Scout/Sniper
- Advanced Close Quarter Combat/Breacher (Barrier Penetration/Methods of Entry)
- Surreptitious Entry (Mechanical and Electronic Bypass)
- NSWCFC (Naval Special Warfare Combat Fighting Course)
- Advanced Special Operations (MSO)
- Technical Surveillance Operations
- Advanced Driving Skills (Defensive, Rally, Protective Security)
- Climbing/Rope Skills
- Advanced Air Operations: Jumpmaster or Parachute Rigger
- Diving Supervisor or Diving Maintenance-Repair
- Range Safety Officer
- Advanced Demolition
- High Threat Protective Security (PSD) – (US/Foreign Heads of State or High Value Persons of Interest)
- Instructor School and Master Training Specialist
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operator
- Language School
- Joint SOF and Service Professional Military Education (JPME)
Unit Level Training
Phase two of a work-up is called Unit Level Training (ULT). ULT is a 6-month block run by the respective group (NSWG1/NSWG2) training detachment, where the TRP/PLT's train in their core mission area skills: Small unit tactics, land warfare, close quarters combat, urban warfare, hostile maritime interdiction (VBSS/GOPLATS), combat swimming, long range target interdiction, rotary and fixed wing air operations and special reconnaissance.
Task Group Level Training
Phase three of a work-up is Task Group Level Training. Task Group Level Training is the last 6-month block wherein a troop conducts advanced training with the supporting attachments/enablers of a SEAL Squadron: Special Boat Teams (SWCC), Intelligence(SI/HI/ETC)Teams, Cryptological Support Teams, Communications (MCT/JCSE) Medical Teams, EOD, Interpreters/Linguist, etc. A final Certification Exercise (CERTEX) is conducted with the entire SEAL Squadron (SQDN) to synchronize Troop (TRP) operations under the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) umbrella. Following CERTEX, a SEAL Team becomes a SEAL Squadron and is certified for deployment.
Once certified, a SEAL Team/Squadron will deploy to a Joint Special Operations Task Force or Area of Responsibility to become a Special Operations Task Force (SOTF), combine with a Joint Task Force (JTF) or Task Force (TF) in support of other National Objectives. Once assigned, the Troops will be given an Area of Operations (AOR) where they will either work as a centralized/intact Troop or task organize into decentralized elements (PLT-20/SQD-10/TM-5) to conduct operations. NSW Troops have ranged in size from 60 personnel to over 200 and can consist of SEAL's and any USSOCOM operational element and enablers. A SEAL Team/Squadron deployment currently is approximately 6 months, keeping the entire cycle at 12 to 24 months.
|SEAL Troop (TRP) Training|
- Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command
- Naval Special Warfare Center
- Underwater Demolition Team
- United States Navy SEALs
- United States Navy SEALs in popular culture
- Dick Couch. The Finishing School. Three Rivers Press.
- "Navy steps up search for new SEALs – Navy News , News from Afghanistan & Iraq". Navy Times. 8 April 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Lieutenant James McLay (DAG PAO) (21 May 2010). "Coast Guard Graduates First Two SEALs". Coast Guard Compass (United States Department of Defense). Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Jill Laster (9 July 2011). "Program letting Coasties train as SEALs on hold". Navy Times (Gannett Government Media Corporation). Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Susan Gvozdas. "Coast Guardsmen are 1st to ever graduate BUD/S". Navy Times.
- Rod Powers. "Navy Enlisted Rating (Job) Descriptions and Qualification Factors SEAL Challenge". About usmilitary.com. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
- Allen, Admiral Thad. "Assignment Of Coast Guard Personnel To Train And Serve With Naval Special Warfare". Retrieved 5 November 2008.
- "SEAL PHYSICAL SCREENING TESTING STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES" (PDF). Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "SEAL PST". Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "NSW Prep". Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "SEAL Qualification Training". Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Platoon Training , NavySEALs.com – Experience the SEAL Edge". NavySEALs.com. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "Navy Fact File: Navy SEALs". San Diego: Naval Special Warfare Command – Public Affairs Office, United States Navy. 3 March 2005. Archived from the original on 3 March 2005. Retrieved 25 June 2006.
- McCoy, Shane T. (August 2004). "Testing Newton's Law", All Hands Magazine, p. 33.
- Obringer, Lee Ann. "How the Navy SEALs Work". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 14 June 2006.
- Sasser, Charles W. Encyclopedia of The Navy SEALs, Facts on File, 2002. (ISBN 0-8160-4569-0)
- Scott Tyson, Ann (June 20, 2006). "Pulling No Punches in Push for Navy SEALs". The Washington Post.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to United States Navy SEALs.|
- Navy SEALs : Special Operations: Careers & Jobs: Navy.com - official site.
- U.S. Navy SEALs Information Website – official site.
- U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command Website – official site.
- US Navy SEALs Information
- US Navy SEALs Directory
- US Navy SEALs Blog