US Navy SEALs
BUD/S indoctrination is five weeks in length. This is a mandatory course
designed to give the student an understanding of the techniques and
performance required of him. The first obstacle a student faces is the
BUD/S Physical Screen Test. He must pass the test in order to class up and
begin training. At the end of the indoctrination course, he will be given
a more advanced version of the BUD/S Physical Screen Test that must be
passed in order to enter the First Phase of BUD/S.
For detailed information
regarding the Warning Order, SEAL training expectations and best ways to
prepare, check out our
Navy SEALs Training
section. Also, check out our
Navy SEALs Fitness Workout to
prepare for BUD/s.
Naval Special Warfare Training - Following
basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL, and basic
rating training, you will begin Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S)
Training in Coronado, CA. This six-month course of instruction will
focus on physical conditioning, small boat handling, diving physics,
basic diving techniques, land warfare, weapons, demolitions,
communications, and reconnaissance. Navy SEALs undergo some
of the most difficult training that is conducted by any military in the
world. It takes more than a year of strict training in different
environments before they are presented The Special Warfare Operator
Naval Rating. After that there is 24 weeks of training for their rating
in Basic Underwater Demolition and 28 weeks in SEAL Qualification
Training. For SEALs chosen by the NSW, there is a Special Operations
Combat Medic program for 26 weeks. It will take up to 30 months for a
Navy SEAL to be ready for his first deployment.
BUD/S is extremely challenging testing a recruit
physically, emotionally, and mentally. A big part of this training
is endurance in the face of extreme temperatures and conditions, and
while sustaining significant sleep deprivation. BUD/S is conducted at
Naval Station Coronado, near San Diego, in the cold Pacific Ocean
waters. Following graduation from BUD/S a new SEAL has follow-on
training that includes airborne jump school, free-fall school, combat
diving school, explosives and demolitions, small arms training,
mountaineering training, and many other specialized courses.
In 1962, President Kennedy believing that wars of
the future would be low intensity conflicts (LIC) such as acts of
terrorism and guerrilla warfare, created an elite unit of special
operators. Experts in sea, air, and land operations, they are
known as the Navy SEALs. Organized under the Navy Speclal Warfare
Command (NAVSPECWARCOM) also known proudly as "WARCOM", Navy SEALs have
evolved from their predecessors — the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT)
of World War ll.
Organized into numbered SEAL Teams, the Teams are
strategically located on both the West and East Coasts (odd numbered
Teams on the West Coast, even numbered Teams on the East Coast). To
become a Navy SEAL, a recruit must first pass the rigorous assessment
and selection program known as BUD/S. BUD/S is widely thought of
as the toughest formal school in the US military. Upon successful
completion of BUD/S, a recruit is awarded the treasured SEAL "Trident"
badge and bestowed the honor of being called a Navy SEAL.
Grown from the frogman roots of the UDT, today’s
SEALs are not isolated to underwater or maritime operations. ln fact,
many SEAL Teams operate quite far from any body of water - the
(mountains of Afghanistan, South America, the Horn of Africa, Iraq, and
during the Usama bin Laden raid, deep into the inland regions of
Pakistan. They lend their expertise in special operations - specifically
irregular warfare such as direct action (DA), special reconnaissance
(SR), and clandestine infiltration. Additionally, SEALs have taken
an active role in unconventional warfare including the training and
capacity-building of foreign counter-terrorism forces. Today’s SEAL
Teams are just as comfortable operating in the remote Konar Valley of
Afghanistan as they are in the waters of the Indian Ocean. `
Missions of the SEALs
Although the Goldwater-Nichols act stated that all
US Forces will be operationally controlled (OPCON) to the Joint
Force Commander, Special Operations Forces (SOF) usually fall under
their own chain of command underneath the Numbered Task Force Commander
or Theater Special Operations Component (T-SOC) Commander. Navy
SEALs usually make up one part of a Joint Task Force independently
comprised of SOF ground and air forces with unique authorities, rules of
engagement, and a streamlined intelligence collection, exploitation and
Today’s war is fought against a nation-less and
enemy. This is no longer state-on-state warfare and SOF are the main
players in today’s battles. Because the enemy is amorphous, often hiding
within the civilian population and appearing as a fleeting target on the
battlefield, special units such as SEAL Teams have proven invaluable due
to their specialized training, flexibility, ability to adapt to
time-sensitive targets, and capability to deploy globally - including
denied and unwitting
Navy SEALs are called on to do missions of strategic
importance to the United States. They are trained to do the following
Direct Action - Offensive strikes against an enemy target using
tactics like raids, ambushes and assaults.
Special Reconnaissance - Surveillance and reconnaissance
operations to report on enemy activity or to provide a better
understanding of the operational situation. These missions can include
tracking of enemy units, monitoring military and civilian activity, and
gathering information about beach and water conditions prior to a beach
Counter Terrorism - Directing action against terrorist groups to
prevent terrorist activities.
Foreign Internal Defense - Training and assisting foreign
counterparts to increase their capacity to respond to threats.
SEALs are interoperable with Army SF units,
Rangers, and other Special Mission Units. SEAL Teams are versatile, able
to infiltrate to a target area via numerous means. SEALs can infil via
airdrop, by ground assault force (Humvee, Hilux, Stryker), by helicopter
assault force, by various small maritime vessels (RHIB, Zodiac, Boston
Whaler), by SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV), or by swimming in to shore.
SEALs are trained to jump out of aircraft and perform both low-altitude
and high-altitude paradrops - both static-line as well as free-fall
jumps. Additionally, SEALs are comfortable jumping into water drop zones
(DZ) as well as land DZs. Specialized Air Force aircrews are in even
trained to airdrop SEAL boats, heavy equipment, then the SEAL Team
itself into a water DZ in foreign or international waters.
SEAL operators are aided by Special Boat Units and
a variety of support personnel, intelligence analysts, and embedded
operators from the other services, including Air Force Pararescuemen.
Want to join one of the most elite SOF units? Apply for a BUD/S slot-
but train hard before you go. Make sure you are fit - be able to score an
excellent on the Navy PRT as well as the SEAL PST. Sharpen your running
endurance and speed - but don’t forget about the hardest task -
swimming. Contrary to what most would think, the recruits that
succeed at BUD/S are not the huge 6-foot tall linebackers - instead they
have a more trim body composition with superior muscular and respiratory
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Preferred Method of
Insertion (Iraq / Afghanistan)
1. MH-47G Chinook Special Operations Helicopter
(Heavy Lift, Helicopter Assault Force)
The Chinook variant used to transport small direct action teams such as
Navy SEALs are flown by the 160th SOAR and is designated the MH-47G.
This heavy-lift helicopter has the capability to conduct long distance
missions in a wide range of environmental conditions including landing
on and taking off from water. Because of its vast capabilities, the
MH-47G is used to conduct infiltration, exfiltration (infil/exfil),
parachute and shipboard operations. This helicopter, due to its larger
troop carrying ability and faster air speed, is used to replace up to
five Blackhawks for air assault missions in Afghanistan. Two MH-47Gs
were used to refuel the Blackhawks that conducted the May 2011 raid on
Bin Laden’s compound, carried the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), and to
serve as backups. It was in this backup role that one MH-47G was used to
carry the occupants of the crashed Blackhawk along with Bin Laden’s body
to safety at the conclusion of the raid.
The MH-47G is equipped with advanced avionics systems that allow night
vision goggle equipped pilots to accomplish low level overt and covert
missions against hostile threats in all types of environments during low
ambient light conditions. The terrain following/avoidance radar and
forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera allows for pinpoint navigation at
night and in marginal weather conditions. This aircraft is also equipped
with a fast-rope rappelling system, in-flight refuel probe and the
Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS), a digital glass cockpit. The
MH-47G cargo hook and 28,000 pound cargo capacity make it ideal for
missions such as transporting light artillery pieces, resupply missions
or Forward Area Arming and Refueling point operations as they did for
the Bin Laden raid. The personnel location system enables the MH-47G to
conduct combat search and rescue of downed aviators and others trapped
behind enemy lines who are then retrieved using the special insertion
and extraction system, a rescue hoist or rope ladder.
The MH-47G is protected by two 7.62mm mini guns, infrared (IR) jammers,
chaff and flare dispensers.
2. MH-60M Black Hawk Special Operations Helicopter
(Light Lift, Helicopter Assault Force)
SEAL Teams will also infil/exfil via the special operations MH-60K
helicopter operated by the
Night Stalkers. This specially modified Blackhawk is equipped with
upgraded engines, transmissions, FLIR and the CAAS glass cockpit.
Additional internal fuel tanks, an aerial refuel system and the ability
to mount external fuel tanks greatly extend the range of this helicopter
which can operate from fixed facilities, remote forward locations or
from aboard ship. It is protected by two electrically driven 7.62mm
Gatling guns, IR jammers, radar warning systems, flare and chaff
dispensers. It can also be equipped with AIM-92 Stinger missiles.
Because of its mission to penetrate hostile environments at night and at
low altitude, the MH-60K is equipped with advanced inertial navigation
system, FLIR and the AN/APQ-174 multi-mode terrain following and
avoidance radar. This allows for accurate navigation during high speed,
low level and low ambient light conditions during both overt and covert
missions. It was this capability that was used extensively by Delta
Force, CIA and joint forces in Afghanistan such as the operations
against the Bin Laden/Taliban strong hold of Tora Bora and the
penetration into Bagdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Today, the
MH-60K operates from multiple locations in support of U.S. Central
Command operations against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
The MH-60K has the secondary missions of aerial resupply, external load,
medical evacuation and combat search and rescue.
Find out more about the 160th
Special Operations Air Regiment.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
BUD/S Training Timeline
Indoctrination (5 weeks)
Basic Conditioning (8 weeks)
Diving (8 weeks)
Land Warfare (9 weeks)
Basic Parachute Training (3 weeks)
Receive Naval Special Warfare Classification - (NEC) Code
The Warrior Elite:
Forging SEAL Class 228
Navy SEAL Physical
Screening Test (PST)
REF: (a) MILPERSMAN
1220-100 Exhibit 1
a. The Physical Screening Test is given to ensure that all applicants for
SEAL program display a standard level of athletic proficiency before
arriving at BUD/S. You should be in a progressive physical conditioning
program to best prepare yourself for the demands of BUD/S training.
b. The PST is a competition with yourself and you are encouraged to
achieve your personal best in each event. The PST should neither be
difficult nor demanding for the well trained candidate.
II. SEAL PST
a. 500-yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke in under 12 minutes and 30
b. Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups in 2 minutes
c. Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes
d. Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups (no time limit)
e. Run 1 ½ miles wearing boots and long pants in under 11 minutes and 30
Navy SEALs Workout
First Phase - Basic
First Phase is eight weeks in length. Continued physical conditioning in
the areas of running, swimming, and calisthenics grows increasingly
difficult as the weeks progress. Students participate in weekly four-mile
runs in boots, and timed obstacle courses. They swim ocean distances up to
two miles in fins and learn small boat seamanship.
The first two weeks of
First Phase prepare you for the third week, known as "Hell Week." Students
participate in five and one-half days of continuous training, with a
maximum of four hours sleep for the entire week. This week is designed as
the ultimate test of one's physical and mental motivation while in First
Phase. During Hell Week, you will learn the value of the mainstay of the
SEAL Teams: TEAMWORK! The remaining five weeks are devoted to teaching
methods of conducting hydrographic surveys, preparing hydrographic charts
and instruction in basic maritime operations.
Find out more
Navy SEALs Fitness Standards
For detailed information regarding the
Warning Order, SEAL training expectations and best ways to prepare, check
Navy SEALs Training section.
Deploying soon? Check out our
Afghanistan Deployment Gear
List and see for Special Operations Forces prepare for a deployment
in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Profile of a Navy SEAL
SEALs are named after the environment in which they operate, the Sea,
Air, and Land, and are the foundation of Naval Special Warfare combat
forces. They are organized, trained and equipped to conduct a variety of
Special Operations missions in all operational environments. Today’s
SEALs trace their history from the elite frogmen of World War II.
Training is extremely demanding, both mentally and physically, and
produces the world’s best maritime warriors. Our focus during this
training is based on three core pillars:
Men of Character: The nature of our mission requires men who will uphold
the Navy Core Values - Honor, Courage, and Commitment.
Physical: The nature of our mission also requires men who are physically
fit and capable in every environment, especially the water.
Technical: Finally, maritime Special Operations require SEALS who are
intelligent and can quickly learn new tasks.
Today's Naval Special Warfare operators can trace their origins to the
Scouts and Raiders, Naval Combat Demolition Units, Office of Strategic
Services Operational Swimmers, Underwater Demolition Teams, and Motor
Torpedo Boat Squadrons of World War II. While none of those early
organizations have survived to present, their pioneering efforts in
unconventional warfare are mirrored in the missions and professionalism
of the present Naval Special Warfare warriors.
Navy SEALs in The War on
Navy SEALs have participated in
some of the most famous operations in the current conflict - the global
counter-terrorism war. Navy SEAL Petty Officer Neil Roberts was the
first casualty of Operation ANACONDA when he fell from the MH-47
helicopter during infiltration. During Operation REDWING, a four-man
SEAL Team led by Lt. Michael Murphy was on a long range reconnaissance
mission in eastern Afghanistan when they came into contact with hundreds
of enemy Taliban. The subsequent Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that was
launched from Bagram Airbase via two MH-47 helicopters received
overwhelming enemy ground to air fire in the Afghan mountains resulting
in the shoot down of one of the MH-47s; in the end, there was one
survivor of the Team - Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell. Navy SEALs
helped rescue the Captain of the Maersk Alabama ship that was taken over
by Somali pirates - SEAL snipers engaged the Somali captors and freed
the Captain after an intense hostage standoff.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in June, 2005 for the
mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission.
Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to
have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of
those Navy SEALS made it out alive.
This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, US Navy
SEAL Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that
led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. Lt.
Michael P. Murphy led the team of PO2 Luttrell, PO2 Dietz and PO2 Axelso.
Luttrell fought valiantly beside his teammates until he was the only
one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers
could not find him.
Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell
crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic
villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding
Taliban warriors. Murphy lead a four-man team tasked with finding
a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad,
Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force
with superior tactical position. Mortally wounded while exposing himself
to enemy fire, Murphy knowingly left his position of cover to get a
clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. While being
shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his unit’s location and
requested immediate support for his element. He returned to his cover
position to continue the fight until finally succumbing to his wounds.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, from Patchogue,
NY. Murphy was killed by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission,
Operation Redwing, June 28, 2005. Murphy lead a four-man team tasked
with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near
Asadabad, Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger
enemy force with superior tactical position. Mortally wounded while
exposing himself to enemy fire, Murphy knowingly left his position of
cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his
headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his
unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element. He
returned to his cover position to continue the fight until finally
succumbing to his wounds.
This is an account of a group of US Navy SEALS who are ambushed on a
mountain in Afghanistan and require rescue by Army Ranger rapid response
team. The Rangers are subsequently ambushed requiring yet another rescue
team. The story is told from the perspective of the soldiers on the
ground, facing unbelievably cold weather, horrible terrain and a lot of
determined enemies. Quite a few don't make it, but the story is more
about the determination of these highly trained warriors to never leave
a comrade behind. The action is quite detailed and the reader almost
feels like he is there with the troops.
Navy Special Warfare (NAVSPECWAR)
are two groups of SEAL teams that are under the command of the NSW
including Naval Special Warfare Group One and Three on the West Coast at
the Naval Air Base Coronado, California and Group Two and Four on the
East Coast based in Norfolk, Virginia. These teams are stationed around
the world as Special Operations Task Forces or Naval Special Warfare
Squadrons to meet the wartime requirements of the Global Combatant
Commanders (GCCs). The Naval Special Warfare Center that is
located at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado is the training
facility for most naval Special Warfare training. It maintains a
detachment at the Naval Amphibious Base in Virginia for training of
personnel that are assigned to commands on the east coast.
The three types of personnel that are assigned to NSW are officers,
enlisted Navy SEALS and Special Warfare Combat Craft Crewmembers.
Officers take the same Basic Underwater Demolition Training that
enlisted men take. The enlisted men are highly competent maritime
special forces who strike from and return to the sea. Because they use
well calculated stealth and clandestine methods of operation, they can
conduct missions against targets that would be difficult for large
The Naval Special Warfare Groups deploy SEAL Teams, Special Boat Teams,
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, support technicians, mobile communications
teams, explosive ordnance disposal specialists and tactical cryptologic
support world wide to meet the training, exercise, contingency and
wartime requirements of theater commanders. With approximately 5,400
total active-duty personnel--including 2,450 SEALs and 600 Special
Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC)--NSW forces are busier than ever
answering “911 calls” from around the globe. NSW also calls upon a
1,200-person reserve of approximately 325 SEALs, 125 SWCC and 775
The primary skill sets are special reconnaissance and direct action for
combating terrorism, and the NSW is ready to fight the enemy around the
world, on land and sea before they have the opportunity to act. They
have a continuous presence overseas where they deploy from Navy ships,
aircraft, submarines and bases. NSW comprises less than one percent of
U.S. Navy personnel, but their impact on enemies around the world is
great because of their special training and ability to operate across a
large spectrum of conflict.
Condor Tactical Cap with Velcro Patch
Under Armour Tactical
Navy SEALs Watch
The most important trait that distinguishes Navy SEALs from all other
military forces is that SEALs are maritime special forces, as they
strike from and return to the sea. SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) take their
name from the elements in and from which they operate. Their stealth and
clandestine methods of operation allow them to conduct multiple missions
against targets that larger forces cannot approach undetected.
A routine SEAL mission, according to the Navy,
might include free-fall parachuting from 10,000 feet, riding a small
rubber boat for 100 miles, traveling 30 miles out to sea to rendezvous
with a submarine.
Starting in the Vietnam War-era, when the elite force was officially
created to combat guerrilla and terrorist tactics. Comprised of
volunteers, the Navy SEALs are part of the Special Operations Forces
that will play a pivotal role in the United States’ war on terrorism.
SEALs, like the Army Rangers and Green Berets, are experts in stealthy
attacks, surveillance and penetration. Although Afghanistan is a
land-locked country and the SEAL specialties highlight their water
skills, SEALs still are expected to be factors, military analysts say.
Check out our new section on
Navy SEALs Weapons.
Lessons of the Navy SEALs
This book is the most accessible leadership book I've read recently. It
is presented as a case by case basis (The Mission) with lessons learned
from it (The Take Away), albeit in a corny way.
Those who are military buffs will surely enjoy this book, however, the
corporate world is a far different outfit. The best example from the
book would be the case where the officers of the same rank were placed
together to pitch a tent in the dark. Due to that, everyone was barking
orders to each other in order to stand out and appear superior.
It is almost impossible to reprimand your subordinates without risking a
resignation and the balance between enforcing your right as a superior
and eliciting favors is a fine line. My philosophy of leadership is
fairly simple. Lay down the expectations from day one, and hire those
who can accept those expectations, never force someone to do something
that they are not willing to do (Chapter 4, Lesson 1). You cannot trim
down your troops through attrition in the corporate organization (no
boot camps here) by piling so much work that your employees quit and
only the best remain. There's just not enough time and not enough people
to complete any project implementation. Only a handful of organizations
can do that ie. Nordstrom via psychological pressure rather than
Chapter 3 focuses on building leadership, while chapter 4 focuses on
being a grunt. 2 sides of the coin which are highly important. In
summary, a must read. (Highly recommend, Built to Last).
BUD/S Training is demanding. Prepare yourself for your training,
mentally and physically.
Set yourself up
for success - excel at your new Navy SEALs Special Warfare career!