What is Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL (BUD/S) training, and what happens during the first phase, Hell Week, second phase, and third phase of BUD/S? This comprehensive blog post delves into the rigorous world of Naval Special Warfare training for aspiring Navy SEALs. As a highly knowledgeable individual on this subject, I will provide an in-depth look into the challenging process of Naval Special Warfare training for those aspiring to become Navy SEALs.
In our final section about “What is Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL BUD/S training and what happens first phase, hell week, second phase and third phase of BUD/S”, we examine land-warfare training where trainees learn demolition procedures and reconnaissance tactics.
Where Is BUD/S Training?
BUD/S Training takes place in Coronado, CA. Coronado is a beautiful luxury resort town highlighting the famous Hotel Del Coronado, highly desired beach condo building lining up and down the golden strand with some of the most expensive homes in California.
Prep for the Ultimate Test: Navy SEAL Training
Long before going to BUD/S, candidates must pass a rigorous physical screening test and complete two months of training at the Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School.
- Physical requirements include a minimum score of 220 on the Navy PRT, a 500-yard swim within 12 minutes and 30 seconds, 50 push-ups in two minutes, and ten pull-ups without touching the ground between repetitions.
- Trainees receive instruction from experienced SEALs who have undergone similar trials themselves.
- The curriculum includes strength and endurance training, swimming skills, teamwork drills, and mental toughness exercises.
- Topics such as nutrition, injury prevention, and recovery techniques are also covered.
First Phase – Basic Conditioning
Following a 3-week BUD/S orientation after arriving in Coronado, CA, the first phase of BUD/S focuses on basic conditioning through weekly four-mile timed runs in boots and timed obstacle courses, building physical endurance, strength, and mental toughness for naval special warfare recruits. This phase is largely physical and ensuring trainees can endear the mental strains of becoming a special warfare operator. It’s this phase you experience the greatest number of drops.
- Four-mile timed runs and obstacle courses: Candidates must complete weekly four-mile runs wearing boots within a specified time limit, followed by equally grueling obstacle courses that test agility, balance, and determination.
- Swimming exercises and stretching routines: Trainees participate in continuous 35-minute swims along with proper stretching techniques to prevent injuries, preparing for long-distance underwater dives during missions.
Former Navy SEAL Stew Smith recommends that trainees should be able to complete a 500-yard swim and perform 42 push-ups within two minutes as part of their preparation for this phase, which helps develop the necessary stamina required by enlisted SEAL members when facing real-life combat situations.
In addition to building up their bodies’ capabilities, candidates also learn teamwork skills crucial for successful missions, constantly pushed to their limits, and those who cannot keep up may be dropped from the program, serving as a crucial foundation for future SEALs before they move on to more specialized training in subsequent phases.
“Joining the elite ranks of Navy SEALs requires grueling physical and mental training. Learn about BUD/S first phase, hell week, second phase, and the third phase in our latest article for military news and career resources. #NavySEALs #BUDStraining #militarynews”Click to Tweet
Hell Week – The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
Hell Week occurs towards the end of the First Phase before moving on to more specialized operational training within the SEAL teams.
It is known for its brutal intensity both physically and mentally; pushing recruits to their limits over five days with minimal sleep while participating in continuous high-stress activities such as running drills under live fire or enduring cold-water immersion tests. Normally, there will be about three medical checks per day to ensure trainee abilities to continue.
Some notorious events include surf torture, where trainees link arms and lay down in freezing ocean water until instructors decide they’ve had enough, and mud flats, which involve crawling through thick mud for hours on end.
These demanding tasks are interspersed with long-distance runs carrying heavy logs or inflatable boats above their heads.
High-stress activities including live-fire drills
- Roughly 12-hour boat race: Teams compete against each other in an exhausting race that lasts around half a day. Winners are rewarded, losers pay the price.
- Artillery simulators: Trainees experience what it’s like being under enemy fire by having artillery simulators explode nearby during various exercises throughout Hell Week.
- Mud invades: Instructors seek out any sign of weakness among trainees by forcing them into muddy pits where they must perform calisthenics while being berated and sprayed with water hoses.
By the time recruits finish Hell Week, they have a newfound understanding of their own physical and mental capabilities.
It’s an intense experience that weeds out those who aren’t cut out for the demanding life of a Navy SEAL, leaving only the most resilient candidates to continue to the next phases of BUD/S training.
Key Takeaway: Hell Week is a grueling five & half-day test of endurance, mental fortitude, and teamwork for aspiring Navy SEALs. With only about four hours of sleep for the entire week, trainees are pushed to their limits with intense physical challenges such as surf torture and mud flats while participating in high-stress activities like live-fire drills and artillery simulators. Only the most resilient candidates make it through Hell Week and onto the next phases of BUD/S training.
Second Phase – Combat Diving Skills
The second phase of BUD/S training focuses on developing essential combat diving skills over seven weeks.
Trainees learn open-circuit scuba diving and closed-circuit rebreather systems for stealth missions.
Long-distance underwater dives and challenging swimming drills push their endurance levels beyond what most people can handle.
- Roughly 12-hour boat race: Trainees navigate inflatable boats through rough waters and unpredictable weather conditions.
- Special Operations Technician Training: Recruits receive training in various special operations technician roles such as Special Operations Medical Sergeant.
Third Phase – Land-Warfare Training
Get ready for seven weeks of intense land-warfare training, where you’ll learn demolition procedures and reconnaissance tactics to prepare you for hostile territories around the world. They include:
- Demolitions: You’ll get hands-on experience with various explosives, learning how to safely handle, prepare, and detonate them during operations.
- Reconnaissance: You’ll be taught advanced techniques for gathering intelligence while remaining undetected by enemy forces.
BUD/S instructors at the Naval Special Warfare Center are known for their unconventional approaches to teaching critical skills needed for success within the elite special operations community.
For example, BUD/S instructors are notorious for their brutal sense of humor and verbal abuse during training exercises, pushing trainees both physically and mentally beyond their limits.
Other instructors may use tear gas during exercises or expose trainees to harsh environmental conditions on San Clemente Island to ensure they’re ready for any challenge as a Navy SEAL.
What is Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL Training or BUD/S?
BUD/S is a six-month program that tests and develops the physical, mental, and technical skills of aspiring Navy SEALs through three phases: Basic Conditioning, Combat Diving Skills Development, and Land-Warfare Training.
What happens during Hell Week in Navy SEAL training?
Hell Week is a grueling five-day event within the first phase of BUD/S that pushes trainees to their physical and mental limits with minimal sleep, including high-stress exercises like timed runs in boots on sand dunes or obstacle courses while being exposed to harsh environmental conditions.
What is the hardest Navy SEAL BUD/S training?
It varies from one recruit to another. The most popular reasons for quitting, or ringing the brass bell, is the cold water exposure, physical endurance, and mental perseverance. All to say, quitting varies from individual experience, but Hell Week during the first phase of BUD/S is often considered one of the most challenging due to its extreme physical demands combined with sleep deprivation over five and a half days where as many as 50% ring out during this week alone.
Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL BUDS training is arguably the toughest military training in the world – it’s a grueling program that pushes Navy Seal recruits to their limits both physically and mentally.
The first phase is all about conditioning, while Hell Week is a five-day and a half test of endurance and stress management. During the second phase, trainees develop their combat diving skills, and in the third phase, they learn land-warfare tactics like demolitions and reconnaissance.
If you’re thinking about becoming a Navy Seal, it’s crucial to understand the intensity of Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL BUDS training and what each phase entails. Attrition rates are high and some recruits are not able to physically complete the daring training.
But with dedication, perseverance, and mental toughness, you may conquer this demanding program and become a certified Navy SEAL. If you have more questions about BUD/S training, go to NavySEAL.com.