The U.S. Navy SEALs are the most widely known—and feared—special forces operators in the world. Named for the environments in which they operate (sea, air and land), the Navy SEALs were officially established under President John F. Kennedy in 1962 and have been a powerful military force ever since.
In order to carry out such physically and mentally exhausting acts of unconventional warfare, Navy SEALs undergo an extensive training and selection process—though it’s these tough requirements that make them so legendary.
Read on to learn exactly what makes Navy SEALs the top special forces team in the world today.
Not just anyone can become a Navy SEAL. Joining the team requires SEALs to meet rigorous physical and mental standards.
Before even getting to the training, SEALs must meet a number of qualifications, including:
- Having perfect or near-perfect eyesight, with no colorblindness
- Passing the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test
- Passing a physical examination required for Navy divers
Additionally, being knowledgeable in math and mechanics, as well as having good study habits are necessary skills. A high level of maturity and self-confidence is essential for enduring all it takes to become a Navy SEAL.
Training is Extensive
Navy SEALs undergo some of the most rigorous training in military history. An eight-week boot camp is first required for aspiring SEALs, simply to ensure they have what it takes to move on to the next training phase: BUD/S.
Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training is a 24-week course designed to push trainees to the end of their physical and mental limits, and is split into three unique phases:
- Physical conditioning
- Combat diving
- Land warfare
Each phase is specially designed to hone each trainee’s skills and bring them up to the level needed to become a full-fledged Navy SEAL. Elements like teamwork, physical strength and water competency are vigorously tested in order to prepare SEALs for the brutal challenges they’ll face on every mission.
This extensive training is one of the biggest factors behind the Navy SEALs’ reverential status around the world. Such a high standard for entry into the force ensures each SEAL is the best of the best.
Mental Toughness is Essential
While SEALs are renowned for their physical strength and airtight strategies, their mental toughness is what sets them apart from the rest.
Every SEAL endures rigorous mental conditioning during their training to ensure they’ll be able to withstand the mental weight of each life-threatening mission. In a process that psychologists call habituation, each SEAL is exposed to excessively fearsome situations that lead them to overcome mental blocks that would lead any ordinary person to succumb to their emotions. It’s these mental exercises that allow SEALs to rise above simply physical strength to become an elite special forces team.
Visit NavySeal.com to learn more about the special forces operators today.