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Posted: 9/6/2004 8:35:09 PM EST
Well, the title says it all. My best friend just enlisted to take the SEAL Challenge. He's 23, a college graduate, and I've known him for about 5 years, give or take. I'm currently 19 and a sophomore in college. I'm thinking very seriously about tagging along. I've always wanted to serve my country some way in the armed forces, and recently I've decided that if I was going to do it, I'm going to do it right - special forces. The Navy offers the "Seal Challenge" which guarnatees you a spot in BUDS if you can pass the basic physical qualifications in boot camp.

I've got to make my decision soon if I want to ship out with my friend on February 15. I want to do it. I really do, but making the decision to go against my family's wishes and get myself into the most physically and mentally challenging situation I will ever face is tough. There are a few personal issues with family, friends, and women that I won't bore you with, but that's a decision I'll have to make on my own.

So, have any of you gone through SEAL training? Other special forces training? What were your experiences? Advice? Any experiences/stories/opinions/whatever would be much appreciated. I'm going to talk to the recruiter tomorrow to examine my options. It looks like I'll get Operation Specialist with a $20,000 signing bonus.

Thanks for reading the long post. I have so much running through my head right now, it's good to get some of it off my chest.

Nick
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:39:31 PM EST
This wont be the first time you go against your family wishes and it wont be the last.

But being a SEAL is easier said then done.

SGtar15
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:41:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2004 8:43:26 PM EST by geegee]
You may want to read through the threads over at SOCNET. You'll get all the info there you want. If you decide to register and post a question, be sure you're not asking something that's been asked many times before on their forum. And be sure you don't ask about becoming a "Seal." I noticed in the second part of your post it became "SEAL," as it's properly abbreviated. Good luck.

www.socnetcentral.com/vb/
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:43:15 PM EST
It'll be a great challenge, but it'll be a great honor as well if you make it through everything.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:43:55 PM EST
Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:49:25 PM EST
Alrighty then ,see you at the gun show
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 9:02:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By sgtar15:
But being a SEAL is easier said then done.

SGtar15



Yeah man, I'm scared shitless about it. I'll have 5 months to really work my ass into shape before boot camp. One of the nice things about being an Operation Specialist is that the school is in Virginia Beach, Virginia, just down the road from Dev Group...
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 9:03:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By geegee:
You may want to read through the threads over at SOCNET. You'll get all the info there you want. If you decide to register and post a question, be sure you're not asking something that's been asked many times before on their forum. And be sure you don't ask about becoming a "Seal." I noticed in the second part of your post it became "SEAL," as it's properly abbreviated. Good luck.

www.socnetcentral.com/vb/



Thanks for the link. I've been reading a bit on that forum. They've got some great info over there, but a lot of makes me want to turn and run. Haha.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 9:04:21 PM EST
If I were you, i"d ask this question at a gun show. Those places are full of ex SEALS.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 9:05:06 PM EST
Just go for it man. What do you have to lose?
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 9:11:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2004 9:12:58 PM EST by mtechgunman]
hey listen,


FINISH YOUR COLLEGE FIRST!!!!!!!!!


What happens if you don't make it to seal graduation? your fucked (not really though, serving is serving).


Finish out, then follow.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 9:12:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By MisterFloppy:
Just go for it man. What do you have to lose?



Very true. I've been weighing the choices in my head for a year or so, and now I'm thinking it might be time to man up and do it. I just need to make sure I'm physically ready. The swimming is going to be rough. I'll really need some instruction on that.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 9:12:51 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 9:23:36 PM EST
If you're not sure about your visual acuity, have an eye exam to ensure you can pass the vision stds. That's what caught me out. I went so far as to write the SG of the Navy to ask if PRK was permissable to make qualification, & he said no at that time (late 80's). I think they allow it now, but you have to be serving prior to having the procedure done, & it has to be approved along the way. They're pretty touchy about this in particular, so definitely do some checking. If you're not visually challenged, then you already have that major hurdle crossed.

My understanding is that the mil-med screening is pretty involved, & beyond any normal physical you'll encounter in civilian life, so little things that you may have never known about can come up. Also be aware that once you sign on the line, they have you - irregardless of the outcome. As others will advise, get it in writing. Knowing what you can expect will save you a lot of grief. If the blackshoe Navy is not your style & you're not sure about your chances, then I'd suggest going into another branch, or staying a civilian if anyihtng else doesn't appeal to you, as I did.

If I were back in my same position & I could've had the surgery, then I would've gone for it, definitely. I was already running 6-10 miles & swimming 2-3 miles at the time (Still endeavor to keep this up, though not nearly as often as I did, or would like), so I felt I could've made a good run at it. If you really think you can do it, then consider it. It's an opportunity only a very few have ever experienced. Also, bear in mind that they only take men 18-28 years, & age waivers (for post-28 yr. olds) are extremely rare. If you want to do it, don't wait too long.

Oh yeah - get yourself used to being cold about 80-90% of the time. I spoke w/ a SEAL stationed at the Coronado recruiting station & he said that his life in the teams was harder & colder in the Teams than anything he experienced in BUD/S (Interestingly, he also didn't seem to keen on re-enlistment when I asked him if he'd go up for it again). Run - a lot. Work on general upper body strength (You probably know the drill). Try to swim in colder water (~65 degree or less), if you can. I understand that the Pacific around the Silver Strand & Coronado Bay stays pretty much at 55-60 degrees year 'round. And watch out for those rocks on the shoreline at the Cornoado Bay Club Hotel!

Lots of luck to you!
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 10:14:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:
No SEAL challenge for me but I have had exposure to team members, failures, and last week at 4:30 AM in the the morning to their training

The SEAL team members I knew were quite men of good humor, personal strenght, high honor, and integrity. Notice I didn't mention huge size, big guns, or fast legs. I get the feeling that it's guts not gut that makes the SEAL. The E-7 and above SEAL team leaders would typically bunk in the same non-smoking berthing as me. I got to know some as well as I guess any other one of the 200 CPO's aboard ship. They tend to be small - 5'7 to 5'10" but in really good shape. If they weren't wearing their pin's I would mistake them for anyother guy aboard. They are well trained and smart and normally speak an additional language or two - the ones I knew spoke some of the arabic langages. One drill they conducted they got dressed up in arab garb and were plucked from the sea. They were to try to break security confinement and attempt to do some attacks on the ship. They were speaking in jibberish back and forth and knew what the other was saying.

Last command I had a BUDS washout in my shop. Nice guy from Hendersonville North Carolina. Big at 6'4" or better he rang out because he couldn't take the pain of the cold water. He spent plenty of time swimming Pugent Sound year round trying to lower his resistance to the numbing pain of the cold water. He tried really hard and did well in my shop too. But he was weak and took a few too many hits off of some weed while on a ski trip. We pissed tested him and he popped positive and got booted against my wishes. The kid was just gullable and proably never would have smoked another joint in his life given a second chance - one strike and you're out in the Navy. Dude was Joe-lifer-Navy. Good kid. Damn it.

So last week I'm at "get-out-of-the-Navy-old-fat-Master-Chief" school and was staying at the BOQ at Naval Amphib Station Coronado. Come the second day, not really morning, I get scared half to death out of my bed. They're doing rehab on the children's center right out side my ground floor window and they've got one of the those 50 cubic yard dumpsters sitting in the parking lot right next to my window. So the BUDS and Team One members (support guys mainly) who were selected for CPO were out there hanging with their hands from the top of the dumpster while marching with their boots, as hard and as loud as they could, to a CPO cadence. Loud enough to peel paint! And plenty loud enough to wake every officer in that BOQ up to the tenth floor!

So bottom line is attitude is everything - you need to make a gut check to see if you've got the ability to be in the small percentage that makes it. OS is a pretty soft job in the fleet - "Scope Dopes" we call them. They're the guys with the best tans as they're always out sunning themselves while the engineers are down in the plant

Good luck either way. I'm leaving after 23 years of service with no regrets. I've stood on the flight deck and had missiles fly over my head. I've participated in alpha strike launches, been a GQ locker leader and officer, a surface warfare program commander, the (nightime) Combat Systems Officer, Senior Enlisted Section Leader, a Radar System Officer, and my favorite title: Command Master Chief.

I've been to more countries then you can count on both hands and both feet. I've drank more weird beer and power puked my guts out. I've taken two women home more that one night in more than one country. I've fallen asleep on an Australian beach, got lost in Tokyo, and nearly shot at the Chinese border crossing in Macao. I had girlfriends in ports up and down the coast from Perth Australia to Yokosuka Japan.

Yeah I miss it already.



Great info, thanks for the reply. If/when I sign those papers, I'm sending you an email.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 10:21:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2004 10:22:58 PM EST by TargetNick]

Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
If you're not sure about your visual acuity, have an eye exam to ensure you can pass the vision stds. That's what caught me out. I went so far as to write the SG of the Navy to ask if PRK was permissable to make qualification, & he said no at that time (late 80's). I think they allow it now, but you have to be serving prior to having the procedure done, & it has to be approved along the way. They're pretty touchy about this in particular, so definitely do some checking. If you're not visually challenged, then you already have that major hurdle crossed.

My understanding is that the mil-med screening is pretty involved, & beyond any normal physical you'll encounter in civilian life, so little things that you may have never known about can come up. Also be aware that once you sign on the line, they have you - irregardless of the outcome. As others will advise, get it in writing. Knowing what you can expect will save you a lot of grief. If the blackshoe Navy is not your style & you're not sure about your chances, then I'd suggest going into another branch, or staying a civilian if anyihtng else doesn't appeal to you, as I did.

If I were back in my same position & I could've had the surgery, then I would've gone for it, definitely. I was already running 6-10 miles & swimming 2-3 miles at the time (Still endeavor to keep this up, though not nearly as often as I did, or would like), so I felt I could've made a good run at it. If you really think you can do it, then consider it. It's an opportunity only a very few have ever experienced. Also, bear in mind that they only take men 18-28 years, & age waivers (for post-28 yr. olds) are extremely rare. If you want to do it, don't wait too long.

Oh yeah - get yourself used to being cold about 80-90% of the time. I spoke w/ a SEAL stationed at the Coronado recruiting station & he said that his life in the teams was harder & colder in the Teams than anything he experienced in BUD/S (Interestingly, he also didn't seem to keen on re-enlistment when I asked him if he'd go up for it again). Run - a lot. Work on general upper body strength (You probably know the drill). Try to swim in colder water (~65 degree or less), if you can. I understand that the Pacific around the Silver Strand & Coronado Bay stays pretty much at 55-60 degrees year 'round. And watch out for those rocks on the shoreline at the Cornoado Bay Club Hotel!

Lots of luck to you!



No worries with the eyes. 20/20 or better in both.

Physical conditioning is a concern. I haven't run in a few years, but since I started again 2 weeks ago I'm up to 3.5 miles, no problem. My main concern is swimming. I've never been exposed to it, especially in cold water, so the 50 meter underwater swim and the 500 meter timed swim might be deal breakers. My upperbody has always been my weakness, but I've got 5 months to change that. I really wish I had more time to prepare physically before I make the decision, but if I want to go with my friend, I have to decide very soon.

Am I 100% confident that I'll make it? Hell no. The one thing I am sure about, however, is that I WILL NOT be ringing that bell. If I don't make it, it sure as hell won't be my choice.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 10:41:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By TargetNick:
Am I 100% confident that I'll make it? Hell no. The one thing I am sure about, however, is that I WILL NOT be ringing that bell. If I don't make it, it sure as hell won't be my choice.




Sounds like you've got the right attitude.

Seriously consider finishing your degree out first though. But. At the same time, I can see where going in with a friend could be a real help.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 11:11:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:

Originally Posted By TargetNick:
Am I 100% confident that I'll make it? Hell no. The one thing I am sure about, however, is that I WILL NOT be ringing that bell. If I don't make it, it sure as hell won't be my choice.




Sounds like you've got the right attitude.

Seriously consider finishing your degree out first though. But. At the same time, I can see where going in with a friend could be a real help.



Ya know, I've thought about finishing my degree first, but my problem is this: I have no motivation or direction for school right now. My entire education is being paid for, but I feel like it's being wasted. I'm taking classes toward a double degree in International Affairs and Business, but I really don't know why, and worse yet, I don't care. I've always thought about the military as an option, and I think right now it would really give me the direction and motivation I need to finish up and make a life for myself once I get out.

Ah, I don't know. We'll see what I end up doing. I just got back from a run, and it's pretty obvious that I've got a ways to go from a physical standpoint. Winded after 4 miles just isn't going to cut it... I think the best course of action right now would be to work my ass off for the next month and see what kind of gains I can make in my running, pushups, pullups, and swimming. If they're significant enough to give me confidence in my ability, I'll go ahead and do it. If not, it's not worth setting myself up for failure.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 11:21:37 PM EST
You can always keep it in mind as a goal to work towrads. even if you're not ready to go in with your friend, you might be ready for their next induction/test/whatever they call it.

I know what you mean about being directionless. I'm less than a semester away from finishing a CS degree but I'm so burned out I'm not sure what I want to do anymore -- the only reason I'm finishing it is because I'm so close. Unfortunetly, as much as I'd like to, the military isn't an option (asthma). Oh well.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 2:04:09 PM EST
I highly reccomend you read "The Warrior Elite" by Dick Couch. Couch is a retired SEAL who got to follow a BUDS class throughout their training. I got cold and tired just reading the misery those guys were put through.
In the book he discusses why one guy will make it and another won't, and it's not about who is ph ysically stronger(although you obviously have to be in good shape).
I agree with the Master Chief, we had UDT teams with our battallion landing teams back in the late 70's, early 80's, and the guys were pretty nondescript, kept to themselves, but the Marines knew enough to not mess with them.
Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 2:32:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By TargetNick:

Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
If you're not sure about your visual acuity, have an eye exam to ensure you can pass the vision stds. That's what caught me out. I went so far as to write the SG of the Navy to ask if PRK was permissable to make qualification, & he said no at that time (late 80's). I think they allow it now, but you have to be serving prior to having the procedure done, & it has to be approved along the way. They're pretty touchy about this in particular, so definitely do some checking. If you're not visually challenged, then you already have that major hurdle crossed.

My understanding is that the mil-med screening is pretty involved, & beyond any normal physical you'll encounter in civilian life, so little things that you may have never known about can come up. Also be aware that once you sign on the line, they have you - irregardless of the outcome. As others will advise, get it in writing. Knowing what you can expect will save you a lot of grief. If the blackshoe Navy is not your style & you're not sure about your chances, then I'd suggest going into another branch, or staying a civilian if anyihtng else doesn't appeal to you, as I did.

If I were back in my same position & I could've had the surgery, then I would've gone for it, definitely. I was already running 6-10 miles & swimming 2-3 miles at the time (Still endeavor to keep this up, though not nearly as often as I did, or would like), so I felt I could've made a good run at it. If you really think you can do it, then consider it. It's an opportunity only a very few have ever experienced. Also, bear in mind that they only take men 18-28 years, & age waivers (for post-28 yr. olds) are extremely rare. If you want to do it, don't wait too long.

Oh yeah - get yourself used to being cold about 80-90% of the time. I spoke w/ a SEAL stationed at the Coronado recruiting station & he said that his life in the teams was harder & colder in the Teams than anything he experienced in BUD/S (Interestingly, he also didn't seem to keen on re-enlistment when I asked him if he'd go up for it again). Run - a lot. Work on general upper body strength (You probably know the drill). Try to swim in colder water (~65 degree or less), if you can. I understand that the Pacific around the Silver Strand & Coronado Bay stays pretty much at 55-60 degrees year 'round. And watch out for those rocks on the shoreline at the Cornoado Bay Club Hotel!

Lots of luck to you!



No worries with the eyes. 20/20 or better in both.

Physical conditioning is a concern. I haven't run in a few years, but since I started again 2 weeks ago I'm up to 3.5 miles, no problem. My main concern is swimming. I've never been exposed to it, especially in cold water, so the 50 meter underwater swim and the 500 meter timed swim might be deal breakers. My upperbody has always been my weakness, but I've got 5 months to change that. I really wish I had more time to prepare physically before I make the decision, but if I want to go with my friend, I have to decide very soon.

Am I 100% confident that I'll make it? Hell no. The one thing I am sure about, however, is that I WILL NOT be ringing that bell. If I don't make it, it sure as hell won't be my choice.




Not trying to bust your balls but NOBODY THAT RINGS THE BELL EVER WENT THERE THINKING THEY'D RING THE BELL....

Stay motivated...find a way to improve your swims...you might want to take a real cold shower fully clothed in the morning then go for that run...shoes and all...hell you might even want to throw a rucksack on your back.

Everything I've heard it is 90% mental 10% freezing cold effects that cause people to opt out.

Good luck....
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 2:39:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 2:39:57 PM EST by -Absolut-]
finish college and go as an officer. in addition to getting the degree, it will give you 2 years to train.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 2:51:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By TargetNick:

No worries with the eyes. 20/20 or better in both.

Physical conditioning is a concern. I haven't run in a few years, but since I started again 2 weeks ago I'm up to 3.5 miles, no problem. My main concern is swimming. I've never been exposed to it, especially in cold water, so the 50 meter underwater swim and the 500 meter timed swim might be deal breakers. My upperbody has always been my weakness, but I've got 5 months to change that. I really wish I had more time to prepare physically before I make the decision, but if I want to go with my friend, I have to decide very soon.

Am I 100% confident that I'll make it? Hell no. The one thing I am sure about, however, is that I WILL NOT be ringing that bell. If I don't make it, it sure as hell won't be my choice.



OK well if your eyes are OK and you have no other physical problems this is what I would suggest.

1. Finish college. Do the following while in school. This will give you time to train.

2. Do some research, find a good book that will have a training regimine to work up to passing and
exceding the challenge test.

3. If you are not a very good swimmer get a swimming coach and or lessons. SEAL's are at
home in the water and you will need to be.

4. Start a running, swimming, lifiting, calsthetic schedual and stick to it religously. Don't push too
hard and injure yourself, that is counter productive. I would work on my diet too, balanced and
low in fat.

4a. Do lots of endurance running and swimming, also do some training for speed. Work on your
upper body strenght and endurance.

4b Do lots calesthetics i.e sit ups (proper), push ups (proper), and pull ups (proper). Do
variations of them too.



I would find a cross country club and run with them. Take advantage of your free time and get in top physical condition. Also you may want to look into the Navy SWCC program. The Indoc and PT isn't as hard to pass and after you are in you can challenge the SEAL indoc. That was advice given to me by a SWCC.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:18:38 PM EST
GO. Go now. The hell with college. You can always do college later. Hell, they might pay for it (my Hist 454 - American Military History class had an ROTC cadet who was formally an enlisted man and a SEAL. It was funny seeing him walk into class with his pin and a rack of medals and awards walking next to Seniors who technically outranked him but had nothing on their shirts. Also, if he wasn't in his midshipman's uniform, he would've looked the same as anybody else).
You do it now, or you might not end up doing it later. We've got lots of folks around PSU who went and did other things before college. A 40 year old can read, write, and learn as well as a 19 year old.
You do these things when you're young, yo.


Hell, if my eyesight didn't blow I'd withdrawl tomorrow, walk down to the USMC office and enlist.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:38:32 PM EST
I personally know a guy that made it into the SEALs, he was not a big muscular person, he was about 5 ft 9" weighed around 155 - 160 and he was a "TRI-ATHELETE" he was already a good swimmer and runner, that experience really helped him get through SEAL training, if you cant swim or run good now then you better work on your swimming and running.

I think you should go as soon as your ready, dont procrastinate and keep putting it off if thats what you really want to do?
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:23:11 PM EST
Hello, my name is Spooky, and I am NOT a SEAL! All facts are based on my best friend from high school who is a SEAL.

I high school he was a very good athlete but never very focused. He raced professional motocross for a year and then had a bad accident. During recovery he got into triathalons and decided to make something of his life and joined the Navy. Never told them about his accident that almost killed him and went to basic and then to BUD/S. He gained about 25 pounds - all in the upper body and all muscle. He made it through Hell Week and washed out at the end of Dive Phase. He had orders less than a week later assigning him to be a Navy cop. They were hurting for cops otherwise he would have gone to the SBUs to get some more seasoning before going back...

Anyhow, he spent about a year or so being a cop and went back to BUD/S knowing much more than the average bear... The second time through he tried not to eat as much to keep the extra muscle weight off. He actually told me he didn't sleep during Hell Week the second time around - said it was easier to stay awake than sleep and be all funky from the little sleep he did get. Anyhow, he got through Dive Phase and was the Honor Grad from his class. Pretty good for the second try.

Now he wants to get his degree because he thinks officers are pretty dumb and he could do a better job - so now he has to go the college route if they'll let him...

Different side of the story from what everyone was saying!!!

Spooky
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:36:05 PM EST
Here's a little story I pulled of the net that I thought you might enjoy.

Many moons ago, when my squadron was deployed to Panama, we had to share a Quonset Hut village with SEAL Team 8 (ST-8). A Quonset Hut village is just a synonym for Military Trailer Park, where they stash all the folks who are on temporary assignment. In any event...

The central hut in the village was set aside as the "entertainment" hut. There was a ping pong table, dartboard, card table, and other recreational shit in there. You could also buy hot dogs, sodas, and if you were off duty, beer. We offered ST-8 full use of the Hut (as we called it) while we were sharing the village with them. The Hut was run by a different person from the squadron each day. People were assigned to Hut duty just like you would be assigned guard duty or cleaning duty. But it was so cake. No sweating, no rifle carrying, just cool air conditioning and no stress. One day, I was lucky enough to pull Hut duty.

The people coming into the Hut after a long day on the flightline are usually some filthy looking bastards, covered in grease, hydraulic fluid and all kinds of nasty shit. But during the working shift, you'd usually only have one or two customers all day. It typically left the guy on duty with nothing much to do except watch the Armed Forces Network, which, while I was there, aired 4 hours of Saved by the Bell reruns followed by four hours of Quantum leap reruns, 24 hours a day. It was enough to drive a man insane, but that's a different story.

The day I was on duty, a SEAL came in to get a beer and shoot the shit. He seemed like a nice enough guy. He really didn't look to me like what I thought they were supposed to look like. He stood about 5'6", weighed 160 at the most. Just not a very imposing fellow, but he was a SEAL, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he could kill me with his bare hands without breaking a sweat. Then in came Fuller. Now, understand, it's been a few years since this happened and for the life of me, I can't remember his first name. Fuller will do, though. He was the stereotypical aggressive Navy drunk. When he drank, he just liked to start shit with anyone. He was a scrawny shit, though, and not a lot of people took him seriously. Until he drank, then he would morph into the Invincible Man and start a fight with the biggest son of a bitch around. He never gave up until either he had pummeled someone into the dirt or got knocked unconcious himself. Strange cat.

So Fuller came in, drunk as hell, yelling at no one in particular, in full-on aggro mode. The SEAL just sat there, quietly sizing up Fuller and drinking his Cerveza Atlas. Fuller got a look at the Budweiser (slang for the SEAL crest) on the guy's uniform and wigged out on him:

Fuller: You SEALs are a bunch of pussies! I could have been a SEAL! You're nothing! I bet can beat your ass!

SEAL: You're probably right.

Fuller: You're Goddamned right! Come on! I'll show you! I'll beat you like I beat my kids!

SEAL: Look man, I don't want to fight you. I'm just going to finish my beer, then I'll go.

Fuller: Fuckin-A! Hey Jimbo, you hear that? What a fucking pussy!

Fuller pushed the guy. Not very hard, but enough to spin the guy a bit on his bar stool. I was standing there, wide-eyed, just waiting for Fuller to get his candy ass crushed like a beer can, but Frogman just finished off his drink. He looked like he was about to get up and leave, but then he suddenly spoke to me in a spooky ass, quiet voice.

SEAL: You know what, I think I'll have another one.

Me: Uh....Okay.

I turned around to get another beer out of the fridge and then heard one of the most ominous sounds ever:

WHAP!

*long pause*

Thud.

I was afraid to turn around, but I was just standing there with the fridge open, holding a beer and looking like a freaking dork. Slowly, I turned. Fuller? Nowhere to be seen. I handed the SEAL his beer and peered over the edge of the bar. Fuller was spread-eagled, unconcious on the floor.

SEAL: I think he passed out.

Me: Uh....Okay.

Of course, God was frowning upon me for being such a Goddamned pansy, so he sent my CO in through the door at that very instant. Fuck. Captain Simpson looked at Fuller on the floor, looked at me, looked at the SEAL, looked back at Fuller, then back at the SEAL. Time stood still. The SEAL just sat there, holding his beer, looking cool as fucking Ceasar salad.

CO: Looks like Petty Officer Fuller passed out, boys?

Me: Uh....yes sir.

SEAL: Yes sir.

CO: You sailors help your shipmate out, carry him back to his rack?

Me & SEAL: Aye Aye, Sir.

And the Skipper left. The SEAL acted like that kind of shit just happened to him every day, because he took a swig of his beer, and set it down.

SEAL: You take his feet?

Me: Uh....okay.

Fuller had quite a beautiful bruise in the shape of a hand on the side of his neck the next day. It didn't fade for weeks. I never asked him about it. What fucking dumbass.

I thought that was a kind of neat story,LOL.
The day you can pin one of these on your chest you'll be a "Man among men." My dream military job would have to have been a SEAL. They're the BEST of the BEST IMHO.


If you go for it, Good Luck and hang in there, it'll not be easy but it will be worth it if you make it. If push come to shove just remember, you'll be doing it not only for you but for those of us here on ARFCOM that couldn't for one reason or another so make us proud. Go get that "Budweiser" pard.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:43:45 PM EST
Best of luck to you, buddy.

I'll admit I'm envious. While it is true that my eyesight disqualified me for BUDS in the 6th grade, I still wish I had the drive and the chance to go through the training.

Oh, well. Maybe in a different life....
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:54:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 6:18:29 PM EST by piccolo]
FWIW, I took the (then UDT) swim test (unofficially, administered by a Navy recruiter)in '68 and passed it. I was one hell of a swimmer, growing up on one of the last unpolluted rivers in Boston's South Shore area. My idea of spending a fun afternoon was to jump off of a bridge several miles upriver and swim down to the mouth of the river.

I don't know a whole lot about the training other than it STRESSES teamwork and it's cold and miserable, but I do know this: You're going to be spending a lot of time wet.(read this:COLD)

IMHO, you want to be a damned powerful swimmer, BUT YOU DO NOT-repeat-NOT want to go with too little body fat.

What? Too little body fat?

Don't swimmers want to be as lean as possible? Look at the guys in the Olympics!

Yes, too little body fat.

You'll need some for the cold waters to act as insulation.

IE, you need to be a fairly fast swimmer, just as important, you have to be prepared for the duration.

Some guys have washed out NOT because they lack guts, but because their bodies can't take it!

Cold water is a truly rough place to be.

I've gone over the side three times in cold weather, once on a sailboat(harnessed, so I hauled myself back in), once fishing, damn near killed me, (Skipper was a damned good boat handler, thank God)and several years ago I slipped on some ice in port and had to haul my sorry ass back onto the dock.

I'm NOT a skinny guy, if I was, I'm SURE the fish boat accident would have killed me. It took almost a full day to get back in shape, and I was monitered carefully for almost 72 hours, as sometimes cold water immersion can set off a delayed heart attack even in a young athlete.

Another thing: grab a weighted piece of pipe(you'd catch hell carrying an AR in a public or even semi public pool) a pack, a helmut of some sort and wearing say, jeans, a heavy cotton short and boots practice swimming with that. It's a bit difficult, but at 14 YO, I could cross the river carrying a 5 gallon pail 2/3s full of clams wearing sneakers, so it can be done with practice.


JMHO.


BTW, finish college, get a commission. I have heard(admittedly from Rumor Control) that there's a real shortage of junior SEAL officers.


Edited to add for those that don't know, I was NOT in UDT, I simply took the swim test as a 17 YO kid. My service was in the Army. Damn, don't want THAT bullshit to get started and wind up in the wannabe Rambo list!

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:08:41 PM EST
Would any legitimate SEAL who reads this thread kindly send me an IM? I have a few questions I'd like to ask discreetly.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:28:40 PM EST
I remember a instructor at Indian Head who used to be a SEAL and for what ever reason went into Navy EOD program (SEAL's and EOD are part of the Navy Diver community). I can tell you this, I have NEVER seen such a PT machine as that MOFO. He loved to flutter kick, I remember a Navy class limping around one day. That Instructor lead their PT, they did just flutter kicks well over an hour non-stop.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:32:58 PM EST
I thought the Seal challenge was like the Pepsi challenge but with Pinnepeds (seals vs walruses) being tasted rather than pepsi and coke.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:40:32 PM EST
Do it. Or you'll be the guy I used to work with who told me all about how he could have been a SEAL...
The tough part is mental. I wasn't a SEAL, but I WAS an Infantryman, and when your back hurts and the ruck is wearing ahole in your back and your feet are bleeding and the crotchrot is tearing you up, it's mental power that gets you through. I've seen big tough guys fall out for little shit and the little dude you think looks like a bookworm caries a full ruck and a radio and makes jokes the whole time. mental toughness,

As for doing what your family wants, at some point you have to do what YOU want to do.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:45:30 PM EST
Go Army. Their Specops community is much more diverse. If you do not make it as a SEAL you will be a Seaman. If you are reasonably athletic, and not a dumbass, you could be a Ranger or Airborne.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:47:02 PM EST
If and when you go , first GOOD LUCK ! When you are there, Keep your spirits and your chin up. LISTEN to what they tell you . Do EXACTLY as they say. If you make a mistake, (everybody does)own up to it and be a man about it. Don't try to cut corners or sandbag anything or anybody. Always do your best! Understand though that if you do make it into the SEALS, then YOU WILL BE IN COMBAT! YOU WILL HAVE TO KILL PEOPLE AND PROBABLY BE SHOT AT! If you are not certain you can handle this, it is better and more honorable to stop training than to go through it and get you or one of your fellow SEALS killed. A lot of what you see on T.V. and in movies may look cool and glamerous but ofcourse this isn't reality. Take care. And keep us posted. Good luck. Coondog
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:08:08 PM EST
Well, i went down to the recruiter today.

I can go in as an Operation Specialest with an E3 rating because of my college credit. Looks like I'll get somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000-$20,000 for signing bonus, and I'll make sure to do the GI Bill to pay for college when I get out. If I want to ship out with my buddy, I'll have to make the decision within a week. Unfortunately, I think that's too soon to really think things through. If I wait, I'll end up shipping out 6-7 months after I make my decision. There is always the possibility of leaving sooner, but it usually doesn't happen.

My current plan of action is to work my ass off for the next month and see what kind of gains I can make physically, and base my decision on that. I haven't been seriously working out or watching my diet, so I'm somewhat surprised that I'm in *OK* shape.

My 100 meter time in the pool is right at 2 minutes, which, if I can maintain that pace for 500 meters, is about 2:30 below the required physical qualification test they give during boot camp for the SEAL Challenge. I don't think I can keep that up for 500 meters at the moment, but that won't be hard to work up to. I want to make sure I'm well below the required time when I ship out for boot camp.

There is a 50 meter underwater swim that concerns me. Tonight, my first time practcing the underwater swim, I could only get to about 30 meters. I averaged about 25. Again, something I'll really have to work on before I go.

Running isn't a huge issue. After I was done lifting weights and swimming, I came home and ran 1.5 miles outside with a time of just under 11 minutes. This is about 1:30 below the required time, but again, I'm not 100% satisfied with it. I can tell already that if I tried to keep it up for weeks I'd end up with stress fractures like so many others who attempt BUDS.

Pullups and pushups scare me. My upper body has always been my weakness. Benching tonight, I really couldn't get up past 140 lbs and still do atleast 5 reps. Pullups are the same deal - embarrasing. The requirement to actually attend BUDS is something like 50 situps in 2 minutes (no problem), 50 pushups in 2 minutes, and 6 pullups no time limit. IIRC, there is a 10 minute rest between each of these with a 500 meter timed swim (12:30 or below) and a 1.5 mile timed run (12:30 or below). These numbers aren't exact - I don't have the paperwork on me - but they are close. If I'm going to be confident attempting this training, I'm going to want to be able to do about double each of those.

I can already tell, my body is going to hate me in the morning.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:09:25 PM EST
post in the military forum.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:12:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By piccolo:
FWIW, I took the (then UDT) swim test (unofficially, administered by a Navy recruiter)in '68 and passed it. I was one hell of a swimmer, growing up on one of the last unpolluted rivers in Boston's South Shore area. My idea of spending a fun afternoon was to jump off of a bridge several miles upriver and swim down to the mouth of the river.

I don't know a whole lot about the training other than it STRESSES teamwork and it's cold and miserable, but I do know this: You're going to be spending a lot of time wet.(read this:COLD)

IMHO, you want to be a damned powerful swimmer, BUT YOU DO NOT-repeat-NOT want to go with too little body fat.

What? Too little body fat?

Don't swimmers want to be as lean as possible? Look at the guys in the Olympics!

Yes, too little body fat.

You'll need some for the cold waters to act as insulation.

IE, you need to be a fairly fast swimmer, just as important, you have to be prepared for the duration.

Some guys have washed out NOT because they lack guts, but because their bodies can't take it!

Cold water is a truly rough place to be.

I've gone over the side three times in cold weather, once on a sailboat(harnessed, so I hauled myself back in), once fishing, damn near killed me, (Skipper was a damned good boat handler, thank God)and several years ago I slipped on some ice in port and had to haul my sorry ass back onto the dock.

I'm NOT a skinny guy, if I was, I'm SURE the fish boat accident would have killed me. It took almost a full day to get back in shape, and I was monitered carefully for almost 72 hours, as sometimes cold water immersion can set off a delayed heart attack even in a young athlete.

Another thing: grab a weighted piece of pipe(you'd catch hell carrying an AR in a public or even semi public pool) a pack, a helmut of some sort and wearing say, jeans, a heavy cotton short and boots practice swimming with that. It's a bit difficult, but at 14 YO, I could cross the river carrying a 5 gallon pail 2/3s full of clams wearing sneakers, so it can be done with practice.


JMHO.


BTW, finish college, get a commission. I have heard(admittedly from Rumor Control) that there's a real shortage of junior SEAL officers.


Edited to add for those that don't know, I was NOT in UDT, I simply took the swim test as a 17 YO kid. My service was in the Army. Damn, don't want THAT bullshit to get started and wind up in the wannabe Rambo list!




I've heard that about the body fat - you don't want to go in too lean or you'll freeze. I'm 6'0" 180 right now, and if I can keep the fat I have (possibly too much) and pack on enough muscle to get me through the tough physical activity, I'll be a very happy man.

If I do make the call to enlist, I'm going to get myself a piece of pipe like you suggested. Practice running and swimming to get used to the hell. We've got a pretty big lake near my house that I know I'll end up in at some point or another. It'll still look weird swimming in all that crap, but a lot less people will see me in a lake than at 25 Hour Fitness.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:18:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Go Army. Their Specops community is much more diverse. If you do not make it as a SEAL you will be a Seaman. If you are reasonably athletic, and not a dumbass, you could be a Ranger or Airborne.



That's what scares the shit out of me. If I don't make it, I sure as hell don't want to be stuck on a boat for 5 years. I don't think the Army has any sort of SEAL Challenge type thing, though, do they? I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask around. I was also considering the Air Force for a while, and looking into becoming a CC or PJ, but IIRC, there is no guarantee they will allow you into the school.

The athletic part can be accomplished with a little more work, and no worries about being a dumbass - every one of those asshole recruiters has wanted me to talk to an officer about OCS. I guess they get a lot of worthless people...
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:51:30 PM EST
IM me sometime...may be able to give you some insight
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 10:15:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 10:22:17 PM EST by GackMan]

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
finish college and go as an officer. in addition to getting the degree, it will give you 2 years to train.



I'd look into officer selection rates versus enlisted before following this advice. Nothing wrong with being an enlisted guys with a degree. Do you want to be an officer? or a SEAL? or both?



Originally Posted By TargetNick:
I don't think the Army has any sort of SEAL Challenge type thing, though, do they?



18X or a Ranger contract... if you fail/quit you will be Airborne Infantry.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 10:27:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By GackMan:

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
finish college and go as an officer. in addition to getting the degree, it will give you 2 years to train.



I'd look into officer selection rates versus enlisted before following this advice. Nothing wrong with being an enlisted guys with a degree. Do you want to be an officer? or a SEAL? or both?



Originally Posted By TargetNick:
I don't think the Army has any sort of SEAL Challenge type thing, though, do they?



18X or a Ranger contract... if you fail/quit you will be Airborne Infantry.




SEAL. I wouldn't mind being an officer, but I don't *think* I want to make a career out of the military. One of the biggest things I'd like to accomplish while in the service would be to get a bit of direction in life. Right now I'm just staying afloat in college because there is nothing else I want to do.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 1:36:18 AM EST
Buy some combat boots from your local Surplus store. Don't get the good ones, get the cheapest you can find and at least 1 size larger than your own. Pour sand in each one, put in your foot, then dump in water on top. Lace up and jog several miles a day. Get your feet used to blisters, they will get tougher. Spend time jogging in full dress, and when noone is looking, jump in a pond and then roll around in the dirt/sand before your jog. Get a large divers mask and practice filling it up with water while you are holding your breath and looking though it, its one of the weirdest feelings to get used to and gives some people fits..... Have a blast!!!!
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 1:50:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By TargetNick:

Originally Posted By GackMan:

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
finish college and go as an officer. in addition to getting the degree, it will give you 2 years to train.



I'd look into officer selection rates versus enlisted before following this advice. Nothing wrong with being an enlisted guys with a degree. Do you want to be an officer? or a SEAL? or both?



Originally Posted By TargetNick:
I don't think the Army has any sort of SEAL Challenge type thing, though, do they?



18X or a Ranger contract... if you fail/quit you will be Airborne Infantry.




SEAL. I wouldn't mind being an officer, but I don't *think* I want to make a career out of the military. One of the biggest things I'd like to accomplish while in the service would be to get a bit of direction in life. Right now I'm just staying afloat in college because there is nothing else I want to do.



Hate to say this but someone who is not looking for a career in the navy and sees college as something that they are just floating in sounds like you are lacking the intestional fortitude to make it though. It sounds to me like you need to buck up and put your mind to college first, make good grades and make it through as fast as you can. While doing this take this time to decide what it is that you really want to do with the rest of your life. Just because you have a degree doesnt mean you are going to work in this field, but having a degree means that you have the ability to stick to something and follow it through to completion even though you face multiple distractions. And as a side note, why would the government waste the time and expense of training you to be one of their most effective assets if you are not planning on serving for a long time? Sounds like a waste to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into your training when you are going to split after 6 years.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:01:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By inzane123:

Originally Posted By TargetNick:

Originally Posted By GackMan:

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
finish college and go as an officer. in addition to getting the degree, it will give you 2 years to train.



I'd look into officer selection rates versus enlisted before following this advice. Nothing wrong with being an enlisted guys with a degree. Do you want to be an officer? or a SEAL? or both?



Originally Posted By TargetNick:
I don't think the Army has any sort of SEAL Challenge type thing, though, do they?



18X or a Ranger contract... if you fail/quit you will be Airborne Infantry.




SEAL. I wouldn't mind being an officer, but I don't *think* I want to make a career out of the military. One of the biggest things I'd like to accomplish while in the service would be to get a bit of direction in life. Right now I'm just staying afloat in college because there is nothing else I want to do.



Hate to say this but someone who is not looking for a career in the navy and sees college as something that they are just floating in sounds like you are lacking the intestional fortitude to make it though. It sounds to me like you need to buck up and put your mind to college first, make good grades and make it through as fast as you can. While doing this take this time to decide what it is that you really want to do with the rest of your life. Just because you have a degree doesnt mean you are going to work in this field, but having a degree means that you have the ability to stick to something and follow it through to completion even though you face multiple distractions. And as a side note, why would the government waste the time and expense of training you to be one of their most effective assets if you are not planning on serving for a long time? Sounds like a waste to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into your training when you are going to split after 6 years.



The reason I say that I'm just staying afloat in college is because I don't have any idea what I want to do, and I really don't have the desire to go to school at the moment. Take that for what you will, but I guess you and I don't see eye to eye on the issue.

I don't know why the government would spend that kind of money training me if I only stay for 5 years, but they seem to think it's worth it. They're making the offer, aren't they? Again, like I said, I don't think I'd make a career out of it, but you never know. I've got friends who thought the same and ended up doing 30 years.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:05:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By Jasba:
Buy some combat boots from your local Surplus store. Don't get the good ones, get the cheapest you can find and at least 1 size larger than your own. Pour sand in each one, put in your foot, then dump in water on top. Lace up and jog several miles a day. Get your feet used to blisters, they will get tougher. Spend time jogging in full dress, and when noone is looking, jump in a pond and then roll around in the dirt/sand before your jog. Get a large divers mask and practice filling it up with water while you are holding your breath and looking though it, its one of the weirdest feelings to get used to and gives some people fits..... Have a blast!!!!



Yeah, running in boots is going to be a blast, especially wet. After reading some stuff posted on the SOCNET forum another member linked, it looks like they all say to get used to running atleast 40 miles per week. I'm somewhere between 20-25 at the moment, so I've got a bit of work to do. I don't want stress fractures before I even sign up, but we'll see where I'm at in a month.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 11:03:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 11:14:47 AM EST by dravisar]
I'm currently in the last stages of finalizing my SWCC contract. Getting into BUD/s however is my primary concern. Sounds like you have the physical requirements understood....takes ALOT of training prior to even going to basic to be ready to PFT with high enough scores to be competitive. The reason im doing the SWCC contract: SEAL challenge contracts are alot like that brand new shiny sports car that the salesman tries to sell every person who walks through his door. Just waiting for someone to come along and bite. It sounds like a good idea to begin with, but turns out to really be the wrong choice in the end: when your paying for it.

For one, you go in with an open rating (or a specific rating they choose - cant remember the
specifics but I remember thinking it sucked.) It would really be a pain to get stuck doing IT (information technology) work, when youd rather be out playing with the big boys. Secondly, all it really gives you is multiple chances to pass the PFT in basic. I think 4 tries, last time I asked. You still get to take the SEAL PFT in basic if you signed up with the right rating/A school...and hence the SWCC contract.

Another thing to keep in mind - you sign up for a 4 year enlistment for the SEAL challenge
contract. Once you get accepted to BUD/s, your enlistment goes to 5 years. You drop out of BUD/s, its still 5 years. Thats a long, long time. I think you spend a year doing something
else, and then can try and come back. From what I hear, its usually about 2 years....most commands that have you, want to keep you. They spent all that time training you to do a job, they dont want to lose you for 6 months, only to get you back, or have you dissapear (succeed.) Every command is different, but most just aren't happy about people wanting to run off and play cowboys and indians.

I'd really look into SWCC, EOD, or Corpsman. The three off the top of my head that will actually have you on the ground, with a weapon. SWCC not so much on the ground, but on a gunboat, to quote Apocalypse Now "you never get off the boat" - but you do get to blow alot of shit up, and are grouped in with some high speed mofo's. I'd assume, it would also be easier to get a 2nd shot at BUD/s - your already in the "family", and your going to make some friends with tons of connections.

EOD, I respect those guys more than SEALs. Flame that all you want, but man, something about
unexploded ordnance designed to disentragate T80s, 2 feet from your face, wearing nothing but
BDUs...nuts. I wouldn't touch that one myself. They usually have SEALs pulling security, in Iraq the polish SEAL equivalent and SEALs. Once again, nice connections, but your not in Navy Special Warfare.

Corpsman: This one is another crapshoot. But the time your done, your going to be a quadruple
volunteer. You volunteer for Corpsman school (huge commitment - and long and definitely
challenging, more mentally than physically) then you volunteer to try out for BUD/s....then (possible) you drop out of BUD/s the first time (happens to alot of SEALs) and volunteer for
the Marine Corp You like it, dont try for BUD/s, and years later, volunteer for Recon, or
possibly DET-1. These are all long term goals....theres alot of fun shit those guys get to do.
All the Marines love them. If the Marines are one big family...."doc" is the guy they count on
to keep em alive. You get ALOT of respect from those guys.

I'm pretty sure its against the geneva convention to carry weapons in combat as a "medic" -
but once the SHTF, I highly doubt that stays in effect....especially with "combat medics" and
the way marines fight. Cant say for certain, id have to ask some buddies about it. Just another option.

Well, there ya have it. That was incredibly long winded, and id like to quote some of my sources. Good luck in whatever path you choose! Oh...and finish school FIRST. Beleive me...I know how you feel, but get IT DONE. I didn't and im paying for it.

www.corpsman.com/links.html

www.navy.com/eod

usmilitar

y.about.com/library/milinfo/navyjobs/navyjobs2/bleod.htm



http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/navynec/blhm8403.htm


www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=10499

www.sealchallenge.navy.mil/swcc/default.asp

usmilitary.about.com/od/navy/a/swcc.htm

Edited: Formatting sucks, wtf, over?!
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 12:39:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 12:41:01 PM EST by Dolomite]
My $.02: If your attitude is that SEALs are totally awesome and are the ONLY way to go, while the rest of the Navy is lame - stay home.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 12:49:59 PM EST
You can also go the Marine route to become a SEAL if I remember right. Marine Recon troops can try out for SEAL training so you could to Marines and work into the SEALs from that end. Can anyone else confirm this, it just seems like I saw some Marines on one of those SEAL training shows once. Check it out from that angle, maybe you can get your buddy to go Marines and then after a year or two go SEALs or heck, even Recon would be a cool job.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 2:12:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By TNFrank:
You can also go the Marine route to become a SEAL if I remember right. Marine Recon troops can try out for SEAL training so you could to Marines and work into the SEALs from that end. Can anyone else confirm this, it just seems like I saw some Marines on one of those SEAL training shows once. Check it out from that angle, maybe you can get your buddy to go Marines and then after a year or two go SEALs or heck, even Recon would be a cool job.



My BIL is a former Marine who was supposedly selected to attend BUDS, but got out of the Marines before he began. It's the only other place I've heard of Marines becoming SEALs.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 2:33:06 PM EST
Well, there ya' go. Go the Marine Corp route and if, heaven forbid, you DOR you'll not be stuck on a boat.
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