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What Are Jobs in the Navy Seals?

Carrying out perilous missions as a U.S. Navy SEAL may be the closest you can get to being a super hero. If you have what it takes to become one of these modern day warriors, your job will take you around the world, protecting the United States and allies. Navy SEALs (Sea-Air-Land) can mobilize immediately to handle a military crisis. As members of a combat unit, SEALs must be able to perform any job they are asked to do. Jobs are also available as SEAL boat operators responsible for safely transporting SEAL combatants and equipment.

Special Operations

Aspiring SEAL combatants undergo grueling training to achieve maximum fitness and endurance. They learn how to work together and how to move in sync, when undertaking special operations. Special forces, such as the SEALs, tackle missions that are especially risky, logistically difficult and politically sensitive. Examples of assigned jobs include direct action assault of targets in isolated areas, weapons destruction and containing hostile insurgents. Sometimes, SEALs collaborate with special forces from other branches of the military, such as the Army Rangers.

Reconnaissance Missions

Reconnaissance missions gather intelligence information from within enemy territory before a strike. Navy SEALs infiltrate enemy lines and conduct surveillance by air, land and sea. Their perfected skills in parachuting, diving and landing in remote areas allow them to sneak in undetected. SEALs then relay information back to their command center about the location, weaponry and number of hostile forces. For instance, SEALs deployed to Afghanistan track the activity of al-Qaida terrorists and the Taliban.

Hostage Rescue

When hostage negotiations fail, the Navy SEALs send in their best snipers or plan a rescue operation. The key to such missions is speed, stealth and force. SEALs may use helicopters, submarines and speed boats, or they might march through the jungle wearing night-vision goggles, to engage the captors at dawn. The attack itself can include hand-to-hand combat and capturing internally known terrorists. A well-orchestrated mission can find and rescue hostages in a matter of minutes.

Unconventional Warfare

The job of Navy SEALs includes covert warfare, such as sabotage and clandestine psychological operations. Multilingual SEALs skilled in international relations and cross-cultural communication may engage in tactics, such as cultivating the loyalty of the civilian population in a war torn country. Through friendship with locals, SEALs attempt to change opinions and attitudes that are incompatible with U.S. interests. Unconventional warfare paves the way for conventional military troops by reducing resistance to a U.S. presence.

Support Teams

Along with combatant SEAL teams, the Naval Special Warefare Command force includes SEAL Combatant-Craft Crews (SWCCs) and SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams that man submersibles launched from submarines, which transport SEALs and their equipment through shallow waters. SWCC units are top-notch boat operators trained in weaponry and safe transportation of SEALs to and from dangerous assignments. Being a SWCC requires a four-year enlistment in the navy. Training is rigorous, but not as intense as SEAL combat training.



Writer Bio

Mary Dowd holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master’s in counseling and student affairs from Minnesota State Mankato. Helping students succeed has been her passion while serving in many areas of student affairs and adjunct teaching. Currently she is a dean of students at a large, public university. Dr. Dpwd’s writing experience includes published research, training materials and hundreds of practical online articles.


U.S. Navy Seal Special Operations jobs

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Navy SEAL (candidate)


Durham, NC

US Navy Helicopter Aircrewman

US Navy NRS Willingboro

Willingboro, NJ

SEAL - Special Operations

US Navy Hospital Corpsman

US Navy NRS Willingboro

Willingboro, NJ

US Navy Diver

US Navy NRS Willingboro

Willingboro, NJ

Subject Matter Expert - Special Operations Forces

Electronic Warfare Associates

Fairbanks, AK

Navy Special Forces

United States Navy Career Center Bay Area

Santa Rosa, CA

Navy Seal

U.S. Navy-NTAG

Sylvania, OH


US Navy NRS Willingboro

Willingboro, NJ

Airborne Insertion Advisor (AIA)*

Trident Technologies and Consulting - Global, LLC

Camp Lejeune, NC

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US Navy Seal jobs

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Navy Medical Technician

Navy SEAL (candidate)


Durham, NC


US Navy NRS Willingboro

Willingboro, NJ

US Navy Helicopter Aircrewman

US Navy NRS Willingboro

Willingboro, NJ

US Navy Hospital Corpsman

US Navy NRS Willingboro

Willingboro, NJ

Navy Seal

U.S. Navy-NTAG

Sylvania, OH

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Navy SEAL – SO

How to Become a Navy SEAL

All roads to becoming a Navy SEAL, end at BUD/S -- Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. There are many routes to get to sunny Coronado, California, where BUD/S is located, but the only way to become a Navy SEAL is to finish BUD/S first. Below are the several options SEAL wannabes struggle with and should know before signing any paperwork with the Navy:

First Option: Join the Navy by Enlisting

This is the route that will give you the best chance of attending SEAL training; there are 10 times more enlisted SEALs than there are officers who attend SEAL training. The need for enlisted SEALs therefore always will be higher than the need for officers in the teams. That is why the SEAL officer route is more competitive. Here is the way to join the Navy and get to BUDS the quickest. Many candidates attend BUD/S with college degrees as enlisted, with the hopes of going to Officer Candidate School (OCS) later in their career.

Step 1: Go to a recruiter's office. Choose a Spec Ops/Spec War Source Rating

You will have to sign up for a regular Navy Source Rating (designator -- like GM gunners mate or OS operations specialist) to join the Delayed Entry Program. Ask your local recruiter about the Navy Special Warfare/Special Operations mentor in your area. These former SEAL, EOD and divers are mentors for recruits, and their duties are to help recruits prepare for training by giving regularly scheduled physical screening tests (PST). You have to pass the PST with your mentor in order to change your rate to SO. SO, or special operator, will be your new designation after you pass the PST with competitive scores. However, you have to pass the elevated standards of the Navy SEAL PST before you will get the opportunity to attend boot camp, then BUD/S.

Navy SWCC Fitness Training Overview

Below are the minimum and recommended standards for the PST:

PST EventMinimum StandardsRecommended Standards
yard swim minutes
mile timed run9 minutes

Currently, Navy Special Warfare has instituted a "draft" where the best scores get submitted into a nationwide competition and the best candidates get selected first. The better your PST scores determines how soon you get to go to boot camp, then BUD/S, so achieving above (or beyond) the recommended standard is critical to your acceptance to go to SEAL training.

Recommendation -- Ace the PST on your own before you join the delayed entry program. Your process will go much smoother instead of being one of the weekly failures of the PST.

Step 2: Boot Camp Training

All recruits will report to Great Lakes, Illinois, to attend basic military training. During boot camp, you will be required to take and pass the Special Warfare/Operations PST again. If you pass at boot camp, you officially are in the pre-training community -- meaning you will get orders to attend BUD/S.

Step 3: Pre-Training Phase (Post-Boot Camp and Pre-BUD/S Training)

After boot camp, you will work out for a living and still live in Great Lakes in a program called BUD/S Prep. Your job is to learn about the Special Warfare communities as well as start an extensive physical training program for weeks. The pre-training program is to help candidates get into better shape, because boot camp does not prepare a BUD/S student properly for their advanced training programs they will see in Coronado. Consider this the SO rating A school.

The pre-training instructors are not interested in weeding anyone out at this point; however, if you do not meet the standard, you will not get to attend BUD/S. The goal of this training is to teach candidates that they will not survive the next phase of training if they strive for the minimum standards in the PST.

Option #2: Enlist and Serve in the Navy, then Try Out for BUD/S

This is a longer route to BUD/S and applies to enlisted as well as officers in the Navy who want to attend BUD/S. It is also the same route a former BUD/S student who did not graduate will have to do if he wants to try to attend BUD/S again.

Imagine yourself at your regular Navy command, working during the day, then adding in extra workouts at night to prepare for the BUD/S PST. This will be your life for a year or two -- or more. The ability to get above-average PST scores is possible, but it requires lots of extra effort. It has been done before by many great enlisted and officer SEALs, but it is a challenge and demonstrates your desire to go to BUD/S if you can get the recommended elevated scores on the PST while on active duty -- especially if stationed on a ship.

You have to route a special request chit up your chain of command and have to wait until your time at your present command is completed before leaving for BUD/S. Many have arranged a deal to re-enlist in the Navy if they can attend BUD/S at the time of the end of their first enlistment. Of course, you still have to meet all of the elevated standards. For more information, go to the Navy SEAL and SWCC official site.

For the future BUD/S students in the fleet, there is a pre-BUDS program as well. It is called the fleet transition program, where students get TAD orders to attend before attending BUD/S. Look into the FTP in Little Creek, Virginia.

If you are in another service branch, you have to join the Navy to go to BUD/S. There is no such thing as joining the Marine Corps, then going to the BUD/S program. You can join the Marines, but you have to get out of the Marines and join the Navy to go to BUD/S. See the Navy SEAL and SWCC official site for more information.

Related Video:

Options #3: Navy SEAL Officer Programs: US Naval Academy

USNA to SEAL: First you have to get into the Naval Academy. Once at the academy, you should start training with like-minded classmates as well as get to know the older students who are training every day for BUD/S. There are active-duty SEALs to help with your training programs and will start the screening process your junior year. You will take many PSTs as well as have to endure BUD/S screening -- a hour event that mixes in some of the worst events at BUD/S into a long weekend at the academy.

Usually by your senior year, the hundred or more classmates who thought they wanted to be SEALs has dwindled to , but they are all highly qualified and only slots each year. Your grades, leadership jobs, sports and athletic events completed, foreign languages and even community service hours come into play into selection. You will be  judged by a group of SEAL officers and senior enlisted in a personal interview while attending SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection Training. (official site info). An Academy midshipman will attend SOAS during the summer before their senior year.

Options #4: Navy SEAL Officer Programs: Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

Going to college under a Navy ROTC program is another route to get to BUD/S. Navy ROTC graduates have the opportunity to attend BUD/S after graduation. ROTC gets typically officer slots a year for SEAL training. These are nationwide competitions among all ROTC programs in the nation. These are highly competitive, but if you are an excellent or above-average candidate, you have a great chance at going to BUD/S.

Your requirements are similar to that of USNA and OCS; your grades, sports, leadership roles and PST scores will play a part in your acceptance. See the official ROTC website for what colleges offer Navy ROTC. ROTC candidates also will attend SOAS the summer before their senior year.

Options #5: Navy SEAL Officer Programs: Officer Candidate School - OCS

You need to have a college degree before applying to the OCS board. There are many opportunities for young college grads seeking to lead in the military, but officer slots for any of the Special Forces units are few and hard to come by. In fact, the latest numbers for SEAL officer candidates were about one in eight get accepted to attend SEAL training after OCS.

Applying to Officer Candidate School and wanting to become a Navy SEAL means you actually will be selected to go to BUD/S immediately after you complete OCS. You will attend SOAS before attending OCS. If you do not get a billet after SOAS, you do not have to go to SOAS, unless you want to go as a different job in the Navy. You will be accepted to attend SEAL training by a board of SEAL officers after SOAS, and then they will send you to OCS first -- with immediate follow-on training at BUD/S.

Check out Seal Training Via Officer Candidate School

Step 4: Navy SEAL Training (BUD/S) PTRR and INDOC/BUD/S Orientation

Once you arrive at BUD/S, you will join PTRR (physical training rehabilitation and remediation) for a few weeks until the next INDOC class forms. BUD/S Indoctrination Phase (INDOC) is a challenging five- to six-week training to test the students thoroughly in the basics from the PST (again), swimming with fins, obstacle courses, timed beach runs, challenging PTs on the Grinder and surf zone training. Once you have passed the challenges of INDOC and not quit after the instructors personally test your desire, you get the opportunity to advance to Phase 1.

Step 5: Phase 1,2,3 at BUD/S

Now training begins at first phase. This is where most BUD/S students quit or get injured. This phase is where you will meet challenges regularly, such as four-mile timed beach runs, two-mile ocean swims, BUD/S obstacle course, log PT, hundreds of reps of push-ups, pull-ups and ab exercises. Drown-proofing, life saving and underwater knot tying also are challenging tests you must pass to continue training. Of course, there is Hell Week, a hour-long event designed to test your desire to be a Navy SEAL. You may sleep a total of hours in five days and log more than miles of running, swimming and paddling boats. This phase is the ultimate test of your ability to be a team player; whether you are under a log or boat, you quickly will learn who you want on your team.

Phase 2 is dive phase. You should have a basic understanding of SCUBA diving before attending, though it is not a requirement to be SCUBA qualified. You will be required to use algebra to solve diving math problems as well as diving physics. The most important laws to know in Navy SEAL diving are Boyle's Law and Dalton's Law of Partial Pressure. You will learn open-circuit SCUBA and closed circuit (oxygen re-breathers) in Dive Phase as well as one of the most challenging tests at BUD/S -- pool competency. This test is designed to teach and test your ability to remain calm in the event of everything going wrong underwater. You also will swim a six-mile ocean swim during this phase.

Phase 3 is land warfare. You will enjoy shooting, learning and using demolitions such as C-4 as well as patrolling, shooting and moving, and land navigation. This phase is full of potential safety violations so be careful where you point your weapon, have your weapon on safe when not in use, as well as many other potential dangers that involve demolition and marksmanship. The PT, runs and swims do not get easier -- in fact, you will be in your best shape ever during third phase and able to run miles, swim miles and ruck 20 miles on San Clemente Island.

Congratulations. You have finished BUD/S, but your SEAL training is not over. Just the basics is over.

Check out these videos and get a glimpse inside SEAL BUD/s training in San Diego.

SEAL Qualification Training -- After BUD/S graduation, you go to SQT -- an advanced training program that takes the individual who graduated BUD/S and forms a team that is capable of operating in the water, underwater, from planes and helicopters, ropes and parachutes, boats, and on foot. You will learn and master the basic insertion methods used by SEALs and conduct training missions. There is also a mix of many hours of classroom training where you learn about intelligence gathering, designing missions and moving together as a team from insertion to extraction of a mission.

Now after BUD/S and SQT, you get to go to the SEAL team that selected you and become a "new guy" and prove yourself all over again to the veteran SEALs you will be joining on combat deployments. You will continue to learn something new each day of your career, so stay in "receive mode" and listen to those who have been there and done that.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to [email protected]

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Navy SEAL Requirements

Although there is no easy way to become a SEAL, there are several ways to become a SEAL candidate. As a civilian, you can request to join the SEALs before enlisting through the SEAL challenge contract (seaman to SEAL program). The SEAL challenge contract guarantees you the opportunity to become a SEAL candidate and entitles you to certain bonuses and benefits when you enlist.

If you don't get a SEAL challenge contract before enlisting, you still can volunteer to take the physical screening test (PST) during the first-week boot camp. If you successfully pass the PST, a naval special operation motivator will interview you. The motivator then will submit a request for you to enter the Naval Special Warfare (BUD/S) training pipeline.

TIP: Be sure to tell the Navyrecruiter that you want to take the SEAL challenge before you enlist. SEAL volunteers that don't have the SEAL challenge contract before joining don't qualify for the same benefits as applicants that have the contract.

Navy SEALs Qualifications

All SEAL candidates are required to meet the following qualification standards and pass the PST:

  • years old (17 with parental permission)
  • A U.S. citizen.
  • High school graduate (or meet High Performance Predictor Profile criteria). Be proficient in reading, speaking, writing and understanding the English language.
  • Have clean record -- Not be under civil restraint, a substance abuser or have a pattern of minor convictions or any non-minor, misdemeanor or felony convictions (waivers are granted, depending on number and severity). The special assistant for legal affairs must not enlist applicants with lawsuits pending against them without prior approval.
  • ASVAB minimum requirements: SEAL - GS+MC+EI= or VE+MK+MC+CS= Since you cannot get a waiver on the required ASVAB score, it is critical that you score high on the ASVAB. Check out our ASVAB practice tests to learn how you can Ace the ASVAB.
  • Eyesight requirements: Uncorrected vision in the better eye can be no worse than 20/70, the worse eye no more than 20/ Both eyes must be correctable to 20/ Color deficiencies require approval.

Once you enlist in the delayed entry program, you will be assigned a SEAL/SWCC mentor who will screen/test and help prepare you for the first level of training boot camp and Pre-BUDS. You will be judged initially by your Navy PST scores so prepare for this phase of your journey by practicing the PST several times. Consider the PST your entrance exam; you will be required to take the Navy SEAL PST before attending boot camp several times with your SEAL/SWCC mentor.

After boot camp, you will attend an advanced workout program at Great Lakes that will prepare you for BUD/S. Taking the Navy SEAL PST is still a requirement, and getting into the optimum range is highly recommended. For the latest in academic, physical and psychological background requirements, see the Official Navy SEAL/SWCC Page.

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Navy SEAL Explains Why They Are Different From Every Other SOF Unit

Navy SEAL Careers

Navy SEALs are elite special forces soldiers for the United States Navy. They are tough, strong, smart, highly trained fighting machines. Navy SEALs are on par with other commandos of the United States Military such as Army Rangers, Delta Force, and Green Berets.

Navy SEALs have played an important role in many of the missions that make the USA a global power &#; including the takedown of Osama bin Laden. They are always ready and willing to protect their country. Anywhere there is a military conflict, there are Navy SEALs close by.

Navy SEALs are Elite Military Operators with a Wide Range of Skills

SEAL stands for SEa, Air, and Land. These warriors originated during World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Originally they were organized to complete maritime missions that originate from and return to water environments like rivers, ocean, swamps, or coastlines. Now, these unique warriors are trained for combat in any environment &#; water, deserts, mountains, arctic, jungle, or urban.

SEALs train with their units and team in unconventional warfare. They are experts at air support, ambushes, underwater demolitions, swimming attacks, hand-to-hand combat, capturing people, sniper assaults, and more. They are familiar with all sorts of weapons and explosives &#; including knowing the best weapon for the job.

Based on their skill set, the United States Military will use Navy SEALs for objectives like gathering intel, demolitions, rescues, counterterrorism, defense, special recon, secret operations, or clandestine missions behind enemy lines.

It&#;s no easy task to become a Navy SEAL, but you probably already know that. Maybe you&#;ve played video games like Metal Gear or Call of Duty? Read books like Rainbow Six? Or watched movies like Act of Valor, Zero Dark Thirty, Captain Phillips, Lone Survivor, or American Sniper? Navy SEALS play a starring role in all of these. And SEALs live up to their reputation in real life too.

Navy SEAL training is open to both enlisted men and officers in the United States Navy. Aspiring Navy SEALS must be 28 years or younger, US Citizens, have good vision, pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), and complete physical and mental tests. If they meet the basic requirements, candidates are subjected to years of intense training that has up to an 80% dropout rate.

SEAL training consists of an 8-week Naval Special Warfare prep school, a week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, a 3-week parachute jump school, and a week SEAL Qualification Training (SQT). If you pass, you will be assigned to a SEAL team and receive the SEAL Trident.

Next a Navy SEAL must complete 18 months of pre-deployment training. This includes professional and individual development, unit training, and squadron integration training. Finally after nearly 30 months of training, a Navy SEAL is ready for deployment with their platoon to serve in combat venues around the world.

Navy SEALs put their life on the line for their country. These military heroes are paid according to the US Navy Pay Charts. Pay depends on their length of time in the military, rank, job, and duty. An entry level pay for a Navy SEAL may start around $ per month, but will quickly go up from there.

US Navy SEALs also receive perks and benefits that include combat bonuses, tax breaks, medical and dental benefits, government retirement/pension plans, housing and food allowances, extended vacations, and other perks. These are all things to factor in to overall compensation.

If you think you have what it takes to be an elite special forces soldier, then join the US Navy and become a Navy SEAL. It&#;s an honorable, respectable, and patriotic career. We salute you.

Quick Facts About Navy SEAL Careers

Job Title: Navy SEALs
Office: Military Bases and Combat Zones
Description: Highly trained military commandos ready for deployment and combat in any conflict zone
Certifications/Education: Completion of Navy SEAL training
Necessary Skills: Physically fit, Mentally sharp, Team player
Potential Employers: US Navy
Pay: $ per month and up (lots of perks and benefits)

Helpful Navy SEAL Employment Links:

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Career Paths

A career as a Navy SEAL offers unique opportunities and experiences for highly motivated people who are seeking challenges in their lives.


The Navy SEALs foster an unconventional mindset in enlisted men and officers that cultivates teamwork, creative thinking, and awareness under extremely high stress and high risk situations. This makes SEALs the most effective weapons in the global war on terror. The beginning of that training is conducted in Coronado, CA at Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training. BUD/S is six months of the most demanding training in the US Military. Immediately following BUD/S, graduates attend four months of high paced advanced tactical training known as SEAL Qualification Training (SQT). To read a detailed description of BUD/S and SQT, click on Operational Training.

Having recently earned their Tridents, a select small number of new enlisted SEALs will attend 18Delta SOF Medicine Course at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, while a few others continue their training in Panama City, Florida to train as SEAL Delivery Vehicle operators. The majority, however, will go directly to a SEAL Team on either the East or West Coast to begin platoon training; what operators call &#;the real deal&#; &#; training for war. Click here to see more on Platoon Training. On the average, SEALs will do at least two platoons at their first Team. The process for a platoon, from forming up to disbanding, spans between 18 to 24 months, and includes a workup, deployment, and stand down phase.

Platoon Life: Workup

Being in a platoon is a lot different than any other job, in the military or otherwise. First of all, every man, officer or enlisted, has a position of leadership. While the OIC, AOIC, Chief, and LPO run the platoon, the rest of the enlisted men in the platoon have specialties as well, for which they are the authority. The Medic takes the lead on all medical issues, whether they are emergent or not. The Lead Breacher is the authority on all mechanical and explosive entry issues. The Weapons Man&#; you get the point. The pre-deployment workup involves fast paced training, conducted throughout the US by Group Level Training Detachment SEALs that have &#;been there, done that&#;, and are experts in their specialty. A platoon might spend three weeks in the desert in the middle of nowhere, for example, driving and shooting from HMMWVs (Hum Vees), and then after a short stop at home, fly off to another location to practice small arms tactics and CQC. During some phases of a workup it is not uncommon for a platoon to be out of town, turning and burning up to 85% of the time.

Platoons are regularly tested to ensure that they are reaching the elite levels of expected performance, and for this reason the camaraderie between platoon-mates is very high. Because of the intensity and tempo of the training, platoons band together like brothers, where during off time, practical jokes, good natured ribbing, and rough housing are the norm. In a lot of platoons each member is given a nick-name, or call sign. Where pilots usually pick names that sound cool, SEALs are given names by their platoon mates that represent a physical attribute or embarrassing moment. In one platoon, for example, a SEAL that always seemed to be banging himself up during a land navigation evolution was given the moniker &#;Crash&#;. After a &#;flash-bang&#; grenade went off near his head, during CQC training a few months later, it was changed to &#;Crash and Burn&#;. Fortunately he was not badly hurt, unfortunately for him, the name stuck.

At the conclusion of the pre-deployment workup, each platoon is given a final exam before being placed on the USSOCOM&#;s operationally capable list. The exam process is termed &#;CertEx&#;, or Certification Exercise and is treated exactly like a real world operation. The CertEx starts when the platoon is given a specific mission profile, which must be quickly researched, planned, and executed. The mission profiles are complex enough to require every member of the platoon&#;s involvement, and are set up to ensure that there are plenty of SNAFUs, which is a critically important because in real world operations, Murphy&#;s Law makes sure that very few things go as planned. After successfully passing the CertEx, the platoon is ready to deploy.

Platoon Life: Deployment

Generally each Team has an AO, or an Area of Operation. For one Team that may be the Asian Pacific region, for another it could be Europe and the North Atlantic. During times relative peace (&#;relative&#; because every SEAL knows there are always bad guys out there), the Teams stay predominantly focused on their AO, currently however, nearly every SEAL platoon spends at least some time in the Middle East. Training is still an important part of the job and will fill in any down-time not taken up by the operational tempo, because no matter how good you are, you can always get better.

For operational security (OpSec) reasons, specific information on rotations, deployment schedules, and past, present, or future missions will not be discussed here. Suffice it to say that deployments are action packed. See declassified mission examples.

Platoon Life: Stand Down

After returning from deployment, platoons go through the stand down phase, which may take up to a month. This is when weapons, equipment, gear, and supplies are turned back in to the various departments within the team that inventory and repair prior to re-issue. Workdays are purposefully designed to be short, and the Platoon Chief will enforce the rule that &#;if you don&#;t have anything to do, don&#;t do it here!&#; Stand down is a time that SEALs spend most of their time with their wives, girlfriends, and families.   The bonds that form during a platoon are deep and not easily broken, so even though SEALs will move on in different directions from here, they usually stay in pretty close contact with one another and will probably cross paths again.

Professional Development

During the first six months of a new platoon, SEALs attend professional development courses. These include such things as, Jumpmaster, Close Quarters Defense, Special Reconnaissance Scout, NSW Sniper, Dive Supervisor, Breacher, and much more.

Other Opportunities

While platoon life makes up the majority of an enlisted man&#;s operational career, there are quite a few positions on the training and departmental support side of the house that give veteran SEALs a little down time. Assignments as BUD/S, SQT, and Advance Training instructors allow SEALs to give back to the community that has given to them by helping to shape the future of Naval Special Warfare by training and equipping the new generations of Naval Special Warriors. SEALs assigned to Training Detachments provide instruction and oversight to platoons during their workup phase. There are also positions available in some of the remote locations that Naval Special Warfare has Training Detachments and Units. Other non-operational billets exist for SEALs in the various departments located at each Team. Examples of these are the Medical, Air, Communications, Weapons, and Demo Departments, as well as others. By going from assignments in platoons to working in departments or training positions, SEALs are able to balance their career and their family life.

SEAL Enlisted Career Path

Typically, a new Enlisted SEAL will go straight to a SEAL Team or SDV Team for his initial tour and stay there for years doing training, workups, and overseas deployments. If you&#;re assigned to an SDV Team your first tour, you will most likely go to a SEAL Team for your second tour. Individuals can request a desired geographic location (East or West Coast), and the SEAL Detailer will do his best to align that with the needs of the Navy. The Navy also makes a dedicated effort to assign dual-Navy couples to the same coast.

During your career, you will attend special training schools. You will earn multiple qualifications and be expected to maintain the skills. As an E-4 and up, you can qualify in Special Demolitions, Breeching, and as a Loadmaster, Parachute Rigger, and Hazardous Cargo Certifier. As an E-5, you can qualify as a Rappel Master, Fast Rope Master, Static Line and Freefall Jumpmaster, a Sniper, Diving Supervisor in Open and Closed-Circuit Diving. And while all SEALs train in Desert and Urban Warfare, a few SEALs can train in Arctic Warfare on an as-needed basis to comprise a SEAL Winter Warfare platoon.

After years SEAL experience, you will have qualified for opportunities to perform a tour as a BUD/S Instructor, go to a Naval Special Warfare Unit overseas, take a prestigious assignment on the Leapfrog parachute jump team, or serve in select billets on other Navy Staffs. You will spend most of your career serving operationally, but also serve on staffs, and can advance to positions of ever-greater Enlisted leadership.

SEAL Officer Career Path

Enlisted men and Officers have a similar start to their careers, but a distinctly different career path. Both go through BUD/S and SQT together, (the only military training where officers and enlisted are trained side by side), both generally do at least two platoons back to back before diversifying into other areas and specialties. But where enlisted men continue on in operational roles for the majority of their career, the upward progression of an officer eventually takes them out of the field and behind a desk where high level planning takes place.

As a SEAL Officer you will typically go straight to a SEAL or SDV Team for your first Operational tour and do two years training, workups and overseas deployments. If your first assignment is an SDV Team, you will most likely go to a SEAL Team for your second tour. On your first tour, you will be an Assistant Platoon Commander in an Assistant Officer in Charge (AOIC) billet. For your second two-year Operational tour, you will be a Platoon Commander in an Officer in Charge (OIC) billet.

As an Officer, you may qualify in specialized training such as Sniper, Freefall Jumpmaster, Dive Supervisor, Rappel Master and Fast Rope Master. You will usually not go to schools such as Special Demolitions, Breeching, Loadmaster, Rigger, Hazardous Cargo Certifier, and Outboard Motor Maintenance, as they are Enlisted specialties.

Your third tour will be Shore Duty on a Staff assignment, in language school, or at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Alternatively, a billet may be available for you to fulfill Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I requirements by attending one of the four U.S. Military War Colleges in the Junior Course. (You must be LCDR Select (O-4) or higher.)

You will next go back to an operational command for a tour, then alternate staff and operational tours. The career progression generally looks like this:

  • (O-3) LT or (O-4) LCDR

    &#; Operations Officer at a SEAL or SDV Team or equivalent

  • (O-4) Senior LCDR

    &#; Executive Officer at a SEAL or SDV Team or equivalent

  • (O-5) Commander Command

    &#; Commanding Officer of a SEAL, SDV or Special Boat Team

  • (O-6) Major Command

    &#; Command of one of the four Naval Special Warfare Groups or Naval Special Warfare Development Group

  • (O-6) Staff Position

    &#; Staff officer at the Pentagon or another senior Navy Staff, or Deputy Commander of a theater Special Operations Cmd.

The above are representative tours from Ensign (O-1) to Navy Captain (O-6). It will typically take 20 years to make this progression. However, everyone&#;s career path is unique and assignments are based on performance, timing of your rotation, available billets, and needs of the Navy. The one guarantee is that it will be an exciting and challenging adventure, with great opportunities for leadership, responsibility and advancement.


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