I heard a statement recently where the Navy spokesperson was referring to a planned mission. He said “God may choose to have mercy on them, but the United Stated Navy will not.”
I was in the Navy from 1976-1980 and during that time I learned how to be respectful of leadership and respectful of being an American. Regardless of what anyone tells, being in the military makes you grow up quick and when you have completed your enlistment, you are proud of your country.
I will never forget boot camp in Orlando in July of 1976. They beat on us mentally and physically like nothing I had ever been involved in. I was on the enlisted side and my drill instructor was 1st class petty Officer Black. He was a devil in a white uniform, ha, and I think he was trained in hell because that is what it felt like to us recruits. His job was to basically see if he could make you quit.
So here we are in week 6 doing obstacle courses, running in combat gear, sweating like a showerhead and some officer walks up and calls us to attention and announces that they are doing tryouts for the Navy Seal program. No,,,, I did not try out. I do however remember what the qualifications were to even get an opportunity to get looked at. They took the ones that wanted to try out over to the Olympic pool and gave them a little physical screening test called the PST.
While the qualifications may have changed over the years, that day, In order to qualify, the recruits had to breast stroke or side stroke 500 yards in full gear in under 10 minutes. An Olympic pool is 50 meters or 54 yards long and to swim 500 yards is basically 10 full laps in the pool. 80 pushups in under two minutes, 80 sit-ups in under two minutes, 25 pull ups and run 1.5 miles in full gear in under 10 minutes.
If you passed that, what these recruits didn’t know was that if you got sent to Seal School you had to pass another little physical screening test to be able to stay in the Seal program. This little PST included 1000 meter swim in under 20 min, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and a 4 mile full gear run in under 31 minutes.
If you passed that little hurdle (no pun intended) you got see if you have the juice for the real deal. Keep in mind that in Seal training, you could quit anytime by ringing the big bell and walk away. You could hear the bell all over the training facility and it was frequently rang. The real deal was 10 weeks of which the first 3 weeks was to see if the navy needed to spend the money on training you. Week 3 is called “hell’ week and only 25% of all recruits survive through this week. It is simply the toughest training in the US Military. If you survive the training and get to wear the Navy Seal Insignia, you are part of the most elite and lethal military group on the Globe.
When I was in “A” school in San Diego you would occasionally see a guy in uniform with the Navy Seal insignia of the eagle holding the rifle with a shiny ball on the end. If you saw this on some guy’s uniform, trust me when I tell you, he is not the guy you want to get into a fight with. He is the guy you want on your side.
If you want to see a real spectacle, take an active duty Navy Seal and put him in the ring with the Tae Kwon Do or Karate champ and you would see the difference of training in a gym with padded mats and head gear versus full combat mission preparedness. It would be over in about 20 seconds.
Go Navy. KT