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The Need for Minorities in Naval Special Warfare – Navy SEAL / SWCC
Recently, many have asked about recruiting efforts for minorities within the Navy SEAL community. In fact, there is a Naval Special Warfare Request for Proposal (RFP) published searching for a group of trainers, recruiters, mentors to make known the opportunities within the Navy SEAL / SWCC professions for minorities. Articles like this (Yahoo SEAL Article commenting on aforementioned RFP) and posts from people who read them are missing the point completely about diversity within the Teams. This is not my usual topic of writing nor strong point but from articles like this and countless Facebook / Twitter posts, people have constructed their opinions into statements and questions to me like this: Stew – what is up with this administration? Why the need to add more minorities into the SEAL Teams? I thought SEALs / SWCC graduation was based on performance and abilities not race?
First, I do not speak
for this administration nor do I represent or speak for Naval Special
Warfare. As a former SEAL, I understand what is going on within the
community and perhaps can help you better grasp the challenges of present /
future Spec War missions.
Have faith in our BUD/S instructors as these SEAL officer and enlisted professionals do not “let people slide” as they know they will likely be working with these future SEALs in the Teams – they also want to best product available. We have ALWAYS been trying to get red, yellow, black, brown and any mix of colors into BUD/S. This is nothing new. SEAL training is not for everyone and still boasts a 50-75% attrition rate no matter what your race. In other words, BUDS will not get easier in order to graduate more minorities. In fact, getting to SEAL training is even more difficult now as everyone has to reach elevated physical and mental standards than they did 20 years ago. Getting through SEAL training demands a work ethic and ability to function while cold, wet, uncomfortable, and tired that not many people have. This has not and will not change. Not everyone wants to endure this type of daily torture for over a year so finding solid candidates who thoroughly understand the demands requires educating them and helping them prepare.
Will SEAL Recruiting Work? Are you Born a SEAL or can you make them?
For me the question is can you RECRUIT SEALs? Or do the motivated find the Teams? I remember when I was eight years old - long before I knew about Navy SEALs - I made comments that I was going to be a Navy Frogman. I grew up in FL and swam year round along with many other high school sports. That was who I was – a highly active kid. My retired Army Grandfather (30 yr Warrant Officer WWII and Korea) always tried to convince me I should join the Army, but I first heard about Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) from him when I told him I wanted to be in the Navy. A spark was ignited at 8 years old. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to serve my country when I got of age. And once I realized I wanted to become a Navy SEAL, for several years, I focused on learning all I could about it – learned how to swim fast, run faster, and turned a power-lifting football player into a BUD/S candidate ready for SEAL training. This was long before there were movies, books, workouts on the subject. This was all self-motivation with a great support system. Many people do not have this support system. What the Navy is trying to do is ignite a spark in a younger generation that may never consider such a profession.
Now, you can argue that just because you hear about SEAL training in your teens and are good at playing first person SOCOM 3 video games, you still are not destined to become a Navy SEAL. This is true – but recruiting athletes who know how to play with pain, understand teamwork, and want to serve their country is what the Navy SEALs are actively doing. They do this not only to find good candidates with potential to make it through training, but to search within a diverse pool of candidates to get desired outcomes.
Besides, if a program helps kids understand that there are jobs out there that are physically fun, mentally challenging, and personally fulfilling, they will work harder to achieve that goal. If this keeps kids away from drugs, criminal records, and raises their grades and level of fitness to advanced levels – how is that bad?
Stew Smith 1977
Good luck with your program. Workouts can be easily obtained at the StewSmith.com Fitness Ebook Store. Send me an email and I may inspire me to post it up as an article next week. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. If you are interested in starting a
workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the StewSmith.com
Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at StewSmith.com. To contact
Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD
The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:
Fitness for All Levels of Fitness
The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts
New - Army PRT and CRT
The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts
Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format