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How to Go Navy Special Warfare / Operations
By Stew Smith
Do you think you have what is takes to become a member of Naval Special Warfare / Special Operations? If you think you can handle some of the toughest military training in the world, there are some changes you should know. The two communities are now what are called, “closed loop” communities, meaning the enlisted personnel no longer have to select source ratings (i.e. job specialties like BM, RM, GM) and learn a job that they will not practice as SEAL, EOD or Divers. Now, the Special Warfare / Special Operations communities have their own rating source codes. To be a member of Naval Special Warfare/Operations community, you have four choices:
Naval Special Operations:
- EOD – (Navy Diving and Explosives
Ordnance Disposal) dismantle unexploded ordnance to include underwater
mines, land mines, and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)
Below are the steps required to becoming a member of the Navy Special Warfare/Operations communities:
Step 1: Choose a Spec Ops/Spec War Source Rating
Go to a recruiter’s office. You will have to sign up for a regular Navy Source Rating to join the Delayed Entry Program. However, once you pass the standards of the Navy SEAL / EOD / Diver Physical Screening Test (PST), you will be given a new designation. The new ratings are the following:
· SEAL: (SO)
· SWCC: (SB)
· EOD: (EOD)
· Diver: (ND)
Ask your local recruiter about the Navy Special Warfare / Special Operations Mentor in your area. These former SEAL, EOD, Divers are mentor’s for recruits and their duties are to help recruits prepare for training by giving regularly scheduled PSTs.
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 are officially in the pre-training community - meaning you will get orders to either the Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, or Diving Schools.
Step 3: Pre-Training
Your job is to learn about the Special Warfare and Special Operations Communities as well start an extensive physical training program for 6-8 weeks. The Pre-training program is to help candidates get into better shape as Boot Camp does not properly prepare a SEAL, EOD tech or Diver for their advanced training programs.
The Pre-training instructors are not interested in weeding anyone out at this point. 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. Below are the minimum and recommended standards for the PST and success in these programs:
You still have to show up to boot camp in above average shape and it is recommended being able to hit all of the above recommended scores prior to boot camp to ensure a proper physical foundation.
Step 4: Navy SEAL, SWCC, EOD, and Diver Training
SEAL candidates attend Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL Training (BUD/S), a grueling six month long training program that teaches the basics of SEAL missions. Candidates will learn patrolling, marksmanship, land / sea navigation, SCUBA, underwater navigation / explosives, and a variety of other combat related skills to excel in today’s war climate.
SWCC candidates attend the Naval Special Warfare Combatant Crewman course in Coronado CA for 22 weeks. There candidates learn a variety of skills related to small boat tactics, marksmanship, communications, and still have to endure a rigorous fitness program daily.
EOD candidates start their physically and mentally challenging 51 weeks of training and will learn Navy diving, parachuting, marksmanship, warfare tactics, explosive ordnance disposal of a variety of bombs, mines, torpedoes, and improvised explosive devices.
Navy Diver candidates – Navy Divers learn the basics and become the most advanced divers in the world. To become that skilled, divers will learn to perform ship salvage, battle-damage repair, deep-ocean recovery, combat salvage, emergent underwater ship repair, as well as remotely operated diving vehicles.
The types of
people who perform well at Special Warfare and Special Operations training
programs have several common traits.
Ask any of these special
operators "did you think about quitting" and you will usually get the same
answer. "NO!" Due to proper physical preparation, your body has a better
foundation to remain fit throughout months of grueling training. Here is a
list of those common denominators:
Swimming Tests – a 500 yd swim is a tough event IF you are not an efficient swimmer and may require some special training from someone who knows how to swim well. Another way to learn is to watch videos or watch someone skilled in the sidestroke or combat swimmer stroke to understand the techniques. Learn the pace and train to maintain it with 10 sets of 50yd swims.
Here are some tips for the exercise that has been around for thousands of years.
• Proper hand placement – Keep hands just greater than shoulder width apart and placed lower than your shoulders as if you were doing a bench press. This will place an equal amount of force on the chest, shoulders and triceps.
• Up / Down movement – Pushups in this test is a 2 minute sprint. Building your endurance to do non-stop pushups for two minutes. To score your best, you should focus on doing pushups as fast as you can, however exert on the UP motion and relax your arms when coming DOWN. Let gravity take you down.
This exercise requires some stomach and lower back strength as well as hip flexor strength and flexibility.
• This is a pacing exercise as with running. If your goal is 80-100 sit-ups in 2 minutes, you have to build up to withstand a pace of up to 20-25 sit-ups per 30 seconds.
• Touch elbows to knees / shoulders to floor – This is a full repetition for the sit-up and the best way to master this is to exert on the UP movement and relax on DOWN and let gravity take you to the floor. Just as with the pushup test.
• Pace, breathing, arm swing, stride – Know how to run at a steady pace for your goal byt practicing often. Learn to regulate your breathing by timing INHALES for 2-3 steps and EXHALES for 2-3 steps in a regular breathing rhythm to keep heart rate lower and running potential faster in the last ¼ mile.
• Arm swing and stride – arms should be slightly bent but relaxed and swing in a straight line not crossing your body. Stride and foot strike should be efficient enough so you are not running on your toes or too wide where you land on your heels. Foot strike should be closer to the balls of the feet but not flat footed.
The Ultimate Navy Spec Ops PST Training Guides (Books, DVDs, ebooks)
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
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
The Special Operations Workout
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD
The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD
The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:
Fitness for All Levels of Fitness
The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program
The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
Navy SWCC Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout
The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts
The USMC IST and PFT Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT
The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts
The Fire Fighter Workout
Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format