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Navy Seal Officer

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Becoming a Navy Seal Officer is an honor and a sacrifice, requiring the most dedicated, resilient humans out there. The United States Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) teams are the primary special operations force for the U.S. Navy. They are also a component of Naval Special Warfare Command. To become a Navy Seal, whether enlisted or as an officer, requires the capability to pass a secret security clearance, rigorous physical fitness tests, as well as sound moral, mental, and physical fitness. Let’s see what it takes to become a Navy Seal Officer.

Pathways to becoming a Navy SEAL officer

There are four pathways to becoming a SEAL officer, two as a civilian and two as active duty. Across the board, to become a SEAL officer requires you to:

  • Be less than 28 years old
  • Have a 4-year degree
  • Pass a medical screening
  • Have eyesight of 20/25 with lenses
  • Pass the physical screening test
  • Complete SEAL training

As a pre-college student civilian, you must also:

  • Attend SEAL officer assessment and selection
  • Receive a commission through one of three sources: Naval Reserve Officer Training, United States Naval Academy, or Officer Candidate School

As a current or post-college student civilian, you must also:

  • Attend SEAL officer assessment and selection
  • Receive a commission through Officer Candidate School

As an active duty service academy student, you must also:

  • Attend SEAL officer assessment and selection
  • Apply for an inter-service transfer if you’re not a United States Naval Academy Midshipmen

As active-duty military, you must also:

  • Apply for an inter-service transfer

Physical requirements for becoming a Navy SEAL Officer

Being a Navy SEAL is physically demanding and taxing. A SEAL carries out extremely high-risk jobs. They primarily conduct small-unit special operation missions in the jungle, the arctic, maritime, mountainous, desert, and urban environments. They are often tasked with capturing or eliminating high-level targets, as well as intelligence gathering behind enemy lines. Life as a SEAL is not for the faint of heart.

Age requirements. You are required to be at least 19 years old, and commissioned before your 29th birthday at the time of commissioning. Active duty enlisted SEALs can request age waivers up until the age of 42 if they desire to become Navy SEAL Officers. Age waivers up to the age of 42 are also considered for current or previous active duty enlisted civilians or personnel who possess exceptional qualifications.

Physical fitness test requirements, with the minimum and optimum qualifications, as well as the time allotted for each, are as follows:

  • Swim 500 yards until complete- minimum 12:30, optimum 8:25 –
  • Pushups for a maximum allotted time of 2 minutes followed by 2 minutes of rest – a minimum of 50, optimum of 98
  • Curl ups for a maximum allotted time of 2 minutes followed by 2 minutes of rest – a minimum of 50, optimum of 91
  • Pull-ups for a maximum allotted time of 2 minutes followed by 10 minutes of rest – a minimum of 10, optimum of 21
  • Run 1.5 miles until you are finished, followed by the completion of the physical fitness test – minimum of 10:30, optimum of 8:59

Becoming a Navy SEAL Officer is open to men and women. Color blindness or color deficiency is a disqualifier and eyesight must be correctable to 20/25 with lenses. If your eyesight isn’t up to the requirements, you may be required to have surgery at your own expense to correct your vision.

Navy SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) Program

The Navy SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection Program is an opportunity to assess each person within many different categories for selection into the Navy SEALS training. SEALS are expected to be leaders in all areas, not just physical fitness. According to the Naval Special Warfare Assessment Team, “NSW takes the “whole-person” approach to evaluating candidates and looks for those who exemplify all of the following: physical fitness, discipline, resiliency, innovation, intelligence, tenacity, and leadership.”

SOAS is a two-week intensive assessment and evaluation of potential SEAL candidates. Navy SEAL Officers and a SEAL Master Chief evaluate the performance of about 180 Navy SEAL Officer Candidates each year who are chosen to attend this exclusive event as they pursue their goals of becoming a Navy SEAL.

SOAS is the standard metric of evaluation for all candidates from Officer Candidate School (OCS), Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), Transfer candidates, and others. The evaluation takes place in Coronado, California. Physical stress and sleep deprivation are a part of SOAS to create an environment where candidates can be truly evaluated for true character and stamina.

Getting into the training program is an enormous feat on its own. Let’s take a look at what the training is like. All SEALs must go through a 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL school (BUD/S), followed by a 28-week SEAL qualification training. BUD/S is broken up into 3 different phases: Basic Conditioning, Diving, and Land Warfare.

During Basic Conditioning, most prospective SEALs drop out due to the rigorous testing and pressure physically and mentally. There are four-mile beach runs, two-mile ocean swims, drown-proofing, lifesaving, and, of course, Hell Week, which is a 120-hour long event to test whether you’ve got what it takes to succeed as a Navy SEAL.

The Dive phase will require math, diving skills, as well as testing your ability to stay calm when things go wrong underwater. You’ll learn about Boyle’s Law and Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressure. You will also swim six miles in the ocean during the dive phase.

Land warfare phase is a time of on-the-ground learning. You’ll work on shooting, marksmanship, demolition with the use of explosives, land navigation, and so much more. At the completion of this phase, you will most likely be in the best shape of your life, and only through the first part of your training as a SEAL.

What are Navy SEAL Officers paid?

Navy SEALs are paid just like any other military personnel, based on rank and time in service. But they do receive extra allowances due to the extent of their training and qualifications. For instance, they could receive $375 per month of dive pay, $225 per month for jump pay, $300 per month in SEAL delivery vehicle pay, $110 per month in special duty assignment pay, among other types of pay. They might receive hazard pay. They also usually receive a bonus after completing the qualifying tests to enter SEALs training, and another bonus after successful completion.

What role does a Navy SEAL Officer play in combat?

The tasks of Navy SEAL enlistees and officers are similar, while officers are expected to carry more responsibility when it comes to leading their team. As an officer, there is more administrative work, decision-making, and working to keep their platoon safe. Officers are expected to make critical decisions when it comes to highly dangerous, politically sensitive environments and experiences.

A Navy SEAL Officer typically deploys at least once per pay grade, and will most likely be stationed overseas at least once. Each SEAL team, or squadron, is commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5). A SEAL team might consist of 300 personnel, ranging from 2 to 4 task units (or the equivalent of 8 platoons) and support staff.

Becoming a Navy SEAL Officer is a big decision that will require tremendous physical and mental effort. You will be one of the elite, a group of people that most represent what Hollywood movies are about. It’s a prestigious position that is well deserved. To learn more about becoming a Navy SEAL, it’s best to speak to those who have gone through the experience or work directly with those who have experienced SEAL life. As a Navy SEAL Officer, you will most likely participate in direct action, small scale warfare, counterterrorism, foreign internal defense, and combat reconnaissance.

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