Absolutely not. Being able to swim is a fundamental requirement for becoming a Navy SEAL. The training demands extensive and advanced swimming capabilities, as water-based operations are a core part of the SEALs' missions. Before considering this elite force, one must be a powerful swimmer. There's no way around it; you've got to conquer the water if you aim to wear that Trident badge.
Those who can't swim but dream of joining the ranks must hit the pool first and get some severe lessons. Only then can they consider meeting the rigorous physical standards the SEALs require.
Remember, there are no cutting corners in matters like these, where safety and competence are critical! Read more about BUD/S Fitness Requirements here.
Basic Swimming Requirements To Go To BUD/S Training
First, potential candidates must pass the Physical Screening Test (PST), including a 500-yard swim. This swim must be completed in 12 minutes and 30 seconds or less. But that's just for starters.
The technique? Candidates have to use either the sidestroke or breaststroke. And this is where it gets real: To stand out, you should aim for a time closer to 9-10 minutes.
Once you're in training, expect water competency tests that will push your limits further—think long-distance swims in open water and timed pool exercises while wearing full gear.
So, if you’re setting your sights on becoming one of these elite warriors, get comfortable with being uncomfortable in every kind of aquatic environment imaginable!
Do SEAL Trainees Become SCUBA Qualified During BUD/S?
Yes! Becoming scuba qualified is integral to BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training. SEAL candidates undergo rigorous dive training, which forms one phase of their overall BUD/S program. This portion teaches them closed-circuit and open-circuit diving techniques essential for covert underwater operations.
The Second Phase of BUD/S focuses on combat diving. Candidates learn to become comfortable and proficient in the water since being adept at maritime operations is key for a Navy SEAL. They must master skills such as long-distance underwater dives, navigating with a compass under the surface, and various methods of approaching ships or other targets undetected.
This training ensures they can handle the complex tasks required during missions involving water transit or infiltration by sea. Only after passing this challenging phase do candidates move forward in their journey to potentially earn the coveted SEAL trident.