Navy SEAL training is renowned for its intensity and the time it takes to complete. The journey begins with Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training, which lasts about six months. But that's not all; there's more ahead.
The Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training is divided into three challenging phases, each designed to test candidates' physical and mental limits.
- First Phase - Physical Conditioning: This initial phase lasts approximately seven weeks and focuses on building the candidates’ physical strength, endurance, and water competency. The infamous "Hell Week" occurs during this phase and tests trainees with continuous training for five-and-a-half days with minimal sleep.
- Second Phase - Combat Diving: Lasting around seven weeks, the second phase teaches SEAL candidates combat diving techniques using open-circuit (compressed air) and closed-circuit (100% oxygen rebreather) systems. Trainees learn underwater navigation skills essential for covert insertion methods that SEALs are known for.
- Third Phase - Land Warfare Training: Also about seven weeks in duration, this final phase includes instruction in primary weapons handling, demolitions/explosives education, small unit tactics like patrolling formations and movements within a team context—a crucial skill set for missions involving direct action or surveillance operations.
Each phase pushes candidates to their limits while instilling teamwork principles necessary for survival in real-world scenarios where failure is not an option.
SEAL Qualification Training (SQT):
Following BUD/S, candidates must undergo SEAL Qualification Training (SQT), which can take six additional months. After SQT, they are officially designated as Navy SEALs but still have additional specialized training depending on their assigned role in a team.
From starting BUD/S to becoming a fully operational Navy SEAL, the process often exceeds a year—sometimes approaching 18 months or longer when accounting for pre-training preparation and advanced development courses after earning the coveted Trident pin.
This rigorous path ensures only the most dedicated and capable individuals join the ranks of this elite group because being ready for any challenge is what sets them apart.
Read more about Navy SEAL training here.