Seal Qualification Training (SQT)

SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) is the final and most crucial step in transforming a candidate into an elite warrior of the United States Navy. This rigorous program builds upon previous training, refining skills and developing new ones to ensure that future SEALs are prepared for any mission they may face.

In this blog post, we will delve deep into the various stages of SQT, including diving medicine instruction, Special Operations Medical Course, and mission planning strategies. We will also explore advanced team-specific training opportunities such as foreign language courses, sniper school, and military free-fall parachuting.

Furthermore, we'll discuss pay and benefits unique to Navy SEALs like Dive Pay or HALO Jump Pay. Finally, for those aspiring to join this prestigious community of warriors: learn about recommended workout routines for optimal performance during physical screening tests (PST), nutrition tips tailored specifically for SEAL candidates' needs, as well as mental preparation strategies essential in overcoming challenges throughout your journey towards becoming a member of the Naval Special Warfare community.

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The Navy SEAL PST is a crucial step in determining whether a candidate has what it takes to enter the rigorous training program. Candidates must perform swimming, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and running exercises within the set time limits to demonstrate their capability. Candidates should aim for scores above the minimum standards to increase their chances of being selected.

Swimming Test Requirements

Candidates are required to complete a 500-yard swim using either breaststroke or sidestroke techniques within 12 minutes and 30 seconds. However, aiming for under 10 minutes will significantly improve your chances of success.

Push-up Test Requirements

In just two minutes, candidates must perform at least 50 push-ups with proper form. To stand out from other applicants, strive for more than 80 repetitions during this short period.

Sit-up Test Requirements

A minimum of 50 sit-ups in two minutes is necessary to pass this portion of the PST; however, completing over 80 sit-ups can greatly enhance your overall score.

Pull-up Test Requirements

Pull-ups play an essential role in assessing upper body strength. At least ten pull-ups without touching the ground between reps are needed to meet the standard requirement - but reaching beyond that by doing around fifteen or more will make you even more competitive as a candidate.

Running Test Requirements

Last but not least is the timed run: prospective SEALs need to cover 1.5 miles in 10 minutes and 30 seconds or less. To truly excel, aim for a time closer to nine minutes.

Achieving peak physical condition is a must for anyone seeking to join the Navy SEALs. By surpassing the minimum requirements on each portion of the PST, you'll increase your chances of being selected for further training and ultimately achieving your goal as a member of this prestigious group.

Key Takeaway:  To become a Navy SEAL, passing the Physical Screening Test (PST) is crucial. The PST includes swimming, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and running exercises that must be completed within specific time limits. Candidates who aim for scores above the minimum standards will increase their chances of being selected for further training and ultimately achieving their goal as a member of this prestigious group.

Famous BUD/S 'O' Course in Coronado CA

Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training (BUD/S)

The Navy SEALs are known for their intense and demanding training programs, and BUD/S is no exception. This seven-month challenge aims to develop candidates' mental and physical stamina, as well as leadership skills. Each phase of BUD/S includes timed physical conditioning tests with increasingly demanding time constraints throughout the program.

BUD/S Prep and Orientation

Before diving into the main phases of BUD/S, candidates undergo a preparatory course that helps them acclimate to the rigorous training environment. This includes orientation sessions where students learn about the expectations, standards, and goals of the program.

First Phase (basic conditioning)

In this initial stage of BUD/S, trainees focus on building their strength through grueling workouts such as running in soft sand while wearing boots or carrying logs overhead during team exercises. One notable aspect of this phase is "Hell Week," an infamous five-and-a-half-day test designed to push recruits beyond their limits both physically and mentally with minimal sleep. Only those who persevere through Hell Week can move forward in their journey to become a Navy SEAL.

Second Phase (diving)

This portion of BUD/S introduces trainees to underwater operations using open-circuit SCUBA gear. They will learn various dive techniques such as navigating underwater obstacles or conducting nighttime dives under challenging conditions. This phase is crucial for developing the skills necessary to carry out covert missions as a Navy SEAL.

Third Phase (land warfare)

The final stage of BUD/S focuses on teaching trainees essential land-based combat tactics, such as marksmanship, patrolling, and small unit leadership. They will also participate in live-fire exercises and learn how to plan and execute complex missions. Upon successful completion of this phase, candidates move on to the advanced SEAL Qualification Training (SQT).

With each step along the way in BUD/S training, prospective Navy SEALs are pushed beyond their limits both physically and mentally. The grueling regimen not only tests the mettle of potential SEALs, but also forges deep ties among those who remain.

Key Takeaway: The Navy SEALs' Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training (BUD/S) is a seven-month program that aims to develop candidates' mental and physical stamina, as well as leadership skills. The training includes timed physical conditioning tests with increasingly demanding time constraints throughout the program, building strength through grueling workouts such as running in soft sand while wearing boots or carrying logs overhead during team exercises, underwater operations using open-circuit SCUBA gear, essential land-based combat tactics such as marksmanship, patrolling and small unit leadership.

SEAL Qualification Training (SQT)

So, you've made it through BUD/S? Congrats, but don't get too comfortable. The real challenge is just beginning with SEAL Qualification Training (SQT). At SQT in Coronado, California, you'll acquire the necessary competencies for successful missions.

Diving Medicine Instruction

During SQT, you'll receive comprehensive instruction in diving medicine. You'll learn how to treat injuries that may occur during underwater operations and how to prevent or manage decompression sickness. Trust us, you don't want to skip this part (source).

Special Operations Medical Course

SEALs are known for their toughness, but even they need medical training. At the Special Operations Medical Course, you'll gain the skills needed to administer medical aid in battle conditions when professional help isn't immediately accessible. You'll learn basic life support skills like airway management and hemorrhage control, as well as more advanced procedures like surgical cricothyroidotomy (source). The goal is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to save lives when professional medical assistance isn't immediately available.

Mission Planning Strategies

SEALs don't just go into missions blindly. In SQT, you'll learn mission planning strategies, including how to gather intelligence data, assess risks, and devise contingency plans for various scenarios. You'll also participate in realistic exercises simulating actual missions where you'll put these planning skills into practice.

To earn your coveted Navy SEAL Trident, you must demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of the training. This includes passing written exams, demonstrating shooting accuracy, and showing mastery of diving techniques, among other skills.

After completing SQT, you'll be assigned to a SEAL or SDV team, where you'll continue to hone your skills and participate in real-world missions. Remember, earning your Trident is just the beginning of a challenging yet rewarding career as an elite special operator.

Key Takeaway: SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) is a six-month course where Navy SEALs learn diving medicine, special operations medical skills, and mission planning strategies. To earn the coveted Navy SEAL Trident, proficiency in all aspects of training must be demonstrated. Upon completion of SQT, graduates are assigned to a SEAL or SDV team for continued skill development and real-world missions.

Advanced Team-Specific Training Opportunities

Once assigned to a SEAL or SDV team after finishing SQT, operators can further enhance their skillsets through specialized courses offered within their respective teams. These may include foreign language lessons, sniper training, or explosive breaching techniques among other valuable proficiencies.

Foreign Language Courses

Navy SEALs often operate in diverse environments around the world, making it essential for them to be proficient in multiple languages. To facilitate this need, foreign language courses are available for SEALs to learn and improve upon their linguistic abilities. This additional skill not only increases mission effectiveness but also makes them more versatile assets on the battlefield.

Sniper School

Becoming a Navy SEAL sniper requires rigorous training and dedication beyond standard qualifications. The Navy SEAL Sniper School, an intensive course that focuses on long-range precision shooting and stealth tactics, is one such opportunity for those looking to specialize in this field. Graduates of this program become experts at providing intelligence gathering and overwatch support during missions while remaining undetected by enemy forces.

Military Free-Fall Parachuting

To maintain tactical advantage during insertion into hostile territory, Navy SEALs must master various airborne operations like military free-fall (MFF) parachuting. MFF involves jumping from high altitudes using oxygen systems and navigating under canopy towards specific landing zones with pinpoint accuracy - skills taught at the Military Free-Fall School (MFFS). This advanced training ensures SEALs can infiltrate enemy lines undetected and carry out their missions effectively.

These expert classes not only give SEALs the skills they need to perform well, but also help their teams succeed. By continuously honing these skills, operators remain at the forefront of modern warfare and ensure mission success regardless of challenges faced on the battlefield.

Key Takeaway: Navy SEALs can enhance their skills through specialized courses offered within their respective teams, such as foreign language lessons, sniper training and military free-fall parachuting. These advanced team-specific training opportunities provide the tools necessary to excel in their fields and contribute to overall mission success on the battlefield. By continuously honing these skills, operators remain at the forefront of modern warfare and ensure successful outcomes regardless of challenges faced.

Pay & Benefits for Navy SEALs

Aside from standard military pay and allowances, Navy SEALs receive various special pays based on their skills and assignments. These include dive pay, Special Delivery Vehicle (SDV) team pay, HALO jump pay, and second-language proficiency bonuses.

Dive Pay

Navy SEALs who are qualified divers receive extra compensation known as dive pay. The amount varies depending on the diver's rank and years of service but can range from $150 to over $340 per month.

SDV Team Pay

SEALs assigned to an SDV team - specialized units that operate submersible vehicles for covert missions - are eligible for additional monthly incentives. This bonus is typically around $215 per month but may vary depending on factors such as rank or time in service.

HALO Jump Pay

High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jumps are an essential skill for many Navy SEAL operations. Those who have completed the necessary training courses qualify for HALO jump pay, which amounts to an extra $225 per month.

Second-Language Proficiency Bonuses

  • Moderate: If a Navy SEAL demonstrates moderate proficiency in a foreign language, they can receive an additional $100 to $250 per month.
  • High: For those with high proficiency levels, the bonus increases to between $300 and $500 per month.
  • Very High: In some cases, exceptional language skills may qualify for bonuses of up to $1,000 per month.

Besides these special pays, Navy SEALs also enjoy standard military benefits such as health care coverage, housing allowances, and retirement plans. SEALs can avail of additional educational chances that could augment their abilities and boost the amount they make during their professional life. Overall, becoming a Navy SEAL offers not only unique challenges but also substantial financial rewards. So, if you're up for the challenge, dive in.

Key takeaway: SEALs receive special pays such as dive pay, SDV team pay, HALO jump pay, and second-language proficiency bonuses in addition to standard military benefits. These financial rewards are based on their skills and assignments. Becoming a Navy SEAL offers unique challenges and substantial financial rewards for those up for the challenge.

Preparing for Navy SEAL Training

Before attempting the PST or entering the training pipeline, prospective Navy SEAL candidates must be in top physical shape. In order to excel in this grueling process, one must stay physically fit by regularly exercising and focusing on increasing strength, stamina, and agility.

Recommended workout routines

To prepare for the rigors of Navy SEAL training, incorporate workouts that target all major muscle groups and improve cardiovascular endurance. Effective exercises include:

Nutrition tips for optimal performance

Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial to fuel your body properly during intense physical activity. Follow these nutrition guidelines to optimize your performance:

  1. Eat plenty of lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, beans, or tofu.
  2. Consume complex carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables to provide sustained energy throughout your workouts.
  3. Favor healthy fats from avocados, nuts, and olive oil over saturated fats found in processed foods.
  4. Maintain adequate hydration to optimize energy levels for training sessions by consuming water regularly.
  5. Time your meals and snacks to ensure you have enough energy for training sessions without feeling overly full or sluggish.

Mental preparation strategies

In addition to physical fitness, mental toughness is a key component of success in Navy SEAL training. Develop resilience and focus through practices such as:

  • Setting specific, achievable goals for each workout session
  • Visualizing successful completion of challenging exercises or events
  • Practicing stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga
  • Embracing setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning from them instead of dwelling on failure

FAQs in Relation to Seal Qualification Training

SEAL Qualification Training: The Ultimate Test of Physical and Mental Toughness

  • Physical conditioning, combat diving, and land warfare training are just a few of the challenges candidates must endure.
  • The attrition rate for SEAL training ranges from 70-80%, highlighting its difficulty.

What is SEAL Qualification Training?

SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) is the final phase in the Navy SEAL pipeline before joining an operational team.

  • SQT consists of advanced courses such as diving medicine instruction, Special Operations Medical Course, mission planning strategies, foreign language courses, sniper school, and military free-fall parachuting.
  • These courses prepare SEALs for the complex and dangerous missions they will face in the field.

What Disqualifies You from SEAL Training?

Potential disqualifiers for Navy SEALs include medical conditions, criminal history, drug use, age limits, and security clearance issues.

  • Medical conditions that may affect performance or safety during operations can disqualify candidates.
  • Criminal history involving felonies or serious misdemeanors is also a disqualifier.
  • Drug use within specific timeframes prior to enlistment is prohibited.
  • Age limits apply, with the maximum age limit being 28 years old (waivers available).
  • Inability to obtain security clearance due to financial issues or other concerns can also disqualify candidates.

What Percentage of SEALs Fail to Complete SEAL Training?

The attrition rate for candidates attempting Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training typically falls between 70% - 80%.

  • This means only about 20% - 30% successfully complete BUD/S and move on to SEAL Qualification Training (SQT).
  • Those who do make it through are among the most elite and highly trained warriors in the world.


SEAL Qualification Training is  a grueling process that demands top-notch physical fitness, mental toughness, and specialized skills.

Before even entering Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training (BUD/S), aspiring Navy SEALs must pass the Physical Screening Test, which is no easy feat.

But if you can make it through BUD/S, you'll move on to SEAL Qualification Training (SQT), where you'll learn advanced skills like diving medicine instruction and mission planning strategies.

Don't let the challenge scare you off, though - there are plenty of recommended workout routines and nutrition tips to help you optimize your performance and succeed.

And if you do make it through SEAL Qualification Training, you'll be rewarded with significant pay benefits, including dive pay and proficiency bonuses.

So if you're up for the challenge and have what it takes to become a Navy SEAL, the rewards of joining this elite group are definitely worth all the hard work.

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