Despite their limited numbers, SEALs have become valuable military assets. Even though they make up less than one percent of all US Navy service members and often operate in five man teams U.S. Navy SEALs are often successful in situations where larger, conventional units cannot be deployed.
Small unit operations allow Seal teams to excel in missions that conventional military units could not attempt without being detected. SEAL teams move secretly, accomplish objectives and then retreat without being discovered. SEALs are trained to successfully operate in almost any situation on land, sea and air, but as maritime special forces, they are known for coming out of the sea, completing a mission and then slipping back into the sea.
SEALs use unique tactics, to fight wars, terrorism, and drugs. SEALs also engage in reconnaissance, protection missions, intelligence, special security, rescue, and underwater surveys. SEALs have a history of successfully operating in every phase of conflict from combat support roles such as providing instant intelligence and target acquisition to direct combat.
Although SEAL operations are rarely publicized, media coverage of a 2009 SEAL rescue mission gave the world some insight into the world of SEALs. Somali pirates took an U.S. citizen hostage and the U.S. Navy was given the mission. After five days of negotiations, the pirates leveled an assault rifle at the back of their hostage. Observing from a Navy ship about 100 feet away, Navy SEAL sharpshooters were given the order to save the life of the hostage by eliminating the pirates. Considering the waters were not calm, and both the Navy vessel and the pirate vessel were moving, the odds of killing the pirates before they killed the hostage were questionable. If one of the SEAL snipers missed, would the pirates kill the hostage? Despite rough waters and firing from a moving vessel at moving targets, all three pirates were eliminated and the hostage was rescued.
How BUD/S training prepares SEALs to perform at such a high level? SEAL training starts with three weeks of indoctrination. Next comes seven weeks of basic conditioning. After basic conditioning comes eight weeks of diving and then nine weeks of land warfare, followed by three weeks of basic parachute training. Those who successfully complete the training will receive a Naval special warfare classification code and could be assigned
anywhere in the world. From there, their lives will forever be changed.