(NavySeal.com News) Joining a member of military’s special forces has long since been an honor. Something to gain pride in and celebrate through your entire career. But with the times comes changes in representations, and what it means to join the elite community of Navy SEALs. Here’s why: in the public eye there is more scrutiny, more theories (that may or may not be true), and of course, the Internet. With the reach and live access of the Internet, news can be posted at any time of day, from anywhere. And more often than not, information is not vetted before it’s posted live.
As a SEAL, that could mean looking like a hero (even if the information is not about you, personally), or it could mean looking like the bad guy. That’s all part of the deal, working in special forces during the age of the Internet.
In most cases, the general public won’t know who’s a SEAL or what they do. But when they find out, if it comes up in conversation, it means dealing with modern stereotypes of what it means to serve as a Navy SEAL.
SEALs in the Public Eye
One aspect that has changed in recent years is SEALs’ ability to tell their own story. Sure there is more knowledge in general released about branches of the military. But SEALs in particular have been proactive in sharing their own stories. Writing books, helping create movies, and talking to news sources about their operations are just a few of the ways they’re helping remain diplomatic about their job.
What’s more is that the public eats it up. More and more books written by SEALS, about their experience as a SEAL, have been released simply because they’re selling. People want to read what it’s like to serve, and the rate at which they’re purchasing books speaks to that fact. (This includes print books, digital copies, as well as audiobooks.)
As for recruiting, the want to become a SEAL has only increased. Insider looks at what the job has to offer has boosted interest; more and more Navy members have applied for the gig. That doesn’t mean more have made the cut; the same physical and mental restraints are in place, of course. But it does mean more interest in the program, and more sailors who are bettering themselves to serve their country.
SEALs have always been held to a high standard of discipline, and no changing times has adjusted that fact. However, the way they are portrayed in the media, and what people are able to learn about Navy service has greatly changed over time. Consider how this affects current and past SEALs, and the information that’s now available to the masses, for instance, battle stories and books.