Not all members in active service with the US Navy can have the coveted SEAL Trident. There is a long, narrow road that one has to go through in order to earn this popular US Navy Special Warfare insignia. So, what does it really take to join the elite group of the US Navy SEALs?
First, you need to be an active member of the US Navy and be backed by a clear disciplinary record. While a citizen of another country can join the Navy, only US citizens are allowed to sign up for the SEAL training. Women cannot be SEALs, too, even if there are several female members in the US Navy. This has long been the subject of extensive debates with the activists on gender equality. As of now, however, this is how it goes.
In addition, you need to have a good vision. Well, I don’t think it would be easy to go to battle with thick eyeglasses on. Corrective eye surgery is allowed, though. You also need to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test as a requirement.
To assess your physical strength, a rigid screening test is done. This is where I am sure to fail! As if the physical exercises are not tough enough, they have to set time limits for them. You need to swim 500 yards within 12.5 minutes, at least 42 push-ups in 2 minutes, at least 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes, 6 pull-ups and run 1.5 miles in 11.5 minutes. It is important not to take these figures as mere minimum requirements. You have to give your best performance and do better than most to make it to the final cut.
But hey, remember that doing well in this qualification round still does not make you a SEAL (Did I hear someone screaming “What?!”). Passing this qualification test only gets you a pass to join the real adventure, and that is the 6-month limit-defining BUD/S – where even this uncompromising qualifying test cannot guarantee you will make it.