The National High School Wrestling Championships held last March 23 to 28 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center attracted more than just high school wrestling fans. Also present during the event, according to a feature on the Navy website, were members of the East Coast Navy SEALs and the SWCC Scout team.
The SEALs, SWCC (Special Warfare Combat Crewmen), Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), Navy Divers and Air Rescue were on hand to enlighten athletes on what career choices are available in the United States Navy Special Warfare (NSW) community.
As mentioned in one of our previous posts on Navy SEAL Recruitment, high school wrestlers are among those who have a great possibility of successfully completing the rigorous training that SEALs undergo.
Once upon a time, Lt. Mark Conley was a wrestler at the Naval Academy; now a Navy SEAL, he was one of those who volunteered at the event. Lt. Conley shares: “Wrestling is a great translation into special operations. Only the elite wrestlers in the country are at this event right now. They all have dedication, physical prowess and mental preparation; those are all traits shared by those in special operations.”
Indeed, all the qualities mentioned by Conley are key ingredients that define a special operator.
The Navy has been working with the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) for the past four years in reaching out to athletes who have the potential to serve in the Navy in special operations capacities. Navy volunteers who were at the event interacted with athletes through various activities and offered information and mentoring.