Skip to comments.Trained By SEALs
Posted on 06/25/2012 9:16:32 PM PDT by Beave Meister
When a navy SEAL tells you to get wet, you'd better soak yourself real good. That was a lesson the U.S. Olympic sailing team learned the hard way last March during a surprise training session with the SEALs, who ordered the athletes into a frigid Colorado Springs lake. Since it was about 40F outside, some sailors didn't exactly charge into the water like summer campers--or even dunk their heads.
When they returned to shore, teeth chattering, a SEAL asked Zach Railey, a silver medalist in Beijing, a question: "Does wet hair move?" No, Railey replied. The SEAL blew on one of Railey's female teammates' dry ponytail. It wisped. So the SEALs marched the team back into the drink to freeze their asses off some more.
If the U.S. sailors collect medals in London, they can give some thanks to the SEALs. Over the past two years, the killer elite unit has put eight Olympic teams through the kind of agonizing trials a SEAL encounters in BUD/S (basic underwater demolition/SEAL) classes. It's logical that athletes in endurance sports such as cycling and rowing would undergo a SEAL initiation, but the matchup of Special Ops and sailing--with its soft, country-club image--seems less intuitive. In truth, though, Olympic-level sailors need amazing dexterity and the ability to make critical decisions in changing conditions in order to guide dinghies through wind and rough waves. "No matter what the sport is, you want to take athletes out of their comfort zone," says Wendy Borlabi, a psychologist with the United States Olympic Committee who forged the partnership with the SEALs after she joined the USOC in early 2010. "The SEALs are a natural fit."
(Excerpt) Read more at conman-currentmil-technews.blogspot.com ...
Rob Stella is now a friend of mine and sent me this article. He's also a very funny guy.
I had the chance to work with a bunch of SEALS onboard the GW back in the 1990 and for the most part they were some of the coolest Sailors, I had the chance to come in contact with. The Officers seems to be more on the enlisted side of the house than the professional Officers, they never threw their rank around and treated us ship’s company crew members with major respect. It was hard to tell who was enlisted and who was officer among them since it was a team effort from Day One.
I've done some stupid things.
But only once in my life did it ever involve Navy SEALS.
I can go a long, long time in a kitchen without ever invoking SEALS.
God bless 'em.
Cooks can be harsh... but that's just..... harsh.
If I ever ask for training from a SEAL.... call my daughters and have them put me away. Ain't no way I'm living through that.
It would be nice if each branch of the military would train their officers and enlisted to the point that it would be difficult to do the same.
Seals are truly professionals at what they do, kick down doors and kill folks.
What they are not really trained for is training other people. Army Special Forces are trained to train.
Oh they can fight too. Most people think, oh Special Ops, they can do everything. No they can’t. They are very good at what they do, and most of what they do is kick ass and take names.
I had a Major who was an Army Special Ops guy (Green Beret). He was a good troop, competent, full of energy and ready to go.
The only thing lacking was large unit tactics. Oh he had the small unit tactics down, but when you get to the Field Grade level, he was lost. He could not imagine Corp level tactics, or logistics (at Corp level, logistics is the focus).
Anyway, the SF guys are great, and there are only a few of them that really understand big picture stuff. Those are the guys that make the stars.
Just my 2 cents.
I’m a USNR “Mustang.” It would be nice to do, but takes too much time in war tempo. Best shotcut is producing excellent officers with the men respecting their leaders for their war-fighting skills, if not their people skills.
You’re absolutely right. They don’t throw their rank around. They want you to be humble. They officers and instructors don’t ask any of the Sailors going through training to do anything they wouldn’t do. They had the seniors from the U of Michigan’s football team there two days before I was there. Rob had them split up into different teams on the obstacle course. One team did something well and started to celebrate. Well that’s a BIG no-no with the SEALs. Rob started yelling at them asking them if they celebrate after a 1st down then said “That’s it, everyone in the water” had them all take off to the ocean that they thought was warm and submerge themselves in the cold water. Then they had to roll around in the sand, which they call doing the “Sugar Cookie.”
Although when I was there....It was Sunday morning and it was their day off, well one sailor who was trying to become a SEAL who was going through BUD/S training got into a barroom brawl the Friday night before on Coronado Island. Well I would say 75% of the people on the island are either Navy or SEALs. So this guy had to come in on his day off along with two of his instructors who I guess weren’t too happy....and they ran him ragged for about 30 minutes that I saw, who knows how long he had been there. I wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes. And finally he got up went over and rang the bell three times. And Chief Stella looks over and says, “Well, he’s done” and I said he’s done with his punishment? And Rob said, “No he’s done with trying to become a SEAL, he tapped out.” I was shocked. I guess everyone who walks through the doors are told when you want to quit all you have to do is go over to the bell and ring it three times. And they’ll give you a donut and a cup of coffee and you’re done.
I grew up in Oak Park, IL and went to Oak Park River Forest High School. A good friend of mine from high school who now lives out by me in the Los Angeles area is Retired Col. Pete Blaber from Delta Force. He’d probably agree with you.
Pete wrote a real good book a couple of years ago called “The Mission, The Men, And Me: Lessons From A Former Delta Force Commander. Pete’s first deployment with Delta Force was what’s now known as the “Blackhawk Down” incident. He also planned Operation Anaconda and the bombing of Tora Bora. I’ve read other books like “Cobra II” and “Not a Good Day To Die” and they say his missions have killed more Al Quade than anyone else on the planet. Real good guy and very humble, a lot like the SEALs. Funny as hell too. When Pete finally admitted to being in Delta Force a friend of ours from high school asked him what’s it like being in battle with bullets flying by? And Pete said, “It’s no different than when we use to bomb cars with snowballs.” He put that story in his book.
Navy SEAL bump!
Two books that will give you an “up close and personal” look at what it takes to become a SEAL:
“SEAL Team Six” by Howard Wasdin
“Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell
Both excellent books. The first is my fav. Find them on Amazon.
I would never ring that bell.
They would have to disqualify me before I would admit defeat.
Not tough, just wouldn’t quit if that was the option.
About the bell. Becoming a SEAL is voluntary and you can quit at any time. If you quit, you go up and ring the bell 3 times to DOR (drop on request) and you're processed out.
During training phases, there are certain milestones that must be passed. If you don't, you may be setback or given a DOR. If you're injured in training, you'll be setback until you heal. SEAL training is the most difficult of all the Special Operations training. Even the most fit get washed out. Fitness isn't enough — you must want to be a SEAL more than anything in life — because the instructors will push you past your limits.
When you see a guy wearing that trident pin, understand he's the best of the best in many specialties. Plus, he keeps adding to his skill set throughout his SEAL career.
“Lone Survivor” is absolutely top notch. You learn the whole culture from training to employment. And sadly you learn how the Rules of Engagement (ROE) directed by the current leadership murdered all of SEAL Team Ten except Marcus. When finished you might consider sending a few dollars to his charity, Lone Survivor to help the families of some true patriots.
Thank you for promoting his charity. And yes, Marcus did an excellent job of ripping the ridiculous ROE he had to operate under.
I’m sure everything you said is absolutely correct. When I was at the SEALs training facility on Coronado I was told the odd number SEAL Teams are on the West Coast and the even number SEAL Teams are on the East Coast. I Believe Chief Stella, who showed me around, is with SEAL Team 3.
I asked him how much of the training is mental and how much is physical and he said SEAL training is probably 90% mental. You’re right about being injured, it;s a set back, but you’re still allowed to continue. Chief Stella said up until a few years ago if you were DOR you could try again, but not anymore once you go DOR you’re done for good.
I was so impressed with these young men. It was their day off and Rob took me onto the obstacle course, but still the men who were going through BUD/S were still out on the obstacle course trying to perfect the course, trying to get their time down a minute or two.
One of the first impressions I had of these fine men which stuck with me was when I first walked through the doors into the facility. Chief Stella was explaining something to me and two trainees came through the door and I stepped back against the wall so they could walk by and they asked me very politely if I could step forward so they could pass behind me so they wouldn’t interrupt. My God, I thought where do they find these men? I was very impressed.
We watched the new “tadpoles” as they called the BUD/S students going through their training. You could easily identify them because they were the ones in green utilities, combat boots, helmet liners, bulky Kapok life jackets, carrying a 150 pound rubber boat over their heads, running everywhere they were supposed to be.
Graduation day of Hell Week, where you were lucky to get 8 hour's sleep in a week, was no less rigorous. There was a boat race to one of the Coronado-San Diego bridge pylons and back to the boat ramp, pickup the boat, and double-time to the drill field. Complete the race and you'd made it through Phase 1 of training.
I've read an account by a SEAL that emphasized that. He said that some of the guys who made it in his BUDS class puked during the early runs, or were visibly fearful when first confronted by dangerous situations, and some of the guys who were fitness fanatics, or black belts, rang the bell.
This is part of the “selection” process that was used going back to the first spec ops guys like SAS, Rangers, UDT, paratroopers, etc. What the instructor staff is looking for are individuals who, when completely exhausted mentally and physically, reach down into some reservoir they didn’t know they have to find the strength to complete the mission. Most folks will give up. It’s the guys that can adapt and overcome that you want as spec ops people. You cannot mass produce this kind of operator. Less than 1 in 10 people have this kind of drive and determination.
It isn't a boardroom.
Tomorrow will mark the 7th anniversary of Operation Red Wings. Which the book “Lone Survivor” is based on.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.