Skip to comments.Navy Seeking More Minority SEALs
Posted on 02/24/2012 9:15:25 AM PST by lex33
In nature, most seals are black, with relatively few white ones. The Navy's SEALs have exactly the opposite problem -- they're overwhelmingly white, with hardly any blacks. So they're trying to do something about it. It's a fundamental challenge in a democracy with an all-volunteer force: recruits may be drawn from all segments of society, but elite military units -- and none is more elite these days than the SEALs, following their dispatch of Osama bin Laden last May -- tend to draw from small pools of talent. For the SEALs, that includes athletic young men who are smart and good in the water. For whatever reason, that has led to an overwhelmingly white SEAL force. (PHOTOS: Navy SEALs in Action) Say the SEALs: Gaps exist in minority representation in both officer and enlisted ranks for Special Warfare operators. Diverse officers represent only ten percent of the officer pool (for example, African Americans represent less than 2% of SEAL officers). Diverse enlisted SEALs account for less than twenty percent of the total SEAL enlisted population. Naval Special Warfare is committed to fielding a force that represents the demographics of the nation it serves. This contract initiative seeks effective strategies to introduce high potential candidates from diverse backgrounds to the opportunities available in Naval Special Warfare. (PHOTOS: A History of Special Ops) The SEALs are considering hiring help to attract thousands of "minority males in the 1624 year-old target age range" to become SEALs. "This contract will create a mechanism to enhance Naval Special Warfare's ability to conduct outreach, raise awareness, mentor, and increase self-selection to a career as a SEAL within minority communities," a recently-posted draft contract solicitation says. The Navy isn't seeking only black SEALs: "Challenges for minority recruitment also exist in the Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander (API), Native
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Amen. It could probably be diagnosed clinically. They only care about what their immediate peers think of them; the important people. I think it should be diagnosed as an honor condition. Honor is a disease our nation is slowly stamping out among the general populous.
Smart kid; God bless and protect him.
Actually, it's not.
I knew many 'white' people who claimed they could not swim. That they would sink like a rock.
Since I swim like a fish, this seemed weird to me. I know for a fact how hard it is to sink to the bottom and stay there. One must wear weights to do so (or just let all the air out of your lungs).
I was trying to teach a friend how to swim and he said his 'skeleton' was heavier. So... I grabbed a 1-gallon can filled with concrete that we used as an anchor and jumped in. I swam around with it , showed him it made no difference.
Then I watched him try to swim, and I figured out what he was doing wrong.
Those who claim "they can't swim" are trying to keep the water at CHEST LEVEL. This is impossible. They fight it until their arms tire and then they start slipping under.
I taught him that he must accept that the water level will be at his CHIN. A simple tilt of the head keeps the mouth out of the water. One cannot 'float' any higher than CHIN LEVEL without extreme exertion.
I agree that most 'blacks' cannot swim, but it is because most of them never try, or were never taught properly, or never grew up in an environment where they learned naturally. There were not that many swimming pools in the inner cities of our nations. Sometimes I think it is a mental limitation (artificially imposed) that comes from watching TV and seeing only TARZAN in the water, and never the natives. (Besides the fact that the waters in African nations were full of gators).
At any rate, there is no physical reason that those who claim they can't swim (black or white or green or red or blue) cannot actually learn to swim.
It has absolutely nothing to do with body size, body density, physical build, or race.
“”Blacks, as a group, just arent into swimming...and to be a SEAL..ya gotta LOVE the ocean””
Well one would think that we would see a lot more hispanic’s in the SEAL’s. They are great swimmers.
Q: Did you hear about Reagan's new antipoverty program?
A: 50,000 teams in the NBA next season..
The new navy seal program is going to look a lot like this:
“D.... F.... “
Except they have written more books and done more TV interviews than anybody else.
You get an A for racism. Your momma should be proud.
By the way “Duke level” Black men is a few hundred per year.
A person good enough to be a seal is not in prison. They are winners. And - they might just be winning - someplace else. Was the point.
If the usual demographic/intelligence data holds - there should be approx half as many Black seals as in regular population. So - if population = 13% - I would expect 5-6%. But - at that point - every head starts to count.
If swimming filters out a few more, and other opportunities filter out some more - start to get some really low numbers for easily explained reasons.
The blacks I knew in the active Army were all smart, and viewed the Army as a career to get away from “the hood”. I was a finance specialist so the required ASVAB scores were much higher, along with certain reqired HS math classes.
Most of the white guys in my specialty were from poor families looking for college money.
The white guys in Combat Arms I knew were mostly kids from rural areas looking for adventure, or couldn’t get the scores for other MOS’s.
My Finance company in Ft. Lewis was about 65% Black give or take out of 120 or so soldiers and officers. There was ONE black guy that could swim. When we did the water training myself and 3 other young white guys took turns swimming to the bottom of the deep end to retrieve the fake M-16 we were supposed to swim across with.
The Navy could probably get some very good blacks into SEALS without changing BUDs standards, but they would need an advanced swimming prep course for the blacks first. I knew a USCG rescue swimmer that went through BUDS and the CG had a prep school prior to him going because it was too expensive to have washouts. He said the grad rate for the Coasties was much higher than Navy or Marines.
Many blacks I knew excelled at PT, had super high aptitudes, viewed the military as a career, some could even shoot (not as good as me though). The swimming thing is a matter of exposure. Not many public pools in “The Hood”.
As you note - when discussing Seals - we are discussing cream. Special people.
So comments like “Blacks don’t swim” - is a rather broad approach to a very fine problem.
I sure wouldn’t want to hear someone say “whites don’t (blank)” when referring to me.
My point was - maybe they face more opportunities. A physical specimen in this category is quite special.
As far as Black SEALs go - there are something like 30. About 2% So - small number errors start to happen. There are about 5% Green Berets. So - the delta - might be swimming. Which would make sense.
My point is - if someone were to read “blacks don’t swim” sounds prejudiced. Whereas “of the pool of 100 guys who might have made it, some had other good opportunities”.
Heck - it might even be affirmative action - smart enough/driven enough for SEAL is probably smart enough to be Black Officer - or in college. An unintended consequence of other AA programs.
If swimming filters out a few more, and other opportunities filter out some more - start to get some really low numbers for easily explained reasons.
If you review my post, I am actually agreeing with you.
There is a lot of competition from many non-military sources for those non-military black men who would qualify for the SEALS. Then add to the problem the social choices ( cultural ), such as poor academy achievement and crime, and the pool of applicants available withiin the non-military black population who could even begin to qualify for the SEALS is small.
It is definitely down to “head counting”.
Stating the facts is not racism.
Those who claim “they can’t swim” are trying to keep the water at CHEST LEVEL. This is impossible. They fight it until their arms tire and then they start slipping under.
This is a very interesting observation. I will use this with my grandchildren.
Oh I know...I’ve done the drown proofing during lifeguard training....with people trying to fight you in the water...being comfortable in the water from an early age is key.
Higher that what?
Than say, artillery or infantry. When I went into the Air Guard, my scores were in the upper 90th percentile. Believe it or not, there are enlisted people just as smart as Air Force folks in the Army.
Why? Why bother? People have different gifts.
Minority =wasp in the not to distant future. Sarcasm intended.
I was more interested in the tone of the comments.
All they have to do is say “many” or “most” or “ a lot of” - etc.
The level of discourse on this site has slipped at least 2 notches in the last few years.
There is another post on here today with using the phrase “n*****” (Obama’s moronic 4 leaf Irish clovers)- we have to realize we are not in a locker room. And words like that NEVER were acceptable to conservatives.
Go re read some.
Maybe I jumped the wrong thread - I know the black guys aren’t the best swimmers. I’m usually semi-drowning in my swim test right next to them. We just need to watch how we say it. It is a slippery slope.
If I were a black conservative - I sure wouldn’t be attracted by the discussion and language used here today. Heck - I’m white and I’m turned off.
By the way - the 5-6% - matched the Green Beret number I dug up later. So swimming - or some other factor - works to cut that in 2. of course - SEALS are tougher , but .. that is another argument.
I have no idea if this is true, but if your grandparents could not drink for a water fountain, could not swim in a community pool, plus were not going to hang out at a quarry in case some white boys decided to come down on them—probably a reason why you stayed away from water as no one taught you how to do the basics.
I don’t disagree that there is a historical reason why swimming isn’t a strong suit with blacks.
It’s time to change that so children don’t drown.
well, as a "lab setting", I'd say our platoon of rookie jarheads which consisted of maybe 80 of us kids was 40 percent black....and to a man those 40 percent were just what the instuctor warned of: "Sinkers".
You can mess with the numbers only so far.
An email I got recently, that I checked out on a couple of fact-checking sites::
George Lucas film, “Red Tails”, about the Tuskegee Airmen, has now been released. This might be a good time to revisit the facts as stated a few years ago in this letter to the Atlanta Journal Constition (AJC) regarding erroneous facts in a published obituary.
From: Bob Powell Date: July 3, 2008
This letter was not written for publication, but to enlighten you and you and your staff about some of the errors and misleading information you continue to publish, Perhaps it should be published to set your readers straight. As a WWII Historian and former 8th AF fighter pilot flying 87 missions over Europe during WWII, I am dedicated to factual reporting about the air war in Europe and aviation in general, and I take issue with the media (and not with just AJC) continuing to publish untrue and/or misleading statements about the Tuskegee Airmen (T/A).
Although I have great respect for the pilots and achievements of this WWII Fighter Group, I do not appreciate the continuing repetition of myths and untruths about their military record, the latest example in the obit on Lt. Col Charles Dryden in today’s paper, repeating the same errors which appeared in his obit story a few days ago.
For more than 60 years the myth that they “never lost a bomber they were escorting to an enemy fighter”, was their primary claim to fame! Then, several months ago, their Historian, William E. Holten, announced that his research proved that this was not true, that they had, indeed, lost some 25 bombers to enemy fighters. This myth still gets published occasionally, but far less frequently since he made this disclosure, thank goodness. Lies told often enough tend to become truths in the minds of many. However, it now seems to have been replaced by another false claim, i.e. that the Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 15,000 combat missions. ALSO NOT TRUE!
Their own official records indicate that the T/A only flew 311 missions. Their so-called 15,000 “missions” were actually 15,000 “sorties.”. Apparently, none of your reporters know the difference between a “mission” and a “sortie,” so let me define these for you and them. Combat Mission is an assigned flight to accomplish a military objective. This can be flown by one pilot or a squadron or group of pilots flying together. It is recorded as one mission. Combat Sortie. When, for example, 48 or 64 pilots fly together on a combat mission it is recorded as 48 or 64 combat sorties.
The T/A did not fly 15,000+ combat missions - as stated in your articles about the demise of Col. Charles Dryden. They flew 15,000+ “sorties”. To have flown that many “missions” during the time they were in combat in the MTO, they would have had to fly about 25 missions a day everyday they were in combat. Do the math. That’s one mission every hour, everyday they were in combat. Impossible! Weather alone would have prevented this, not to mention the problem of keeping all of their aircraft flyable everyday over that period of time. FACT: Their official records indicate they flew only 311 missions, a far cry from 15,000 claimed. Please advise your reporters of the difference between a mission and a sortie so that another T/A myth is not appearing in every mention this Fighter group.
The Dryden story also stated that the 99th Squadron of the T/A was “the most successful squadron in American history.” NOT SO! It would be more correct to say they have been the most publicized squadron in American history, however, thanks to a fully-paid public relations staff in Washington, D.C., the only such office of any military unit other than the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard..
Although I do not have complete combat statistics on all the fighter groups flying out of Africa and Italy (the MTO), I do have the stats on all of the 16 fighter groups flying in the Eighth Air Force over western Europe. And, when these records are compared, the Tuskegee Airmen rank at the bottom of the list despite the fact that they had four squadrons to only three for the 8th AF groups. FYI, and one of the reasons the T/A exploit their 15,000+ sorties (which they call missions) is that on a normal mission they would put up 64 fighters compared to only 48 for the 8th AF groups. And, since they did mostly ground support missions rather than bomber escort missions, the average length of their missions was about half that of the time in the air flown by the 8th AF fighters. Re the above mentioned stats, I would be delighted to provide these for your information if requested.
Another gross error in your first story on Colonel Dryden is that the implication that he was, individually, awarded the Congressional Gold Medal recently. ALSO NOT TRUE. Through the efforts of the New York Senator, this medal was awarded to the Tuskegee Airmen, authorizing all Tuskegee Airman to receive this award. It was not awarded for individual achievements, as implied, but for the role played by the T/A in breaking the color ban for pilots, a civil rights accomplishment, not for their military achievements. Had this award been given for their military achievements alone, it should also have been awarded to each and every other fighter group in WWII whose records exceeded those of the Tuskegee Airmen. In my opinion, this was a “political award” instead of a military award. No other bomber or fighter units have been awarded this Medal, only Unit Citations. These are facts. Check them out, and here’s to more factual reporting and a better AJC.
Robert H. Powell, Jr.
Author/Editor/Historian/Pilot 352nd Fighter Group
1545 Rainier Falls Dr
Atlanta, GA 30329
They were part of the Greatest Generation, so I’m a fan. But I’m not a fan of the hype that ultimately discredits their accomplishments.
Daniel L. Haulman, PhD
Chief, Organizational Histories Branch
Air Force Historical Research Agency
Its a footnoted, with tables, and is a very specific PDF document about 30 pages long, so Ill just provide a link. His tone sometimes seems apologetic for exposing the myths (see the conclusion).
1. The Myth of Inferiority
2. The Myth of Never Lost a Bomber
3. The Myth of the Deprived Ace
4. The Myth of Being First to Shoot Down German Jets
5. The Myth that the Tuskegee Airmen sank a German destroyer
6. The Myth of the Great Train Robbery
7. The Myth of Superiority
8. The Myth that the Tuskegee Airmen units were all black
9. The Myth that all Tuskegee Airmen were fighter pilots who flew red-tailed P-51s to escort bombers
The detailed, 30-page PDF by AFHRA researcher Dr. Paul Haulman:
Oh, so true as much as we females hate it.
My swim partner and I won the water safety instructors competition when we were in college — both of us small, slight females that barely weighed over 100 lbs.
The instructor loudly announced to the entire competition that we won because we were both fat and that “fat floats!” I’ve never forgotten it.
No, they do have a moral compass ... but it points straight to Hell.
The Black Sheep were Gregory Boyington's outfit; they flew in the Pacific.
Wonderful, now the Seals can have malcontents pissing about perceived slights and injustices during operations. Or are they just hoping some more muzzies can get through and frag a few solid Americans. FUBO!!!
Perhaps I was being too obtuse.
The swimming/floating issue, to cut to the point, is all mental.
It is just a fact.
Fact is that for years, negroes were 'unwelcome' at most pools. Most ghetto neighborhoods didn't have pools. Most black families didn't go to a lake and swim/ski.
Most of their 'black' heritage from Africa involved the concept of avoiding water at all costs.
As I said earlier, it's not a physical thing, it is a mental one.
Anyone can learn to swim.
I picked it up by noticing exactly where I floated if I remained perfectly still, and held my breath. One can float motionless if one breathes shallowly. You might have them try holding their breath for about 10 seconds and floating relaxed. It helps to know you don’t have to constantly fight to stay afloat. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to swim. Like a frog or a fish.
And 'they', like 'you' , can learn to swim. It really has nothing to do with race or skin color.
All animals know how to swim. Even humans. Only humans have the ability to believe they can't, and refuse to learn, or are not given the opportunity at an early age to do it before they 'believe' they cannot.
Fear of sinking is what causes most people’s problem with swimming. Learning that having your head/mouth under water half the time is normal can help. It is actually fairly difficult to actually ‘sink’, unless you let out the air out of your lungs and hold it.
In all seriousness - who the hell do you think you are?
You don’t know me, have never met me, know damn near nothing about me.
AND - clearly - you know absolutely nothing of the topic.
Its a wonderful piece of crap little note you wrote. Gee - I never thought to practice.
I have lived near the water my entire life, spending months at a time - every year - at the beach. Can swim perfectly fine.
The question is whether or not some people are HEAVIER THAN WATER - which makes it about 10X harder to swim. For me - swimming in the Mediterranian, or swimming with a few lbs of bouyancy - is what everyone feels as normal.
So - yes - people can learn. I passed my half hour “floating tests” - by swimming for half an hour. Which can be a bit tiring - if you haven’t been in a pool or water for 6 months, and the test is in January.
I can imagine that some kid who didn’t spend 2 months a year at his family ocean cottage, swimming hours/day - might find those endurance tests a bit daunting. I could max out a PT, run a marathon, and near flunk out - for floating.
Just so you know - for people who sink - being tired in deep water is absolutely terrifying.
Also - just so you know - I’ve had twits like you telling me “everybody floats” all my life. No. Wrong. Not everyone has the same density. Not even close. And in fresh water - where they do these tests - forget it. Some of us are not “close to” water density - at all. I sink in salt water.
Shut your trap and read - maybe you will learn something.
So, in nature about half the seals are female. Mark Thompson is apparently a sexist pig. ; )
Ooops! That's right. Embarrassed.
It excuses the pun, right? :o)
Well, gee... you are welcome.
Most of my time is spent reading, very little writing, and none of it involves talking.
So why do you think most black people can’t swim, regardless to amount of fat or physical condition?
True for those who do 'not' sink, as well. Being unable to keep your head above water is a major breaking point for even the mightiest.
Fear is a big factor. That is what I was saying. It increases the panic level, which is not usually a good thing. Which takes me back to my assertion that those who have trouble swimming or say they can't, a troubled by fear, not fact.
Fact is, you can swim. You said so. If you have a fear of being in deep water and tired, that is natural.
I don't know you, so I offered general advice, based on you saying you were drowning alongside others. Be angry at me for taking your description literally, but not at me for offering helpful advice (it's free, and what can you get for free anymore?).
That's exactly what the guy I taught to swim said.
Well, it’s true that people with extremely low body fat don’t float as well as people with a little fat on their bodies, it doesn’t mean that they cannot swim as well. Just look at Michael Phelps. Do you think that he as enough body fat to easily float???
You’re exactly right, affirmative action would anathema to a Seals team. It would take way too much effort to build the cohesiveness and trust necessary to make a team if some member were allowed to pass under the bar, instead of over it.
That’s exactly what I have been saying.
Given that many young black men are extremely well muscled, especially in the upper arms, why can’t they swim?
It’s all mental.
Floating, and by how much, and for how long, and etc. is another issue.
All human mammals CAN swim.
It’s the wrong kind of muscle. Lifting weights and playing football, that kind of muscle is doesn’t work for swimming.
Have you ever watched that movie about the Coast Guard Swimmers? The movie shows guys flunking the swim test who were top high school athletes because they have the wrong kind of musculature. It takes the long sinewy kind of muscle. A tall Black track star, maybe, but not a football player.
Ummmm.... don't think so.
However, that is not what I was debating.
You are talking about the most extreme endurance tests. I am talking about the ability to swim, and avoid drowning.
Not every one is good at the long jump, but everyone can do it. Same with swimming. Fear is the only thing that makes people believe they 'cannot' swim.
True. Swimming and floating are two different things.
But this discussion was rooted in swimming requirement for Navy Seals.