I lean heavily toward SEALs because I am fortunate enough to be good friends with a highly decorated former SEAL who served for twenty years. He is one of the most outstanding individuals I know. So about the SEALs.
In 1961 Pres. John F. Kennedy called for an increase in special forces of all kinds to be specifically trained for the conduct of unconventional warfare. In response, the following year the navy created the first two SEAL teams with personnel taken from existing UDTs. During the Vietnam War, SEAL units trained South Vietnamese naval commandos, and SEAL teams and UDTs also conducted numerous counterguerrilla operations along riverbanks, on beaches, and in the hinterland.
By the time you find out a SEAL team has hit you, they’re already gone. It takes a special kind of person to qualify for this role, and if you do, you’d better be ready to prove it with your smarts, strength and willingness to march head-on into impossible situations. Because your team is the one they’re going to call in for last-ditch reconnaissance missions and operations that “never happened.” One day you’ll be swimming out of a torpedo tube, and the next day you could be dropping into enemy territory out of a helicopter. It takes intense courage to be a Navy SEAL, and that’s what makes them the best of the best. If you have what it takes, then the Navy has a place for you among the ranks of the elite.
Navy SEALs are named after the environment in which they operate, the Sea, Air, and Land, and are the foundation of Naval Special Warfare combat forces. They are organized, trained and equipped to conduct a variety of Special Operations missions in all operational environments. Today’s SEALs trace their history from the elite frogmen of World War II. Training is extremely demanding, both mentally and physically, and produces the world’s best maritime warriors. This training is based on three core pillars:
- Men of Character: The nature of our mission requires men who will uphold the Navy Core Values – Honor, Courage, and Commitment.
- Physical: The nature of our mission also requires men who are physically fit and capable in every environment, especially the water.
- Technical: Finally, maritime Special Operations require SEALS who are intelligent and can quickly learn new tasks.
Today’s Naval Special Warfare operators can trace their origins to the Scouts and Raiders, Naval Combat Demolition Units, Office of Strategic Services Operational Swimmers, Underwater Demolition Teams, and Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons of World War II. While none of those early organizations have survived to present, their pioneering efforts in unconventional warfare are mirrored in the missions and professionalism of the present Naval Special Warfare warriors. Green Berets and Navy SEALs have fought terrorists for two decades.
Their motto: “The only easy day was yesterday.”