PODCAST EPISODE 8: SWCC CAREER

  • By U.S. Navy SEAL + SWCC Scout Team
    Posted May 23, 2018
 

00:00:02:05

The only easy day was yesterday. (Intro)

A crucial part of any Naval Special Warfare mission is the covert insertion and extraction of operators, especially at night or under fire.

The team responsible for this, SWCC, or Special Warfare Combatant-craft crewmen, are trained extensively in how to pilot and maintain special boats and their weapons. They are physically fit, highly motivated, combat-focused, and responsive in high-stress situations. They frequently work with the Navy SEALs.

Today we speak with Bill, the SWCC Instructor of the Year who is also responsible for the first block of SWCC training, called Basic Crewman Selection. Let’s get started.

00:00:58

AG: Well, first, I’d like to thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. I know you’re a pretty busy guy.

00:01:03

B: Oh, you’re welcome.

00:01:05

AG: If you could start by introducing yourself and letting the audience know, you know, what you, who you are and a little about what you do.

00:01:11

B: Yes, I’m Petty Officer First Class Bill. I’m an instructor here at the SWCC Schoolhouse, specifically our selection phase, which we call BCS, stands for Basic Crewmen Selection.

00:01:22

AG: So, what does it mean to be an instructor here?

00:01:24

B: An instructor, what that means here is that we are the primary role of, of conducting evolutions for the students and anything and everything that’s required for the students to get through our, our schoolhouse.

00:01:42

AG: Very nice. And I think you, you left out something in your introduction. You’re not just any instructor. You’re the Instructor of the Year?

00:01:50

B: Yes, I was fortunate enough to be, to be awarded the Instructor of the Year. I got a lot of help from a lot of guys previous to get that award.

00:01:58

AG: What does that mean?

00:02:00

B: Well, what those qualities would mean to me personally is that you are the example for what you would want a candidate to become. So, anything ranging from character and competence, what we always hit for, our students, that’s what we’re looking for, so we’re demonstrating that ourselves with our personal leadership, team ability, with how we are physically, on evolutions, our personal fitness, our knowledge, everything that we want out of the students that we are demonstrating that ourselves.

00:02:34

AG: Okay. How did you decide to go SWCC? Where did that come from, the motivation?

00:02:40

B: I decided to go SWCC about ten years ago when it was actually through a YouTube video, showing the capabilities and everything going on with the Riverine aspect of SWCC. I saw that video, I was interested in the military before, kind of just cruising through, looking at different Special Operations positions, and that’s what I was into, and I saw that one, and I was immediately hooked.

00:03:04

AG: Awesome. I think we should pause for a second to let anyone listening know where we’re sitting cause they’re probably going to be hearing some sounds around here. Can you tell us what we’re looking at over here?

00:03:13

B: Yeah, so right now, we’re sitting at what we call here Pier Four in the Slab. It’s a, it’s a main spot that we conduct a lot of our training here at the Basic Crewman Selection phase of the SWCC Schoolhouse, where they do many different physical activities, they start their underways here, and they perform countless swims down here, so if, if anyone chooses to go the SWCC route, they would be spending many hours where we’re currently sitting.

00:03:42

AG: Nice. Well, before we start talking about what actually happens when you go SWCC, I want to just start by asking you if someone’s interested in going that direction, what do you think the best first step is?

00:03:53

B: The best first step to become a, if you’re interested in becoming a SWCC, is first looking up all the open source information out there on what a SWCC means, what does it mean to become a SWCC, because the first step is making sure that that’s what you really want to do. It’s a great job, and there’s, there, and there’s a lot of good things about it, but you first need to know what it is and why you want to do it, and then you start getting into the details of precise things you need to do to prepare.

00:04:27

AG: So, to get to that stage, what, what is the course like that people have to go through?

00:04:34

B: The first course would be the physical preparation. So, actually on the SEAL/SWCC website, there’s an extensive amount of information on what physical standards someone should be at to be properly prepared, and that’s where you would first want to look to see the running times you should have, swimming, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, general body calisthenics that someone should be at so that they have a good shot at making it through.

00:05:05

AG: Okay, and can you describe that it’s a 7-week course?

00:05:07

B: BCS is a 7-week course.

00:05:10

AG: Okay, so could you walk us through that course?

00:05:12

B: So, when someone comes to training, when they start BCS, the first week is a large amount of different physical evolutions that we test their personal grit, their team ability, and it has a small amount of classroom instruction revolving around coastal navigation. So, there’s a lot of different physical evolutions based off things such as running, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, there’s a lot of swimming, there is a lot of team building exercises with, with small boats that they all have to maneuver together, hold together, do different relay races that force a lot of teamwork.

00:05:58

AG: Is that, before we move on to the next phase, personal grit, that’s an interesting phrase.

00:06:03

B: Grit would be a huge factor for our selection course, not the only one, but it is a primary factor, and the entire course is both developing and testing grit. So, it’s a combination of we’re selecting those with enough grit, and we are developing grit at the same time. So, that is throughout, and it changes on how we do it, and week one is mainly through those physical evolutions with a small amount of classroom instruction.

00:06:35

AG: Okay, and then the next?

00:06:38

B: Then the next two weeks, week two and three, are similar; however, it changes into less on the physical. We start introducing more classroom time because there is a large amount of academic learning they need to know before we get underway on the, on the boats, so we have to start from square one on everything to do with navigation, the fundamentals of the craft that they’re going to be on and basic seamanship. So, we get into that on weeks two and three, while at the same time still having the, the physical grit side, but now they have the academic side as well, and…

00:07:19

AG: And you bring up a point, which is that they haven’t even touched a boat yet at this point.

00:07:22

B: Not yet, not yet.

00:07:24

AG: Even though the boats are the main objective, but you got to get through this before you can, (B: Correct) okay.

00:07:29

B: Correct, so they have quite a bit of, they have a steep learning curve to even get to that point, so we don’t just jump immediately onto it. Then when we get to week four, is our underway week. we also have physical test gates, so it’s less about grit building on this week, and it’s more about performance. So, we’re going to be executing everything we’ve learned, and you’re also going to have to execute your, your physical performance on this week, so both. We start getting underway, start doing all the basic underways, mainly revolving around navigation, but we also do anchoring, towing, hull inspections, some other fundamental seamanship skills. At the end of that week, then week five is our, is our crucible week. We have the Tour…(AG: Crucible week?) Yes, so…

00:08:21

AG: Why’s it called that?

00:08:22

B: It’s not called the crucible week, so it is called the Tour. Week five has the Tour, and what I meant by that is that, that is what Basic Crewman Selection is leading up to. So, the first four weeks is all leading up to the week of the Tour, where they put together everything that they’ve been learning, and we call it a day in the life of a boat guy. So, it’s three days of minimal sleep, testing them on everything they’ve been learning and a huge amount of physical activity. So, they’re going to be wet, cold, tired and tested for three days straight.

00:09:00

AG: Talk about grit, geez.

00:09:03

B: So, once they get through that week, there’s a phase line within BCS, so that’s when the students get their brown shirts. They transition from white shirts to brown shirts, and then that’s a symbolic transition that they have been selected for, for further training. So, they’ve made it through our Tour, and those students have demonstrated the capability and grit to transition into the next phase of training. It is still…

00:09:33

AG: So, if anyone happens to be walking around Coronado and sees a bunch of guys go by in brown shirts, that means they have?

00:09:37

B: They know that they made it through the Tour. Then we transition to week six, and week six is when we start getting into more advanced skills, still fundamental, and we get into basic driving. Up to this point, the students haven’t been driving at all. All they’ve been doing is the navigational side, learning the fundamentals of what an engine is and everything else. So, we start off the week with teaching about maintenance on crafts, official maintenance and how to drive the craft. We start off with the smallest craft we have in our inventory. It’s a small rubber craft where it is called a CRRC, Combat Rubber Raiding Craft, and it uses a small 55-horsepower outboard motor, so we put that on the back of the small craft, and they practice basic maneuvering, driving straight, doing different turns, mooring up onto the side of other boats or piers, and the fundamentals there with driving. That’s how this week goes. It’s different underways, a lot more classroom now. The PTs go into more of on the minimal side. They’re always going to PT for their entire SWCC career.

00:10:55

B: Then we’re transitioning into week seven, and that’s the last week of Basic Crewman Selection, and during this week, we, we cumulate everything they’ve learned, and we do what’s called an FTX, and that’s a Final Training Exercise. So, they get taught some basic mission planning, they know how to drive these small CRRCs, and we give them a mission, and they go ahead and execute this mission under instructor surveillance, and we grade them, and that is the culmination of everything that they’ve done in BCS. So, they get to see and execute what all their hard work has led to.

00:11:39

AG: Wow. And of all these stages, would you say there are one or two where you lose the most amount of people?

00:11:47

B: Absolutely. So, we lose the most people during week one and week five. So, week one being the first week of BCS, it’s a shock to a lot of candidates that come through, and it’s a, it’s a steep curve for many people, and then we also leave, lose a significant amount during the Tour, where they go three days straight, and they’re on minimal sleep, cold, wet and tired the entire time.

00:12:16

AG: So, what would your advice be for someone knowing that? You know, you’re on the other side now. You can see what holds people back.

00:12:24

B: My advice would be starting from the time that you want to become a SWCC developing grit within yourself. So, there’s great information out there publically, open source, they can just check out right on the SEAL/SWCC website on what they should be doing to physically prepare, and you need to immediately start working towards those targets, and if you hit those targets, exceed those targets. Never be satisfied, and every single day, be building a habit of grit, and they can do that indirectly even though they don’t have these exact tools just through their lifestyle. When they’re working out, are they truly pushing themselves, or do they listen to that little voice in their head that, you know, tells them that they want to stop or slow down and do that? Are they, do they set themselves at rigid schedule, or are they letting themselves just wake up every day in the morning whenever they want to? Are they doing everything they can to start having a lifestyle of grit is what I would suggest to anyone that wanted to become a, become a SWCC.

00:13:31

AG: Lifestyle of grit, I like it. What did you do to, to get to this place? How did you prepare before you, when you decided you wanted to go that direction?

00:13:40

B: Ten years ago, there wasn’t a SEAL/SWCC website with as much information. Wikipedia had the, the entrance scores required. I was working at the time, so I would wake up before work to go use the pool every day and, and just work out twice a day until I came in. I would, I had quite a big deficit to do with things like pull-ups and other upper body physical because I grew up playing soccer, so that was where I had the biggest improvement that I had to make. The running, I had to mainly just maintain. At the time, I was a decent runner, so I was still working on it. However, the swimming and the upper body strength, I had a lot of work to do, so that’s where I devoted most of my attention to try to become the best overall possible.

00:14:29

AG: That’s good to point out to people that might think that, because they’re not the best swimmer right now, there’s no reason they couldn’t get there, (B: No, absolutely not) or any other form of physical…

00:14:41

B: Absolutely not. If there’s enough time, and there’s information out there that if this is what you want to do, you, anyone out there could, through enough personal effort, become ready, if you haven’t ever swam before, there’s great information on there on how to swim. They need to learn the combat sidestroke and practice it every day until they feel good enough at it and then do it a standard amount for the workout templates that are out there, maybe three times a day. If they, if they didn’t run very much growing up, then they need to work on that, and usually what’s much different for people is being comfortable in the water. I grew up on the West Coast, California, so I was able to go into the ocean pretty often, you know, so I had an advantage of being slightly more comfortable in the water than someone that’s never been in the water before. So, that is, if they don’t have access to the ocean, they absolutely need to get in the pool as much as possible and just get comfortable in the water, and that’s by spending more time out in the water.

00:15:54

AG: And it also sounds like you don’t necessarily have to know how to drive a boat to…

00:15:57

B: No, so fundamental math skills, it is needed for navigation, so if you frontload that, meaning, you know, if you graduated high school eight years ago, and you haven’t touched math in a while, being able to do everything on paper, not use a calculator, long division, decimal, multiplication, those basic skills, you know, you just need to brush up on real quick, but everything else we will, we will teach you here what to do with navigation, with the boats, with engines, with communication radios. The training is extensive when they get here, and as long as they’re willing to pay attention in class and do their homework, they will have ample opportunity to perform at their required needs.

00:16:48

AG: Do you think your job is pretty cool?

00:16:50

B: Yeah, I do.

00:16:51

AG: It looks cool from the outside in.

00:16:54

B: Yeah, so I mean just what we were saying before with how many jobs out there get to show up each day, work out for a while and then, you know, essentially practice being a team. So, it’s, you feel like you’re in a team each day where you show up, work out and then just refine your skillsets, and it’s, it’s great each day.

00:17:17

AG: What about when you’re actually on a mission of some sort?

00:17:21

B: What do you mean by that?

00:17:22

AG: Could you walk us through what that is like, just a little bit of the highlights? I know you can’t talk about all of it, but…

00:17:27

B: It could drastically change depending on what type of mission you’re on, and, you know, with the mobility piece, you know, it’s rewarding to, to know that you’re being part of this bigger system of making sure that the objective is met, you know, taking guys where they need to go, bringing them back if they got in trouble, and it turns into what we would call a hot extract where, you know, you need to make sure to lay down, suppressive fire and get them out of there fast. And there’s a lot of different opportunities for SWCC. It’s, it’s hard to explain. The fundamental aspect there is with the, with the small crafts, with taking people where they need to go, doing surveillance with the crafts or anything else that’s needed. We also, pride ourselves on just being experts in mobility, so if we need to do it in other vehicles such as Humvees, we will. Anything that we need to do to help out, we will.

00:18:26

AG: That’s interesting, not just boats.

00:18:28

B: So, that’s the primary piece, it’s the boats, but we are flexible to adjust to whatever is currently needed.

00:18:35

AG: How do you select someone after the 7-week process, like what, you know, say someone gets through the whole thing, is there a reason you might still not want them on your team?

00:18:45

B: Yes. So, we, we break it down very simple that we select on character and competence. So, what we mean by that is first with the character is things such as does he have good integrity? Is he a good team player? How is his grit? Can we trust him? Is he going to be a good teammate with us later on? Then competence, and that’s all about performance, and BCS, that is, how do they do on our evolutions? Can they run fast enough, swim enough, do enough pull ups, do fast enough time in the obstacle course, are they, are they passing all the whatever they’re thrown at during the Tour, and then in addition to that, the academic side for the SWCC training, can they pass our academic test, we do different chart tests in the classroom, and are they learning what we require them to learn, so those are the…

00:19:41

AG: But it’s probably important to pause and say that you’re teaching them everything.

00:19:46

B: We are teaching them.

00:19:47

AG: So, so it shouldn’t be intimidating. It’s more like when you get here, pay attention.

00:19:51

B: Right. If they are doing their side, we prepare them with everything they need to know, and we pride ourselves on being excellent instructors in the classroom and adjusting to the individual student’s need with helping out with them as much as possible. So, we don’t expect anyone to come here being experts in navigations or knowing the, the inner workings of an engine. We’ll get them there. However, they need to do their side, their homework, and this needs to be their life while they’re in BCS, and student, candidates that have that mentality that they’re all in, and they, this is their, their current dream at the time, and they will succeed if they are willing to, to learn everything they need to learn and have the grit on physical evolutions.

00:20:40

AG: So, one of the things on your website, it says they need to be morally, mentally and physically qualified. And I think we’ve talked about mentally and physically quite a bit, but what does morally qualified mean?

00:20:52

B: Morally qualified has to do with the character I was talking about with character and competence, so one big one’s integrity, so we have a lot of responsibility and trust in our job with what mission set we are expected to perform overseas, so we need to be able to trust a candidate coming through that they’re going to be part of this small team, a boat crew, for example, will have anywhere from three to five people on it, and that’s not very many people, so each person’s going to have a large amount of responsibility and require a large amount of trust. So, we need to know that they’re going to do the right thing when no one’s looking. That’s what we say. So, no matter what, they, you know, they will earn our trust, and they’ll always do the right thing, and that’s the easiest way instead of going down into all the different possible situations with the integrity. Can we trust them when no one’s looking?

00:21:48

AG: Yeah. That’s powerful. We pretty much covered what it means to be mentally prepared, but do you have anything, I feel like that’s an important subject to make sure we…

00:21:57

B: Right, mentally prepared is there, will be different activities or evolutions that they had not seen or did not prepare exactly for here. Besides the fundamentals of you know that you’re going to experience running, you know that you’re going to have to swim, do the obstacles, push-ups, sit-ups, different activities with boats, you know that that’s coming, but there’s going to be something that, that comes at, you weren’t exactly ready for, and at that moment is when you’re truly tested that you need to be shortsighted and just know that you can get through it, and it might feel overwhelming at the time, but just push through.

00:22:40

B: You know, you go through a lot of work on a mission and execute the mission as a SWCC, and you, everything goes smoothly, comes back, not too eventful. However, in the time where you’re needed the most, there will be a very stressful situation where you got to have a lot of mental fortitude to know that you’re going into a real bad situation, and you got a high chance that it’s not going to go well, and you got to stay focused and make sure you do your part to get them out of there. Otherwise, it could be catastrophic for whoever you’re working with, then in turn, for yourself.

00:23:10

AG: I called this a job earlier. It seems like that’s the wrong word for it.

00:23:14

B: Well, I would say any, any job that is very involved would be, you know, you could classify it as more of a, of a lifestyle. People that want to become champions in whatever they pursue are completely immersed in what they’re doing, and everybody else is, so it adjusts the culture of what you’re in. You’re working with a group of people that this and their family is basically the only two things they got, so they, they try as hard as they can, and, you know, it definitely goes more towards the lifestyle side of things.

00:23:48

AG: What’s your favorite part of what you do?

00:23:50

B: Well, that’s, that’s a hard question to answer, but I couldn’t really say any one particular thing so that the whole package is what’s enjoyable. Right now, I’ve been an instructor for almost three years now, so I’ve really enjoyed being part of this process, and it just morphs over time. So, when I go back to a boat team because I’m not at a boat team right now, I’m going to be working with guys that I was part of them going through selection, so my experience will be, you know, more rewarding as time goes on that I both get to do the job, and I’ve been part their career path, and it just keeps on building on itself. Is great being part of that.

00:24:32

B: I like the day-to-day aspect, and I think that that’s important for people to remember that, that just the fact of training, for example, is great, where, say you were returning at night, practicing with night vision, that you show up later on in the day. You get to go train and shoot guns and everything else that people would probably pay money to do, and that’s what we’re getting paid to do and then...

00:25:00

AG: A lot of people pay to do the things…

00:25:02

B: Right, so, of course, you know, the missions are good, and that’s, that’s what we all want to do, and it’s important to remember, too, that we get to enjoy the regular day-to-day as well because if you’re just thinking about the mission, that can be pretty draining, so we’re always training for the mission, but you got to learn how to enjoy both training and the mission when it comes.

00:25:26

AG: All about the journey?

B: Yes

00:25:29

AG: What else do you want to talk about? What do you think is important for people to know?

00:25:35

B: I think it’s important for people to know and to, for the, you know, to become a SWCC, is when you get here is to be shortsighted, not in a bad way, meaning when the days get really hard to just focus on the current now, and can you keep on going right now, and when it feels overwhelming, and let’s say, for example, you’re not a gifted runner, and you’re struggling on a run. Can you take one more step? Can you push yourself a little bit harder? And most people will find that they do have a little bit more in the tank, and if they start on that right now, then they’ll be in a good place months later when they get to here, or when they’re really cold at nighttime. Are you so cold that you absolutely need to be warmed up right now, meaning are you at a health risk, or is just very uncomfortable? And it will most likely just be that you are uncomfortable, and I am not suggesting for people to get themselves cold. That is something that they need to just deal with when they have to. However…

00:26:46

AG: You can’t train for that is what you’re saying.

00:26:47

B: No, there’s no reason to be trained for that, so they just need to practice PTing, physical training is what I mean by that, working out as hard as they can, finding a quality program, and there’s templates on the SEAL/SWCC website, and learning how to swim and just being more regimented because they’re going to be one, entering into the military, and two, within a very quick time period in a military selection course. So, depending on what they did before enlisting, that’s going to be a massive culture change and during a selection course, so start becoming more regimented and hold yourself to high expectations through the day with everything you do.

00:27:33

AG: So, everybody’s had that feeling when they’re, when they’re working out or doing something challenging where, you know, like you said, it’s, “Can I take that next step?” and I think, I don’t know if everybody does this, but I feel like there’s sort of a voice that talks to you. Do you, do you have that? Is there something that goes through your head?

00:27:53

B: Well, I think for me personally, I can’t speak for other people, but it’ll be more of doubt or anxiety if I’m doing something that I really don’t like, and I think that this will be a good point to bring up that, that if you are doing something challenging, let’s say a long run, for example, and you, you gave in a little bit, and it’s important to not beat yourself up about that, meaning if you’re in this training progress, and you’re trying to get much more physically fit, you’re hearing that you should ignore that voice, and you don’t. Well, you don’t want to go down the path of feeling like, “Oh, no, now I can’t accomplish this.” I think it’s better to have small targets and constantly, the constant improvement method I think is best. So, instead of if you’ve been doing nothing, all of a sudden trying to match an ultra marathon runner, that’s not feasible, but the, constant micro improvements every day will help that, that voice in your head, and it’s never going to go away. So, it’s about knowing yourself, knowing what type of personal anxiety or stress will happen to you at different points and just being much more self-aware each day. So, if you go through a day and feel like you didn’t accomplish what you wanted, have a little reflection time and think about why you didn’t, what you can do better next time.

00:29:15

AG: Everyone has those moments, right, and what you’re saying is if you don’t get through it this time, don’t double down on that, you know, just get back up and…

00:29:23

B: Right, just always learn from it. Always learn from your mistakes. Everyone’s going to have mistakes, everyone’s going to have those weak moments, but how do you learn from them, how do you improve, and if you’re constantly improving and have less of those, in six months from now, then you would be far, much more far along in your personal grit you could say or fortitude or capability of, of withstanding different challenges.

00:29:49

AG: Since you became a SWCC, has that affected your personal life?

00:29:56

B: Absolutely, I do believe it’s improved. So, right now, after being a SWCC for about ten years, I feel capable of much more in my life’s challenges, whatever it may be, so I feel more capable of personal challenges now. Not only am I SWCC, I try to excel as much as I can in that, I’m also going to school on the side on top of this fulltime job. I have a family, I try to do my best to be a good husband and a father there, and I feel much more capable of accomplishing all of those challenges, and, and I attribute that a lot to the different stressors and everything that I’ve developed a lot more grit through this job.

00:30:38

AG: So, you’ve gotten through the 7-week course, you’ve been successful, you’ve been selected. What’s next?

00:30:45

B: Well, not quite. So, next, they got two additional phases of training before they are pinned as a SWCC operator. (AG: not done yet.) They’ve made a major milestone in the process. Getting that brown shirt is huge, and then they have two more phases that are each seven weeks. The next one is BCT, which stands for Basic Crewman Training, and that’s where they learn the fundamentals of weapons, shooting. They start their process of shoot, move, communicate, where they learn more about engines, getting into the finer details. After that, the next 7-week block is Crewman Qualification Training, which we just abbreviate CQT. And in CQT is really where they start running in their training, meaning they start driving the 30-foot RHIB, they start shooting out on the boats, they start using radios, they, and they end up at the very end being able to do a much more realistic final training exercise in culminating all the skills, executing it themselves on that 30-foot craft. And once they’re all done with that, that is when they will be pinned a SWCC and have the graduation ceremony.

00:31:59

AG: And, and after graduation, walk us through what, what is happening now? What, what’s the next step? Like how do you feel, what’s going on?

00:32:09

B: Well, the next step is you, you would report to a boat team and start your journey there, but more on the feeling part is it’s a very special, great feeling of pride knowing that you look back and reflect on all the hard work you’ve done, whether it be a year or longer of, of preparation for this accomplishment, and it’s something that no one could ever take away from you. So, you know yourself that through your own dedication and hard work, you’re achieved something great where you’ll look back and realize how many people did not accomplish it through whatever reason it might have been, and that’s something that that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

00:32:51

AG: And do you start working up right away or?

00:32:54

B: It’ll change for different people, but you will, you will show up to your perspective boat team, and you’ll get inoculated in that, that team culture where you will still be a, you know, you’ll be a new guy, and you’ll have a lot to learn and a steep learning curve, and the job never ends with the learning, and the effort never ends. It’s just you’re, you’re continuing on your journey, and you’re getting closer to being able to deploy and do your job real world. When you’re pinned as a SWCC, you’re not quite a, self-sufficient boat operator yet. You’re, you got a lot to learn before you’re, before you’re ready to deploy as a boat guy. However, you have validated that you’ve done what it takes to become a SWCC, and you instantly are part of that, that team, and everyone brings you in, and everybody knows that you got what it takes to be here.

00:33:55

AG: And it seems to me like you guys, you really support each other. (B: Absolutely) You want, I mean it’s more than the average workplace in terms of support goes.

00:34:06

B: Well, yeah, so everybody knows that you’ve been through that selection course, and it brings an instant bond to each other. So, if you go to a different boat team or around different boat guys that you’ve never met, you have an instant bond with them, and, you know, you gravitate towards them if you’re in a group of people that are a blend of boat guys and not boat guys. Of course, the boat guys are going to come together and want to talk and hear, you know, their past history of what they’ve done at the teams or different things, and that’s another special thing that, you know, that you only get through going through this selection course.

00:34:42

AG: And what’s the first mission feel like?

00:34:45

B: Well, that’ll be different for a lot of people depending on what type of mission but it’s a good feeling knowing that what you’re doing is for the country or for that mission set. There’s very few people in the United States that are able to do that, so you’re, you’re being part of history essentially.

00:35:05

B: There’s, there’s a huge amount of important jobs for the country, and this is absolutely not the only one. It’s just that you know that you’re being part of the greater system there in a special way, and you’ve worked very hard to, to do it, so you’re having direct impact, and you’re part of a huge amount of people that are part of that system that aren’t just SWCCs, and it’s good to look back on in your life later on and know that you did that.

00:35:32

AG: And what motivates you?

00:35:33

It’s always good to reflect, and I know 30, 40 years from now when I’m not in this job anymore, I was part of that. So, for example, if you read Vietnam was way before my day, and, you know, there is a lot of great people that helped out that, and then I’m helping out in my current situation here, the current conflicts, and, you know, my life was about more than just myself. And after this job, whatever other job I do whatever it might be, that these experiences can never be taken away.

00:36:08

AG: Incredible, a life about more than just yourself.

00:36:12

B: Yes.

00:36:13

AG: Pretend you’re speaking to someone who’s just like thinking about it. In two sentences or three sentences, what would you say to them? Why would they want to join?

00:36:21

B: I would encourage anyone that is interested in being part of the US military of Special Operations with, with small crafts, that like the idea of shooting big guns, driving fast boats, and this is a great career that they can have fun and do important and impactful work along the way.

00:36:40

AG: Love it. Thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it, and is there, where, so you, you’ve mentioned a couple times, but just to make sure everyone knows using the best place to get information outside of this podcast would be the website?

00:36:55

B: Absolutely. So, that’s the purpose of the SEAL/SWCC website, so we have people dedicated, and that’s their job to provide information, and that is by far better than the way I did it ten years ago and just essentially look up hearsay. So, if I had the opportunity ten years ago to just get it straight from the source, that is what I would’ve done and what I recommend to anyone.

00:37:15

AG: Awesome. Thank you again.

00:37:17

B: You’re welcome.

#SWCC; #boats; #weapons; #team