SEAL OR SWCC TRAINING PIPELINE

By: Naval Special Warfare
Posted: March 4, 2020


SEAL and SWCC candidates must endure a long training process, which for enlisted candidates begins at Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School (NSW Prep) in Great Lakes, Illinois. SEAL officer candidates join their enlisted classmates a few weeks later at Naval Special Warfare Orientation (NSWO) at the Naval Special Warfare Center (NSW Center) in Coronado, California. SWCC candidates completing NSWO will remain at the NSW Center and begin the first stage of their specific SWCC training, known as Basic Crewman Selection. Officer and enlisted SEAL candidates completing NSWO move on to the First Phase of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S), also located at the NSW Center.

STAGE 1: NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Before joining Naval Special Warfare you'll attend Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School (NSW Prep) in Great Lakes, Illinois. At NSW Prep you'll train for two months to improve your fitness and learn the basic concepts of special warfare. NSW Prep ends with a mandatory pass or fail Physical Screening Exit Test. Graduates move on to NSWO in Coronado. Those who don’t pass are reassigned elsewhere in the Navy. The following are some of what you can expect at NSW Prep:

Check-in

  1. Physical/medical assessment
  2. Course introduction

Physical training

  1. Group physical training (determined by ability level)
  2. Swimming
  3. Running
  4. Strength and conditioning
  5. Basic underwater skills
  6. Exercise science
  7. Nutrition
  8. Injury prevention
  9. Plyometric training

Academic topics

  1. Daily academic instruction
  2. SEAL Ethos or SWCC Creed
  3. Core values
  4. Professional development
  5. Basic military training
  6. Cycle of achievement
  7. Mental Toughness
  8. Goal setting
  9. Military heritage (aircraft, ships, honors and courtesies)

NSW PREP EXIT TEST STANDARDS

ENLISTED SEAL AND SEAL OFFICER
Exercise Time Rest Pass
Swim with fins (breast or sidestroke) 20:00 minutes or less 10:00 minutes 1K
Push-up 2:00 minutes 2:00 minutes 70 or more
Curl-up 2:00 minutes 2:00 minutes 60 or more
Pull-up 2:00 minutes 2:00 minutes 10 or more
Run (with pants and shoes) 31:00 minutes or less Event over 4 miles
Use the Enlisted SEAL PST Calculator or SEAL Officer PST Calculator to find out if you've got what it takes to join NSW.

SWCC
Exercise Time Rest Pass
Swim with fins (breast or sidestroke) 22:30 or less 10:00 minutes 1K
Push-up 2:00 minutes 2:00 minutes 50 or more
Curl-up 2:00 minutes 2:00 minutes 60 or more
Pull-up 2:00 minutes 2:00 minutes 7 or more
Run (with pants and shoes) 31:00 minutes or less Event over 3 miles
Use the SEAL PST Calculator to find out if you've got what it takes to join NSW.

STAGE 2: NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE ORIENTATION

The NSWO course lasts for three weeks. This is where SEAL officer candidates join their enlisted classmates. You'll be assigned a room in the barracks and be issued gear appropriate for your training. Your instructors will familiarize you with all aspects the special operations training lifestyle, and the values of teamwork and perseverance. The course prepares you for running in the sand with full gear, swimming in the ocean and underwater training in the pool, and how to perform on the obstacle course. You'll also learn NSW culture and heritage.

It's during NSWO that instructors begin the process of selecting only those who demonstrate the proper character and passion for NSW excellence. You must prove you're mentally strong, physically fit, and ready for the challenge of becoming a NSW operator. If you don't, you'll be reassigned elsewhere in the Navy. After successful completion of NSWO, SEAL candidates go to First Phase of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) and SWCC candidates go to Basic Crewman Selection (BCS).

STAGE 3:

SEAL - First Phase

First Phase, the basic conditioning phase, is seven weeks long and develops the class in physical training, water competency and mental tenacity while continuing to build teamwork. Each week you're expected to do more running, swimming and calisthenics than the week before, and your performance is measured by a four-mile timed run, a timed obstacle course, and a two-mile timed swim. In addition to physical training, You'll learn how to conduct hydrographic survey operations.

The fourth week of First Phase is known as Hell Week. In this grueling five-and-a-half day stretch, you'll sleep only about four hours in total, and expected to train for more than 20 hours per day. You'll run more than 200 miles by the end of the week. Every candidate will break down physically, but you'll succeed if have the mental strength to push past your self-perceived limitations and commit yourself to teamwork. Hell Week is the ultimate test of your will. Those who succeed move on to Second Phase.

SWCC - Basic Crewman Selection

Basic Crewman Selection (BCS) is the basic conditioning phase and lasts seven weeks. You'll perform physical training, demonstrate aquatic skills and mental tenacity while continuing to build teamwork with your class. Each week you're expected to do more running, swimming and calisthenics than the week before, and your performance is measured by a timed run, timed obstacle course, and timed swims in the pool, bay, and ocean. The ultimate test of your physical and mental fortitude comes during week five’s “The Tour”, when you must apply skills, teamwork, and mental tenacity in various weather conditions – all with limited sleep. If you make it, you’ll go on to Basic Crewman Training (BCT).

STAGE 4:

SEAL - Combat Diving

SEAL candidates become basic combat swimmers and learn open and closed-circuit diving. Second Phase, the combat diving phase, lasts seven weeks. This phase introduces underwater skills that are unique to Navy SEALs. During this phase, You'll learn how to conduct basic combat swimming and conduct open and closed-circuit diving. You must demonstrate a high level of comfort in the water and the ability to perform in stressful and often uncomfortable environments. If you're not completely comfortable in the water, you may struggle to succeed. If you do well, you’ll go on to Third Phase.

SWCC - Basic Crewman Training

Basic Crewman Training (BCT) develops intelligent and highly motivated SWCC candidates who'll perform under the most demanding conditions over a period of seven weeks. You'll learn basic special operations maritime skills, including navigation, gunnery, communications, combat medicine, engineering and small boat seamanship. Candidates advance to Crewmen Qualification Training (CQT) upon completion of BCT.

STAGE 5:

SEAL - Third Phase

Third Phase, the land warfare phase, is seven weeks long and will teach you basic weapons, demolitions, land navigation, patrolling, rappelling, marksmanship and small-unit tactics. For the final three and a half weeks of training, your class will go to “The Rock”, about 60 miles from Coronado, to San Clemente Island. The days become longer and more work intensive, set to mirror the work hours spent in the field.

You'll be taught to gather and process information that will complete the overall mission. There's more classroom work that teaches map, compass, land navigation and basic weapon skill sets. These skill sets allow you to transition from having novice skills to becoming more comfortable out in the field. Most of this training is new and the learning pace becomes faster and faster.

Third Phase lays the foundation for the rest of Navy SEAL training. These basic move-shoot-communicate skills will be used by you in SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) and in the SEAL Teams. Those who make it to Third Phase have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to becoming SEALs.

SWCC - Crewman Qualification Training

Crewman Qualification Training (CQT) is the last seven-week training phase at the SWCC Training Center. At CQT, candidates combine physical and mental toughness learned through BCS with SOF core skills developed in BCT, and put them to the test on an NSW Combatant-craft. Candidates learn advanced navigation, weapons and mission planning. This phase of training introduces each prospective candidate to the rigors of operating in various, and often unforgiving, sea states primarily at night, providing only a taste of what each Operator will endure while assigned to a Special Boat Detachment. Candidates participate in multiple training evolutions culminating in the execution of a joint final training exercise with SEAL candidates. During the final training exercise, both SWCC and SEAL candidates conduct joint mission planning, rehearsal and execution of a special operations mission. After completion of this phase, candidates attend a week of NSW Survival; two weeks of Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Training (SERE); and a week of the Cross-cultural Competence course, followed by graduation.

STAGE 6

SEAL - SEAL Qualification Training

SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) is a 26-week course that'll take the student from the basic level of Naval Special Warfare to a more advanced degree of tactical training. SQT is designed to provide students with the core tactical knowledge they will need to join a SEAL platoon.

SQT includes:

  1. Weapons training
  2. Small unit tactics
  3. Land navigation
  4. Demolitions
  5. Cold weather training
  6. Medical skills
  7. Maritime operations

Before graduating, You'll attend Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training and parachuting, including static-line and freefall operations at high and low altitudes. Upon completing these requirements, you’ll receive your SEAL Trident warfare designator and be assigned to a SEAL team to begin preparing for your first deployment.