With the recent finding and killing of Osama Bin Laden, there is likely a surge of interest in the Navy Seals – how to become a Navy Seal, Navy Seal Training, Navy Seal Requirements, and how to pass the ASVAB for the Navy Seals.
Each year, about 1,200 Sailors are given the opportunity to attend SEAL training. Men who have played in competitive sports such as water polo, rugby, lacrosse, swimming, wrestling and boxing; have high academic achievements; and have the ability to learn quickly have the best chance of success at BUD/S. Men with two- or four-year degrees are almost twice as likely to succeed as those without. Applicants must also pass the SEAL Physical Screening Test, a Navy aptitude test [the ASVAB], and a psychological battery [ the C-SORT ]. Higher scores on all of these tests correlate with higher probability of success during SEAL training.
If you’re not in the military right now, here are the steps to join and apply to become a Navy Seal:
Visit a Local Navy Recruiter
Tell your local Navy recruiter that you want to become a SEAL. During your initial meeting, you will be screened for basic Navy eligibility. The recruiter will ask questions about your education, age, citizenship, medical history and police background. The first meeting might also include a practice Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery the test used to determine mental aptitude for military service. The practice test is a 30-minute timed test and covers arithmetic reasoning, math knowledge, word knowledge and paragraph comprehension.
To prepare for your initial meeting with the recruiter, take the following documents with you:
- Birth Certificate
- Social Security Card
- High School Diploma
- A 10-year history of addresses where you’ve lived and employers for whom you’ve worked
- For each item in the history, be prepared to provide a reference — name, telephone number and address — who can verify the information
- Three personal references with name, telephone number and address
If you meet basic requirements and do well on the practice ASVAB, the recruiter will put you in contact with the regional Special Warfare/Special Operations mentor or coordinator. This person will help you with Naval Special Warfare-specific requirements.
Get a Navy Contract
Your local recruiter will schedule you to get a physical, take the ASVAB and get a background screening at the Military Entrance Processing Station. You will take the ASVAB the first day, and the next day you will get a physical, which will include vision, hearing, range of motion, drug testing and medical history. Generally, on the same day as your physical, you will sit down with a job counselor to find out if you are qualified to become a Navy SEAL. If you are qualified, you will need to accept a contract into the Navy as any other job classification. The contract will have a boot camp date on it, which will likely change once you get a SEAL contract. Once you have signed your Navy contract, you will be in the Delayed Entry Program, and your Special Warfare/Special Operations Mentor will put you on a physical training regimen designed to help you prepare for the Physical Screening Test. Until you have taken and passed a Physical Screening Test, you cannot receive a SEAL contract.
Get a SEAL Contract
Once you have signed a Navy contract, you are eligible to take a Physical Screening Test. Contact the Special Warfare/Special Operations Mentor or Coordinator to take the test. Once you have taken and passed the Physical Screening Test, your Recruiter or Mentor will request a reclassification for you into the SEAL program. This will generate a SEAL contract, which will supersede the Navy contract you originally received. Follow the workout regimen dictated by your Mentor because you will need to pass an additional Physical Screening Test 14 days before boot camp in order to keep your SEAL contract. Strong, committed physical preparation is key to maximizing your chance of success.
Basic Requirements for Navy SEAL
Navy SEALs are physically fit, mentally sharp, mature and resilient. Those men who want to become SEALs are screened to determine their potential to succeed in the community.
In addition to meeting the basic requirements for enlistment or commissioning in the Navy, candidates interested in becoming SEALs must meet rigorous physical and mental requirements.
The physical fitness of a potential candidate is assessed using the Physical Screening Test [ PST ] and the pre-enlistment medical screening. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery [ASVAB] and its subset the Armed Forces Qualification Test [ AFQT ] are used to assess a candidate’s mental sharpness and ability to learn. The Computerized-Special Operations Resilience Test [ C-SORT ] is used to screen his maturity and mental resilience.
Physical Screening Test To receive a Navy SEAL contract, a candidate must pass the PST, which consists of a 500-yard swim, two-minute timed push-ups, two-minute timed curl-ups, pull-ups and a 1.5-mile run. To qualify for a contract, a prospective candidate must meet the minimum requirements. The qualifying PST must be administered by a Naval Special Warfare Coordinator or Mentor. Prospective candidates can increase their chances of being selected for BUD/S and succeeding in training by having optimum PST scores.
The ASVAB is used to assess an applicant’s mental sharpness and ability to learn. The ASVAB is generally administered at a Military Entrance Processing Station.
The standard ASVAB contains the following subtests:
- Word Knowledge [ WK ]
- Arithmetic Reasoning [ AR ]
- Mechanical Comprehension [ MC ]
- Shop Information [ SI ]
- Automotive Information [ AI ]
- Electronics Information [ EI ]
- Mathematics Knowledge [ MK ]
- General Science [ GS ]
- Paragraph Comprehension [ PC ]
- Assembling Objects [ AO ]
- Verbal Expression [ VE ] a scaled combination of WK+PC
An additional subtest, Coding Speed [ CS ], should be requested at MEPS, and the score can be included in the calculation to determine eligibility for the SEAL program. If the CS subtest is not taken, only one set of subtest scores can be used to determine eligibility.
To qualify, an applicant must score one of the following on the ASVAB:
1. GS+MC+EI = 165 or better
2. VE+MK+MC+CS = 220 or better
AFQT results are returned as percentiles from 1-99. A score of a 50 would mean you were in the 50th percentile or have an average score. The Navy requires an AFQT score of at least 35. Men who succeed at BUD/S traditionally have AFQT scores of 78 or better.
The Computerized-Special Operations Resilience Test, or C-SORT, is designed to assess a prospective SEAL candidate’s mental toughness or resilience. The test includes multiple sections designed to assess a prospective candidate’s abilities in three areas: performance strategies, psychological resilience and personality traits. Performance strategies test for capabilities such as a person’s goal-setting, self-talk and emotional control. Psychological resilience focuses on assessing several other areas like an individual’s acceptance of life situations and the ability to deal with cognitive challenges and threats.
The scores on the sections of this test are combined into a band score on a scale of one to four. A band score of four indicates that a candidate is most mentally resilient, and a one indicates the lowest level of mental resilience.
Each prospective SEAL candidate can only take the C-SORT one time.
To determine eligibility for the SEAL program, the C-SORT band score is combined with the candidate’s run and swim time. People who have low C-SORT and slow combined run and swim times will not be considered for SEAL contracts. They will be counseled that they are not ready to pursue a career as a SEAL. While candidates are not allowed to retake the C-SORT, a candidate can demonstrate his motivation by improving his PST score — particularly run and swim times — and re-taking the Delayed Entry Program qualifying PST in order to move into the qualifying band to become eligible for a SEAL contract.
Age Applicants must be from 17 to 28 years old. Waivers for men ages 29 and 30 are available for highly qualified candidates. Men with prior enlisted service as SEALs who are seeking to become SEAL Officers can request waivers to age 33.
Vision must be correctable to 20/25. Uncorrected vision must be at least 20/70 in the worst eye and 20/40 in the best. Color blindness is disqualifying.
Candidates must be U.S. citizens.
Navy Seals Training
The Navy Seals Workout is intense. As such, one must be able to do the minimum in order to be accepted into the the Navy Seal Training. Below are the minimum requirements:
|PHYSICAL SCREENING TEST||MINIMUM||AVERAGE||OPTIMUM|
|Swim 500 yard breast stroke or side stroke
[ 10 minute rest ]
|Push-ups in two minutes
[ 2 minute rest ]
|Curl-ups in two minutes
[ 2 minute rest ]
|Pull-ups no time limit
[ 10 minute rest ]
|Run 1.5 miles in shorts + running shoes||11:00||10:20||9:30|