Bud/s Prep School SWCPC at RTC

8

8'Duece

Guest
Wanna be a Navy SEAL ? The Naval Special Warfare Prepatory program will prepare you for the harsh physical and mental strain that BUD/S candidates will be put through. Master Chief Paul Tharp (SEAL) is the OIC (Officer in Charge) and I happen to know him personally.

Here's the new program for recruits desiring to become one of a few to make the grade.



GREAT LAKES, Ill. — When he enlisted last year, Seaman Paul Gradney plunged into the pool and laced up his running shoes to whip his body into tiptop shape to prepare for the grueling Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course held in California.

But Gradney, 26, knew he wasn’t fast enough to be a prospective SEAL, young men who must push themselves beyond their physical and mental limits to survive the six-month course that’s traditionally been the first step toward becoming a Navy commando.

But the Alaska native won’t arrive at BUD/S unprepared — and he’s getting help from the Navy while he’s still at boot camp.

Gradney is among scores of fresh boot camp grads who are receiving specialized, personal training and coaching at the Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School, or pre-BUD/S.

It’s all part of the community’s push to expand its ranks. It’s a tall order, considering that the washout rate at BUD/S is high, yet no one wants to lower standards.

RELATED READING: Recruiting and retaining SEALs
The Navy, which formally activated the prep school Feb. 7 after testing the concept with recruits starting last summer, wants to bridge the gap between the relatively low-key boot camp at Great Lakes and the legendary difficulty of BUD/S in Coronado, Calif.

The creation of the prep school is the second step in a two-step process at Great Lakes. Step 1 began last year, when officials at boot camp created units comprised only of sailors destined for the naval special warfare, diver and explosive ordnance disposal communities. It was boot camp with extra PT, meant to get recruits ready for Step 2, the prep school.

At pre-BUD/S, sailors spend four to 10 weeks doing more PT and team-oriented training to prepare them for BUD/S in Coronado a few months later. Those who make it through BUD/S and complete the follow-on six-month SEAL Qualification Training earn the special warfare operator rating and receive the coveted Trident pin of a SEAL.

For pre-BUD/S at Great Lakes, the Navy hired 15 civilians — all athletic coaches — for the prep school’s 20-member team that gets the students into better shape with running, swimming, weight training and exercise. It’s not all about the physical: SEAL instructors help prepare the men for BUD/S and their anticipated SEAL life. Candidates will spend about eight weeks at the school, although it could be as short as four weeks or as long as 10 weeks, depending on how well they perform.

For students, the focus on PT, which fills most of their normal workdays, gets results.

“I’ve improved a lot since I started coming here,” said Gradney, catching his breath during a run session in Freedom Hall, the cavernous indoor field house. “My speed has gotten faster, because they force you to do things you know you don’t necessarily want to do.

“When you work out on your own, you really work out on your strengths because it feels good,” he said. “But when you come here, they force you to do everything. So you have to do sprints, and that’s one of my weaker things. So I’m forced to do it here — and as a result, I get faster.”

New schoolhouse, new focus
Naval special warfare officials wanted the prep school to be a place that would help students get into physical shape, beyond meeting the strict NSW physical screening requirements, and mentally ready for BUD/S. With a congressional mandate to rapidly grow the force by 500 operators to 2,300 by 2012, along with boosting special warfare combatant craft crewmen from 525 to 825, Naval Special Warfare Command also wanted to get more men who would make it through the training and eventually pin on the Trident.

With the 2006 creation of special warfare operator rating for SEALs, and the special warfare boat operator rating for SWCCs, the BUD/S course became the de facto “A” school for prospective SEALs. The shift enables Naval Special Warfare Command — through its schoolhouse, the Naval Special Warfare Center — to manage its own force from Day 1.

The prep school will expand come June, when fleet sailors seeking a career change will begin training with the boot camp grads.

Growing more SEALs isn’t easy.

Most SEAL candidates going through BUD/S don’t last long enough to see Hell Week’s final moments, which are in the seventh week. The rates vary by class, but roughly 22 percent make it through BUD/S. When officers are included, the average is a 31 percent class graduation rate. That high attrition leads to fewer men becoming SEALs, leaving critical vacancies in teams and platoons.

NSW officials hope the new prep school will prepare young men for the grueling months they’ll face, both physical and mental.

“The best indicator of success in BUD/S is some sort of an athletic background,” said Capt. Roger Herbert Jr., who commands Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado. But it doesn’t just take raw physical ability to become a SEAL.

The major qualities that great athletes possess — discipline, teamwork, concentration, mental toughness, physical strength — “translate into success in BUD/S and also success in the SEAL teams,” Herbert said.

While most prospective SEALs are athletic, not all candidates played for the varsity team, he said. And SEAL instructors aren’t focused solely on physical prowess.

“Some of these kids have had no athletic backgrounds,” said Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Paul Tharp, the school’s officer-in-charge. “It’s not so much a mental toughness thing. We want them to actually educate them with what it means to be a SEAL.

“When they get here, the reality hits them,” Tharp said.

Some candidates find they’re not ready for the physical and mental demands of BUD/S training or the SpecWar life, and some are dropped or request to transfer to another community.

Of the first 250 men who came through the prep school in the early phases before the schoolhouse was officially stood up Feb. 7, 33 dropped from the program, officials said. They were expected to get new orders for another Navy designation.

Getting fit and suffering
An initial physical assessment done during boot camp and again when the candidates begin the prep school puts each man into one of three categories, based on how well he performs in the swim, run and physical training. The screening test consists of a 500-yard swim, 1.5-mile run, and two minutes each of pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups. Their progress and improvement often dictates how long they stay at the prep school before going to Coronado.

“I’ve been to the point where I’ve been completely exhausted,” said Seaman Apprentice Taylor Everett, 21. “Unless I physically can’t do anything, I think I’ll keep going, unless I take an injury.

“You can either go forward or go home,” Everett said.

Some candidates find they are strong in one area but fall short in others, and they turn to the coaches for guidance and personalized training.

Seaman Apprentice Christopher Gaoia was feeling good about his running times, but he’s put extra work into the pool. “My swimming is coming around pretty good, especially with the aid of the coaches,” said Gaoia, 29, of Los Angeles.

On the deck of a 15-meter pool, coach Bill Senese watched as students, donning goggles and fins, took turns diving into the water. They will spend more than two hours in the pool each day, but the coaches keep a close eye as they teach proper swim and treading techniques to improve their swimming. Coaches say their role is to help, not hurt, during the grueling sessions.

“If these guys get beat here, then we’re not doing them any favors,” said Senese, a competitive swimmer and civilian coach.

Justin Erhardt stood watch in a fluorescent-lit room as more than a dozen men in three groups knocked out repetitions on weight-bearing machines and on-the-floor abdominal crunches, lunges and planks. Erhardt took the civilian contractor job after working locally as a personal trainer. To build their endurance, “you have to keep the intensity up,” he said.

Eye on the prize
But even before candidates hit pre-BUD/S, they’re being groomed for the test ahead while they’re still in boot camp.

For that group, it means earlier reveille for extra PT.

In the pre-dawn winter light at Great Lakes, while his fellow recruits with Division 92 caught a final hour of sleep before the day’s training would begin, then-Seaman Recruit Cameron King crawled from his rack in barracks and led 32 men across the snow-covered campus to Freedom Hall for a morning PT session.

“It’s just an hour of hard work,” King, who, at 20, was the recruit leading petty officer, said later. “Everything we do is a challenge. I like it that way. Every day I’m more comfortable,” he added.

Their day isn’t over without additional PT, which sometimes includes extra time in the pool to build their skills and comfort in the water.

“I don’t have a lot of experience [swimming], so that’s more difficult for me initially,” said then-Seaman Recruit Trent Hatlevig, 27. “It’s 100 percent mental block.”

The water, where recruits have to learn to tread water with a brick, is a source of much angst. “I’m confident at first, but it’s such a mental block and I start to panic,” said then-Seaman Recruit Benjamin Wittke, 19.

But Wittke tries to keep perspective, noting his recruiter “told me boot camp is the easiest eight weeks of your life.”

The spec ops recruits impressed their recruit training instructors.

“They get up, they get dressed and they leave on their own. They are very self-sufficient,” noted Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Michael Hill. Come weekends, “we encourage them to do their own PT.” A pull-up bar, somewhere off in the distance in the berthing area, gets its own workout off hours.

“They do the PT combined with our PT, so they are PTing twice a day,” Hill said.

That extra exercise is key, SEAL instructors and coaches agree. Boot camp’s daily PT regimen might be sufficient to get the average Navy recruit into minimum physical shape, they say, but it falls far short to build and sustain physical strength and endurance that a newly minted sailor will require to survive BUD/S.

Some find they have to regain strength, endurance and muscle lost during the eight weeks of boot camp. “My strength level was pretty good when I came in,” Everett said. “I’m trying to get it back from boot camp. Boot camp kind of broke me down.”

Tapping SEAL experience
Tharp and his small cadre of NSW prep instructors, which includes three retired SEALs, help train, teach and guide the sailors at the NSW prep school.

Away from the recruit training environment, the young men can now talk to the SEALs, and for many, it’s their first time doing so face to face. The candidates are often curious.

“My favorite question is: What is the lifestyle of a SEAL?” said Everett, whose parents served in the Army.

The instructors hear rumors, too. A popular one circulating at boot camp is that the SEAL candidates will be made to drown at BUD/S.

Not true, the SEAL instructors say. Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Derek Laviolette chuckled.

“They hear the stories and some SEALs talk about themselves,” said Laviolette, the school’s assistant OIC. “When you paint a picture of what it’s going to be like, it kind of forces them to swallow all of Mount Everest.”

But that’s not wholly a bad image to reject. BUD/S is one tough school, decidedly with purpose.

“Every SEAL has to demonstrate a never-quit program and an indomitable-spirit program,” Laviolette said. “They go through as much stress as we can possibly make them [go through].”

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/04/navy_moreseals_041908w/

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B

BeachMaster

Guest
Athletics and can do!

Wanna be a Navy SEAL ? The Naval Special Warfare Prepatory program will prepare you for the harsh physical and mental strain that BUD/S candidates will be put through. Master Chief Paul Tharp (SEAL) is the OIC (Officer in Charge) and I happen to know him personally.

Here's the new program for recruits desiring to become one of a few to make the grade.



GREAT LAKES, Ill. — When he enlisted last year, Seaman Paul Gradney plunged into the pool and laced up his running shoes to whip his body into tiptop shape to prepare for the grueling Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course held in California.

But Gradney, 26, knew he wasn’t fast enough to be a prospective SEAL, young men who must push themselves beyond their physical and mental limits to survive the six-month course that’s traditionally been the first step toward becoming a Navy commando.

But the Alaska native won’t arrive at BUD/S unprepared — and he’s getting help from the Navy while he’s still at boot camp.

Gradney is among scores of fresh boot camp grads who are receiving specialized, personal training and coaching at the Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School, or pre-BUD/S.

It’s all part of the community’s push to expand its ranks. It’s a tall order, considering that the washout rate at BUD/S is high, yet no one wants to lower standards.

RELATED READING: Recruiting and retaining SEALs
The Navy, which formally activated the prep school Feb. 7 after testing the concept with recruits starting last summer, wants to bridge the gap between the relatively low-key boot camp at Great Lakes and the legendary difficulty of BUD/S in Coronado, Calif.

The creation of the prep school is the second step in a two-step process at Great Lakes. Step 1 began last year, when officials at boot camp created units comprised only of sailors destined for the naval special warfare, diver and explosive ordnance disposal communities. It was boot camp with extra PT, meant to get recruits ready for Step 2, the prep school.

At pre-BUD/S, sailors spend four to 10 weeks doing more PT and team-oriented training to prepare them for BUD/S in Coronado a few months later. Those who make it through BUD/S and complete the follow-on six-month SEAL Qualification Training earn the special warfare operator rating and receive the coveted Trident pin of a SEAL.

For pre-BUD/S at Great Lakes, the Navy hired 15 civilians — all athletic coaches — for the prep school’s 20-member team that gets the students into better shape with running, swimming, weight training and exercise. It’s not all about the physical: SEAL instructors help prepare the men for BUD/S and their anticipated SEAL life. Candidates will spend about eight weeks at the school, although it could be as short as four weeks or as long as 10 weeks, depending on how well they perform.

For students, the focus on PT, which fills most of their normal workdays, gets results.

“I’ve improved a lot since I started coming here,” said Gradney, catching his breath during a run session in Freedom Hall, the cavernous indoor field house. “My speed has gotten faster, because they force you to do things you know you don’t necessarily want to do.

“When you work out on your own, you really work out on your strengths because it feels good,” he said. “But when you come here, they force you to do everything. So you have to do sprints, and that’s one of my weaker things. So I’m forced to do it here — and as a result, I get faster.”

New schoolhouse, new focus
Naval special warfare officials wanted the prep school to be a place that would help students get into physical shape, beyond meeting the strict NSW physical screening requirements, and mentally ready for BUD/S. With a congressional mandate to rapidly grow the force by 500 operators to 2,300 by 2012, along with boosting special warfare combatant craft crewmen from 525 to 825, Naval Special Warfare Command also wanted to get more men who would make it through the training and eventually pin on the Trident.

With the 2006 creation of special warfare operator rating for SEALs, and the special warfare boat operator rating for SWCCs, the BUD/S course became the de facto “A” school for prospective SEALs. The shift enables Naval Special Warfare Command — through its schoolhouse, the Naval Special Warfare Center — to manage its own force from Day 1.

The prep school will expand come June, when fleet sailors seeking a career change will begin training with the boot camp grads.

Growing more SEALs isn’t easy.

Most SEAL candidates going through BUD/S don’t last long enough to see Hell Week’s final moments, which are in the seventh week. The rates vary by class, but roughly 22 percent make it through BUD/S. When officers are included, the average is a 31 percent class graduation rate. That high attrition leads to fewer men becoming SEALs, leaving critical vacancies in teams and platoons.

NSW officials hope the new prep school will prepare young men for the grueling months they’ll face, both physical and mental.

“The best indicator of success in BUD/S is some sort of an athletic background,” said Capt. Roger Herbert Jr., who commands Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado. But it doesn’t just take raw physical ability to become a SEAL.

The major qualities that great athletes possess — discipline, teamwork, concentration, mental toughness, physical strength — “translate into success in BUD/S and also success in the SEAL teams,” Herbert said.

While most prospective SEALs are athletic, not all candidates played for the varsity team, he said. And SEAL instructors aren’t focused solely on physical prowess.

“Some of these kids have had no athletic backgrounds,” said Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Paul Tharp, the school’s officer-in-charge. “It’s not so much a mental toughness thing. We want them to actually educate them with what it means to be a SEAL.

“When they get here, the reality hits them,” Tharp said.

Some candidates find they’re not ready for the physical and mental demands of BUD/S training or the SpecWar life, and some are dropped or request to transfer to another community.

Of the first 250 men who came through the prep school in the early phases before the schoolhouse was officially stood up Feb. 7, 33 dropped from the program, officials said. They were expected to get new orders for another Navy designation.

Getting fit and suffering
An initial physical assessment done during boot camp and again when the candidates begin the prep school puts each man into one of three categories, based on how well he performs in the swim, run and physical training. The screening test consists of a 500-yard swim, 1.5-mile run, and two minutes each of pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups. Their progress and improvement often dictates how long they stay at the prep school before going to Coronado.

“I’ve been to the point where I’ve been completely exhausted,” said Seaman Apprentice Taylor Everett, 21. “Unless I physically can’t do anything, I think I’ll keep going, unless I take an injury.

“You can either go forward or go home,” Everett said.

Some candidates find they are strong in one area but fall short in others, and they turn to the coaches for guidance and personalized training.

Seaman Apprentice Christopher Gaoia was feeling good about his running times, but he’s put extra work into the pool. “My swimming is coming around pretty good, especially with the aid of the coaches,” said Gaoia, 29, of Los Angeles.

On the deck of a 15-meter pool, coach Bill Senese watched as students, donning goggles and fins, took turns diving into the water. They will spend more than two hours in the pool each day, but the coaches keep a close eye as they teach proper swim and treading techniques to improve their swimming. Coaches say their role is to help, not hurt, during the grueling sessions.

“If these guys get beat here, then we’re not doing them any favors,” said Senese, a competitive swimmer and civilian coach.

Justin Erhardt stood watch in a fluorescent-lit room as more than a dozen men in three groups knocked out repetitions on weight-bearing machines and on-the-floor abdominal crunches, lunges and planks. Erhardt took the civilian contractor job after working locally as a personal trainer. To build their endurance, “you have to keep the intensity up,” he said.

Eye on the prize
But even before candidates hit pre-BUD/S, they’re being groomed for the test ahead while they’re still in boot camp.

For that group, it means earlier reveille for extra PT.

In the pre-dawn winter light at Great Lakes, while his fellow recruits with Division 92 caught a final hour of sleep before the day’s training would begin, then-Seaman Recruit Cameron King crawled from his rack in barracks and led 32 men across the snow-covered campus to Freedom Hall for a morning PT session.

“It’s just an hour of hard work,” King, who, at 20, was the recruit leading petty officer, said later. “Everything we do is a challenge. I like it that way. Every day I’m more comfortable,” he added.

Their day isn’t over without additional PT, which sometimes includes extra time in the pool to build their skills and comfort in the water.

“I don’t have a lot of experience [swimming], so that’s more difficult for me initially,” said then-Seaman Recruit Trent Hatlevig, 27. “It’s 100 percent mental block.”

The water, where recruits have to learn to tread water with a brick, is a source of much angst. “I’m confident at first, but it’s such a mental block and I start to panic,” said then-Seaman Recruit Benjamin Wittke, 19.

But Wittke tries to keep perspective, noting his recruiter “told me boot camp is the easiest eight weeks of your life.”

The spec ops recruits impressed their recruit training instructors.

“They get up, they get dressed and they leave on their own. They are very self-sufficient,” noted Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Michael Hill. Come weekends, “we encourage them to do their own PT.” A pull-up bar, somewhere off in the distance in the berthing area, gets its own workout off hours.

“They do the PT combined with our PT, so they are PTing twice a day,” Hill said.

That extra exercise is key, SEAL instructors and coaches agree. Boot camp’s daily PT regimen might be sufficient to get the average Navy recruit into minimum physical shape, they say, but it falls far short to build and sustain physical strength and endurance that a newly minted sailor will require to survive BUD/S.

Some find they have to regain strength, endurance and muscle lost during the eight weeks of boot camp. “My strength level was pretty good when I came in,” Everett said. “I’m trying to get it back from boot camp. Boot camp kind of broke me down.”

Tapping SEAL experience
Tharp and his small cadre of NSW prep instructors, which includes three retired SEALs, help train, teach and guide the sailors at the NSW prep school.

Away from the recruit training environment, the young men can now talk to the SEALs, and for many, it’s their first time doing so face to face. The candidates are often curious.

“My favorite question is: What is the lifestyle of a SEAL?” said Everett, whose parents served in the Army.

The instructors hear rumors, too. A popular one circulating at boot camp is that the SEAL candidates will be made to drown at BUD/S.

Not true, the SEAL instructors say. Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Derek Laviolette chuckled.

“They hear the stories and some SEALs talk about themselves,” said Laviolette, the school’s assistant OIC. “When you paint a picture of what it’s going to be like, it kind of forces them to swallow all of Mount Everest.”

But that’s not wholly a bad image to reject. BUD/S is one tough school, decidedly with purpose.

“Every SEAL has to demonstrate a never-quit program and an indomitable-spirit program,” Laviolette said. “They go through as much stress as we can possibly make them [go through].”

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/04/navy_moreseals_041908w/

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A good athlete,usually is
the cause of:I can do,and nothing will stop me! And thats what BUD/s grads
have,also.
 
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