Religion in the SEAL Teams

CryptoLingUSMC

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That's the Navy for ya 😏

I remember when they stood up the prep school at Great Lakes, the theory being that so many people were going to BUDS unprepared and failing. Hell, who would not benefit regardless of their rating by 24/7 human performance optimization, physical training, and working with trainers, physical therapists, and sports nutritionists.

So tell me again how it makes sense to move that school away from Great Lakes and get rid of the divisions that have NSW/SO specific physical training, and expect better outcomes on the PST?
"...we disestablished the separate recruit rifle division at boot camp in December 2020. SEAL and SWCC recruit candidates are now fully integrated with the rest of their Navy shipmates in recruit training. This means SEAL and SWCC candidates solve their first problems in the Navy together with teammates from the greater Navy."

Frogmen Solve Hard Problems—From and on the Sea | Navy SEALs


This was necessary because SEAL/SWCC candidates who washed out generally had difficulty assimilating into the fleet because they had been treated as special from day one and felt above it all. The small percentage who didn't wash out generally had difficulty with SOF Truth #5 for the same reason.

USSOCOM
 

Devildoc

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"...we disestablished the separate recruit rifle division at boot camp in December 2020. SEAL and SWCC recruit candidates are now fully integrated with the rest of their Navy shipmates in recruit training. This means SEAL and SWCC candidates solve their first problems in the Navy together with teammates from the greater Navy."

Frogmen Solve Hard Problems—From and on the Sea | Navy SEALs


This was necessary because SEAL/SWCC candidates who washed out generally had difficulty assimilating into the fleet because they had been treated as special from day one and felt above it all. The small percentage who didn't wash out generally had difficulty with SOF Truth #5 for the same reason.

USSOCOM

I am no high-ranking admiral, but I can tell you that going back to mixed divisions where you get ''Navy" PT ain't going to work, because it did not before. They need to find something else and keep working the problem till they get the product they're looking for.

So these recruits wash out at BUDS and they have trouble assimilating in the fleet because they felt they "we're above it all"? They thought they were better but they were quitters? They should be shot in the head for their stupidity.
 

Cookie_

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It's like Navy leadership felt left out in all the "who's dumber, Army or Marines?" conversations and decided they needed to go full retard.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't every other service that has a "street to SOF" type contract still have a prep course between basic and A/S?

I remember a bunch of the AFSOF pipeline guys mentioning that while I was in airborne, and IIRC there's a prep course prior to BRC for recon guys.

Why couldn't the Navy just do that?
 

DasBoot

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I am no high-ranking admiral, but I can tell you that going back to mixed divisions where you get ''Navy" PT ain't going to work, because it did not before. They need to find something else and keep working the problem till they get the product they're looking for.

So these recruits wash out at BUDS and they have trouble assimilating in the fleet because they felt they "we're above it all"? They thought they were better but they were quitters? They should be shot in the head for their stupidity.
Some of the best batt dudes I’ve met are 21 day non selects. We have taken any “non-quitters” and non-peered dudes from SFAS for years.

Some of them suck, and those who suck fit the same pattern I see with dudes I’ve met at BLC,Ranger, Sniper and Jumpmaster who are X-Ray failures. They have a chip on their shoulder, they tend to act above their more vetted peers, and they think they are special because they were told they’re special since they enlisted.

I like NSW going back to the “you’re a sailor first” mentality. The army (and I assume USMC) do a solid job preppinG SOF dudes for life in the general purpose force considering everyone starts as infantry and has to earn a slot or earn the right to keep your slot through basic. And if you fail, start learning the Dog Face Soldier song because… you’re living in a Bradley from now on.
 
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Locksteady

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Okay. Yeah, I know Stew. Not well, but we've chatted.

Interesting about how many people are failing the PST given us the whole reason they went to the special divisions to begin with. When I was at Great lakes a million years ago We didn't have special divisions, and we would get up at 0300 for extra PT and swimming, did not seem like a whole lot of people failed the PST.

It is very very very easy to get out of shape at boot camp, especially winter classes because you just don't PT that much.
This! And this was probably prior to 9/11, whereas what you're referring to below happened a few years after it:
Thread hijack: Now they have special divisions (think big-ass companies) at boot camp for people coming in on SO/SW contracts, so you are all together. Special PT, special pre-A&S type training. Then after boot, there is a NSW prep school at Great Lakes to further prepare you. It's a well-oiled machine.

When I went in there were also NSW contracts and other 'special' contracts (I entered under one), but you were in regular companies, and got up at 0300 for swimming and extra PT to build you up. When you graduated boot, off you went to BUDS or wherever.
To clarify and respond to other replies about to it:

In the mid 2000s, they partitioned NSW and NSO (the Navy distinguishes SEAL/SWCC from other Navy special operations forces) candidates together into separate RTC (Recruit Training Command) divisions from conventional forces recruits. They did much more PT and their training was designed to rule out less capable candidates back into REGNAV jobs ahead of sending them to BUD/S, SWCC, AIRR, or ND training.

I ran into several of those drops (particularly BUD/S) in HM (hospital corpsman) school, because in the USN that's the closest thing to combat arms and SOF (aside from GM and certain support ratings positions) you will get to on the conventional side due to USMC reliance on them for medical care downrange.

I can understand why RTC may have wanted to shift the burden of producing NSW/NSO folks to recruiters or post-RTC training commands due to the number of drops, but part of me thinks the problem could have been solved by just requiring NSW/NSO candidates to volunteer for more generalized 'physically accelerated' boot camp divisions that also permitted non-NSW/NSO candidates to participate. Who knows how many NSW/NSO drops they could have 'saved' by offering successful conventional candidates the opportunity to pick up those dropped NSW/NSO contracts, similar to how promising Ranger candidates can be identified and recruited before reporting to their first command?
 
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Locksteady

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In the mid 2000s, they partitioned NSW and NSO (the Navy distinguishes SEAL/SWCC from other Navy special operations forces) candidates together into separate RTC (Recruit Training Command) divisions from conventional forces recruits. They did much more PT and their training was designed to rule out less capable candidates back into REGNAV jobs ahead of sending them to BUD/S, SWCC, EOD, AIRR, or ND training.
Corrected addition in bolded red.
 

Devildoc

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Some of the best batt dudes I’ve met are 21 day non selects. We have taken any “non-quitters” and non-peered dudes from SFAS for years.

Some of them suck, and those who suck fit the same pattern I see with dudes I’ve met at BLC,Ranger, Sniper and Jumpmaster who are X-Ray failures. They have a chip in their shoulder, they tend to act above their more vetted peers, and they think they are special because they were told their special since the enlisted.

I like NSW going back to the “you’re a sailor first” mentality. The army (and I assume USMC) do a solid job preppinG SOF dudes for life in the general purpose force considering everyone starts as infantry and has to earn a slot or earn the right to keep your slot through basic. And if you fail, start learning the Dog Face Soldier song because… you’re living in a Bradley from now on.

The big part of the problem of "you are a sailor first" is unlike the Army in the Marines, there is significantly little opportunity and capacity to get prepared for BUDS outside of the prep school, where everyone from recruits to fleet seasoned sailors go, and boot camp. I know there are guys who've been stuck on the destroyer for 6 months who do 500 push-ups a day in 500 pull-ups a day to prepare but are challenged because they don't have the opportunity to run or swim.

When people are told they're special, they're going to think they're special. There goes that humility, right out the window. Understand that supposed to be important in SOF, too. My father-in-law had a saying, "The less you have to sell, the more you have to advertise." Get the contract, keep your mouth shut, do the work, and make it or not.
 

Gunz

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I still think most/all SOF should require prior service.

Two years at least IMV and E3 or E4. Because aside from experience in the ranks you get a few more years of maturity. Maybe the importance of that is being lost with the focus on numbers and physical preparedness. I believe SO requires—or should require—a level of maturity above that of most teenage recruits.
 

Devildoc

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I do not know what the answer is to fix naval special warfare's attrition. It seems like every special program they have tried has not yielded a statistically significant difference in the attrition.

I'm a fan of special divisions at boot, and I do believe that the street-to-SEAL/whatever is necessary, and that there needs to be a better way to prepare people starting at boot who are there with that contract.

My problem is with the mental and psychological separation by telling people that they are special merely because they can swim and run faster, and by filling their heads with the notion that they are special. It goes to SOF culture and the idea of quiet professionals.

Upon thinking about it I am not sure that spending time in the fleet before going is going to yield a better product aside from a cultural knowledge of naval institutions and some maturity, but I think those things are certainly helpful.
 

Gunz

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I do not know what the answer is to fix naval special warfare's attrition. It seems like every special program they have tried has not yielded a statistically significant difference in the attrition.

I'm a fan of special divisions at boot, and I do believe that the street-to-SEAL/whatever is necessary, and that there needs to be a better way to prepare people starting at boot who are there with that contract.

My problem is with the mental and psychological separation by telling people that they are special merely because they can swim and run faster, and by filling their heads with the notion that they are special. It goes to SOF culture and the idea of quiet professionals.

Upon thinking about it I am not sure that spending time in the fleet before going is going to yield a better product aside from a cultural knowledge of naval institutions and some maturity, but I think those things are certainly helpful.

There must be thousands of SEAL washouts in the fleet. They want to be SEALs but they don’t want to be sailors. Like the “sailor” accused of setting the Bonhomme Richard fire: SEAL washout, can’t handle the drop in prestige, now despises the Navy.

This is what happens when you glorify and promote one very small element of the whole, and offer it to starry-eyed teenagers with a BUD/S contract.

I think street-to-SEAL is mistake. If recruits had to spend a few years in the regular Navy before trying to be “Special”, they’d at least return to a past “comfort level” post wash-out.
 
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Devildoc

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There must be thousands of SEAL washouts in the fleet. They want to be SEALs but they don’t want to be sailors. Like the “sailor” accused of setting the Bonhomme Richard fire: SEAL washout, can’t handle the drop in prestige, now despises the Navy.

This is what happens when you glorify and promote one very small element of the whole, and offer it to starry-eyed teenagers with a BUD/S contract.

Yet another reason why recruits should have to serve a few years in the regular Navy before trying to be “Special”.

So my question, then, is how do the other services make it work? The army, air force, Marines, all have a street-to-SOF pipeline. The Navy does too for corpsmen (boot-HM-SOIDC) and other non-SEAL rates. That particular one, NSW/SEAL, is the one that seems to be prickly for this problem.
 

Ooh-Rah

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Yet another reason why recruits should have to serve a few years in the regular Navy before trying to be “Special”.
I cannot agree more; I’m assuming it is recruiting related, but in some ways it’s a shame they cannot just release the kid if he doesn’t make it.

18 year old Pedro tells his teachers, family, friends, internet fans that he’s going to be a SEAL.

Pedro washes out and feels shame and embarrassment. He is convinced that they are all ashamed of him and he is resentful that he is now going to be a Machinist Mate (whatever that is) in Big Navy; after all, his recruiter practically guaranteed he’d make it through BUDS.

Versus…

2 year Vet Pedro who tells his buddies he’s going to try out for SEAL’s. He goes, fails, and then returns to his old unit in about 6 weeks turnaround. There is the natural shit-talking from his pals, but overall it is “Dude, how was it?” and young Pedro had fun stories to tell about how he’s “pretty much a SEAL”….
 

Devildoc

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I cannot agree more; I’m assuming it is recruiting related, but in some ways it’s a shame they cannot just release the kid if he doesn’t make it.

18 year old Pedro tells his teachers, family, friends, internet fans that he’s going to be a SEAL.

Pedro washes out and feels shame and embarrassment. He is convinced that they are all ashamed of him and he is resentful that he is now going to be a Machinist Mate (whatever that is) in Big Navy; after all, his recruiter practically guaranteed he’d make it through BUDS.

Versus…

2 year Vet Pedro who tells his buddies he’s going to try out for SEAL’s. He goes, fails, and then returns to his old unit in about 6 weeks turnaround. There is the natural shit-talking from his pals, but overall it is “Dude, how was it?” and young Pedro had fun stories to tell about how he’s “pretty much a SEAL”….

I do not know if I agree or disagree. I need to think about it. But my question, as posed in previous post, is why is that different than other rates and other branches, and why does it work other places except for SEAL?
 

Ooh-Rah

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I do not know if I agree or disagree. I need to think about it. But my question, as posed in previous post, is why is that different than other rates and other branches, and why does it work other places except for SEAL?
I truly believe this:

Because since the MSM and Hollywood gave SEAL’s Demi-God status (thanks Dick Marcinko), dopey high school kids who haven’t even hit the yellow-footprints yet, believe they are more special that someone from another branch who has actually earned their Beret, Pin, etc.

That new show you guys are watching with Chris Pratt, isn’t he a former SEAL? After all the ass that SEAL’s have shown recently, couldn’t they have picked a different background? Nope, it may have even been discussed, but America loves to openly swallow the seed of anything NSW, how can you blame these kids for thinking they are too good to be swabbing a deck?
 

Devildoc

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I truly believe this:

Because since the MSM and Hollywood gave SEAL’s Demi-God status (thanks Dick Marcinko), dopey high school kids who haven’t even hit the yellow-footprints yet, believe they are more special that someone from another branch who has actually earned their Beret, Pin, etc.

That new show you guys are watching with Chris Pratt, isn’t he a former SEAL? After all the ass that SEAL’s have shown recently, couldn’t they have picked a different background? Nope, it may have even been discussed, but America loves to openly swallow the seed of anything NSW, how can you blame these kids for thinking they are too good to be swabbing a deck?

The Terminal List was written by Jack Carr, a former SEAL. So there's that connection. Interestingly, the book (now reading) and the series does a pretty good job of NOT putting NSW in a great light, all sorts of nastiness.

I do think MSM have given them the Superman effect, which they have exploited to their detriment. My BFF is a former SEAL (now retired, we were in corps school together), and even he hates it. One of the SOIDC corpsmen from MARSOC is in my trauma class this weekend, and yesterday he and I were both trash-talking NSW, so the hate is real.

As I posted earlier, I don't know what the answer is to their recruitment and retention issues (but neither do they), but they are not going to bump their numbers by making every squid go to the fleet first; just like SF isn't going to make numbers by going 'old school' and requiring every SF candidate to be an E5.
 
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