running up that hill
- Jan 3, 2007
- in Wonderland, with my Alice
This is quoted.
I took the opportunity last month to attend the West Coast SEAL Reunion at the SEAL training center in Southern California. Besides catching up with good friends, I particularly enjoyed the present-day snapshot of the Teams provided by the Commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan. He shared that in addition to attracting record numbers of college graduates to the enlisted ranks and having a handful of Rhodes Scholars among the officers, the SEALs are identifying and preparing candidates for training in ways that keep getting better . . . and smarter.
The folks at BUD/S have come to realize that extreme sports athletes tend to fair well in training. Accordingly, Navy Recruiting Command has gone to great lengths to reach out to these young men, creating a presence at events such as triathlons, mountain bike races, and even the Winter X Games, according to a recent article in Outside magazine.
But selecting the right candidate is only one side of the coin. The other is preparation. SEAL hopefuls are now put through the wringer before getting anywhere near BUDS/ in Coronado. Last year, our company, US Tactical, pioneered the SEAL / SWCC / Diver Mentor Program with the Navy Recruiting Command to improve boot camp graduation rates among candidates for these demanding programs. My team and I enlisted the help of former Special Warfare Operators to work directly with candidates prior to shipping to Boot Camp. These young men received help with their physical training, swim technique, mentorship, and an occasional kick in the butt from guys who had “been there, done that”. The result of this program (along with targeting the right folks): an improvement from 33% to over 80% in screen test pass rates at boot camp , and a 5% increase in BUD/s graduation rates in a single year.
I want to introduce you to one of these mentors. Chris Withrow served with distinction at SEAL Team 8 and is a veteran of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. As a mentor, Chris boasted a remarkable 93% success rate in his candidates’ passing the SEAL Physical Screening Test. Through his efforts, and those of his Teammates in the Mentor Program, Naval Special Warfare continues to get better . . . and smarter.
So what’s the lesson for our NavySEALs.com community? Focus on quality input if you desire quality output!
Founder and CEO