Turning 50

By lex, on January 15th, 2012

For some of us, turning 50 is a time to slow down, take stock.

It just ain’t so for the Navy SEALs:

“From the Mekong Delta to the Hindu Kush, deep at sea or far into the desert, Navy SEALs have proven themselves to be tough, versatile, and successful,” said Rear Adm. Sean Pybus, Naval Special Warfare commanding officer, at a closed-to-the-public ceremony in Coronado Friday.

The force, created out of Navy underwater demolition units, started with two teams, 20 officers and 100 enlisted sailors on Jan. 1, 1962. Coronado was the location of SEAL Team One; Little Creek, Va., was home to Team Two.

Early training photos show men in swim trunks crawling under barbed wire on the beaches of the Silver Strand.

Today, the SEALs run 10 teams from a headquarters at Coronado Naval Amphibious Base and include 600 officers and 1,900 enlisted. They are still in Virginia but also at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

All SEALs do their make-or-break training at the Coronado amphibious base. It’s 21 weeks of physical and mental pain called BUD/S, for basic underwater demolition/SEAL.

In 50 years, the small force has included five Medal of Honor recipients.

The last two came posthumously from actions in 2005 and 2006 in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The Navy has since named warships after those two SEALs, Lt. Michael Murphy and Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor.

Proud warriors, and proper names for warships.


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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon

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