Category Archives: SEALs

Gloves off

Posted by lex, on September 11, 2008

 

Why has the President authorized special forces to cross the border from hard-pressed Afghanistan into Pakistan *  in pursuit of terrorists?

The new orders were issued after months of debate inside the Bush administration about whether to authorize a ground campaign inside Pakistan. The debate, first reported by The New York Times in late June, at times pitted some officials at the State Department against parts of the Pentagon that advocated aggressive action against Qaeda and Taliban targets inside the tribal areas.

Details about last week’s commando operation have emerged that indicate the mission was more intrusive than had previously been known.

According to two American officials briefed on the raid, it involved more than two dozen members of the Navy Seals (sic) who spent several hours on the ground and killed about two dozen suspected Qaeda fighters in what now appeared to have been a planned attack against militants who had been conducting attacks against an American forward operating base across the border in Afghanistan.

Because that’s where you find them.

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Mark Metherell

Posted by Lex, on April 16, 2008

 

A guy you should maybe know. Killed by an IED while training Iraqi security forces.

Here’s what his SEAL platoon commander said about him.

And here’s the rest, from those who knew him best.

An untimely death, but a full life, and friends who mourn him left behind. A man could do worse.

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So you say you want to be a SEAL?

By Lex

Posted on May 15, 2006

 

It’s not so very hard to get in –

Qualifications

General: A U.S. Navy SEAL candidate must:

– Be male.

– Be age 28 or younger (servicemen can be 30).

– Have good or correctable eyesight.

– Score well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery tests.

Physical: A screening test requires that candidates:

– Swim 500 yards using breast or sidestroke (or military underwater recovery stroke) in 12.5 minutes or less, then rest 10 minutes.

– Perform at least 42 push-ups in two minutes, rest two minutes.

– Perform at least 50 sit-ups in two minutes, rest two minutes.

– Perform at least six pull-ups (hands face forward), rest 10 minutes.

– Run 1.5 miles in boots and BDU trousers in less than 11.5 minutes.

Staying in, now that’s a bit different. That can be harder. From the linked SF Chron article:

Seal class No. 259 entered Phase I training with 177 members fresh from Indoc and then added 11 more members. These 11 were recycled from previous SEAL classes — usually due to their need for time to recover from injuries sustained amid training. Of this total of 188 recruits, 121 remained in class by the start of Hell Week. When Hell Week ended May 5, only 75 members were left.

Still, you get to wear that ginormous warfare pin. Other benefits include travelling to exotic, far-away climes, where you get to meet fascinating people. And kill them.

Oh yes, and dental. They also get dental.

 

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Get Your Frogman On

By lex, on January 25th, 2012

Your host is back on the Crossfit track, the time which he has for such activities having been expanded by his more frequent absence from domestic duties. Also, something really had to be done about our creeping senescence, and this is after all a new year – a time in which it is customary and usual to start beneficial things anew, or renew good things once abandoned, or abandon things malignant. I’m rather too fond of my vices to give them up entirely, so getting back in the gym seemed a reasonable compromise. The combination of which inspired has inspired me to various and divers loaded functional movements over the course of the last cuppla, which have left me aching and sore in all the usual places, reminding me no doubt about why I had given the whole thing over in the past, not once but several times.

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SOCOM Speaks

By lex, on August 31st, 2011

Admiral Bill McRaven speaks on the use of DevGru forces for IRF duties in Afghanistan:

The new commander of American Special Operations forces has defended the use of commandos in a Navy Seals unit to back up a raid in Afghanistan earlier this month that ended in tragedy when a Chinook helicopter was shot down, rejecting criticism that planning for the operation was different from other missions that had been carried out successfully, as many as a dozen on a typical night.

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Pillow Talk

By lex, on July 29th, 2011

I was getting some cash at the ATM in Liberty Station here in San Diego earlier in the week. Noted six young men in non-military clothing, t-shirts and baggy shorts. Sailors, I thought – it’s a Navy town. Short haircuts, but not buzzed. Obviously superb athletes, with limbs and legs formed for functional tasks rather than show. SEALs, I thought to myself. From NAVBASE Coronado. No mistaking them. One or two together is maybe a pair of workout fanatics. Six is part of a team.

That might be changing soon:

The top commander of U.S. special operations says he thinks it’s time for women to go into combat as Navy SEALS.

A Navy SEAL himself, Admiral Eric T. Olson said at the opening session of the 2011 Aspen Security Forum that he would like to see female SEALs in combat roles.

“As soon as policy permits it, we’ll be ready to go down that road,” said Olson.

He added that being a SEAL is not just about physical strength. “I don’t think the idea is to select G.I. Jane and put her through SEAL training, but there are a number of things that a man and a woman can do together that two guys can’t,” said Olson. “I don’t think it’s as important that they can do a lot of push-ups. I think it’s much more important what they’re made of and whether or not they have the courage and the intellectual agility to do that.”

If you don’t do SEAL training, you’re not a SEAL.

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Retention

By lex, on May 7th, 2011

In the Navy, the retention of trained personnel is a high priority during ordinary times. We spend significant sums recruiting qualified personnel, and the technical training they receive can make them both difficult to replace, and particularly valuable to civilian employers who will 1) pay them more, and 2) promise not send them to sea for months on end with thousands of their closest friends sleeping in intimate proximity.

They do things a  little differently in Navy Special Warfare:

The pinnacle of SEAL training is known as Hell Week, a period of continuous tests and drills during which most classes sleep only a total of two to five hours. Every man has a different story of Hell Week; he remembers particular classmates and instructors, his own most difficult moments. But every Hell Week story is also the same: A man enters a new world aiming to become something greater, and having subjected himself to the hardest tests of his life, he has either passed or failed.

My Hell Week began in the middle of the night. Sleeping in a large tent with my men, I woke to the sound of a Mark-43 Squad Automatic Weapon. The Mark-43 has a cyclic rate of fire of 550 rounds per minute. It is the primary “heavy” gun carried by SEALs on patrol. A blank round is not nearly as loud as a live one, but when the gun is rocking just feet away from your ears in an enclosed tent, it still sounds painfully loud.

We soon started surf torture. We ran into the ocean until we were chest deep in water, formed a line, and linked arms as the cold waves ran through us. Soon we began to shiver. Instructors on bullhorns spoke evenly, “Gentlemen, quit now, and you can avoid the rush later. You are only at the beginning of a very long week. It just gets colder. It just gets harder.”

To the outside observer, the process certainly appears to work.

 

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