How To Become An Enlisted SEAL

So you want to become a SEAL.  I will identify the steps you must take to lead you from a civilian to your shot in BUD/S.  Remember this path is for becoming an enlisted member in the U.S. Navy as a civilian.  I will post later the pathways you should take if you would like to become an officer SEAL or are already in the Navy.

Step 1: Visit your local Navy Recruiter

Tell the recruiter you want to become a SEAL. Get your SEAL contract. During your initial meeting, you will be screened for basic Navy eligibility.  The recruiter will ask questions about your education, age, citizenship, medical history and police background.

The first meeting might also include a practice ASVAB, the test used to determine mental aptitude for military service.  The practice test is a 30-minute timed test and covers arithmetic reasoning, math knowledge, word knowledge and paragraph comprehension.

To prepare for your initial meeting with the recruiter, take the following documents with you:

Birth Certificate

Social Security Card

High School Diploma

A 10-year history of addresses where you’ve lived

Name and address of  employers for whom you’ve worked

For each item in the history, be prepared to provide:   

Three personal references with name, phone number and address

Addresses of people who can verify the three references information

If you meet basic requirements and do well on the practice ASVAB, the recruiter will put you in contact with the regional Naval Special Warfare/Special Operations Mentor or coordinator.  Navy SEAL Mentors will help guide you through Navy SEAL specific requirements and help you train for your PST.  Mentors will also be the ones to give you your Delayed Entry Program (DEP) qualifying PST.  Check out my previous article on finding a SEAL mentor near you.

Step 2: Get a Navy contract

Your local recruiter will schedule you to:

Take the ASVAB

Get a physical

Get a background screening at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).

Generally, after your ASVAB and physical, you may have to wait to receive a SEAL contract. But you’ll be allowed to take the C-SORT and PST.

If you are qualified, you will need to accept a contract into the Navy as any other job classification.

You will take the ASVAB the first day, you may get  a physical, on the same day, or the next, which will include:



Range of motion

Drug testing

Medical history

Generally, on the same day as your physical, you will sit down with a job counselor to find out if you are qualified to become a Navy SEAL  If you are qualified, you will need to accept a contract into the Navy as any other job classification.

The contract will have a boot camp date on it, which will likely change once you get a SEAL contract.  Once you have signed your Navy contract, you will be in the Delayed Entry Program, and your Special Warfare/Special Operations mentor will put you on a physical training regimen designed to help you prepare for the Physical Screening Test.  Until you have taken and passed a Physical Screening Test, you cannot receive a SEAL contract.

Step 3: Get a Navy SEAL contract

Once you have signed a Navy contract, you are eligible to take a PST. Contact the Special Warfare/Special Operations mentor or coordinator to take the test.

Once you have taken and passed the PST, your Recruiter or Mentor will request a reclassification for you into the SEAL program.  This will generate a SEAL contract, which will supersede the Navy contract you originally received.

Follow the workout regimen dictated by your Mentor because you will need to pass an additional PST 14 days before boot camp in order to keep your SEAL contract.  Strong, committed physical preparation is key to maximizing your chance of success.

If you have any additional questions or need clarification regarding this process, just let me know.  Good luck!

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