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!


Dummies usually get weeded out just as those who fail a PT test in the military.  Make sure you graduate high school, perhaps get some college (good but not necessary), and study a foreign language. Any foreign language is fine at this level in high school as it is more understanding how languages and other cultures work that will help you with more important languages later (Chinese, Russian, Arabic, etc).  Also understand Algebra and Science, as you will see this math and physics in Dive Training when you apply Laws of Physics to the body while diving.


So, here is my situation, I'm a permanent resident here in the States, I'm an Argentine citizen and i had the oportunity to meet a SEAL in a visit to Coronado, so i talked to this guy and he is super cool gives me tons of info about being a SEAL and Trying to get a SO contract. he states that i shouldn't have an issue or that it can be possible for me being a permanent resident to try to get a waiver or do something to be able to get a SO contract. so i followed up with the forum and get in touch with the motivator in SF, he tells me that there are a few exceptions and tells me to send him a email with my information, after a week, no response. then i get another message from another moderator in the forum telling me that there is not way i can get a SO contract, that first i need to join regular navy and then after i get my citizenship apply. so What's the deal, i'm just very confused and it's quite frustating, if you guys have any advise, it would be greatly appreciated it! 

Thank you


I went to a recruiter last  summer to try and enlist and be put in touch with a SEAL mentor before I turned 28. I was told that I couldn't enlist active duty in the Navy, or any branch of military, due to the fact that I have a daughter and am not married. I am not with the mother and have my daughter 12 overnights a month, which is not court ordered. However I have established paternity through a DNA test. The recruiter kept trying to get me to do 6 years reserve. I told the recruiter, no disrespect, but i want to join active duty and go all the way. I did some additional research on my computer when I arrived home and found the following:


"Relinquishing custody does not terminate dependency. Recruiting personnel are prohibited from having any involvement in your decision to relinquish custody of a minor dependent, or in acting upon this decision. Navy recruiting personnel must not advise, imply, or assist you with regard to the surrender of custody of a minor dependent. If you surrender physical custody of your dependents for personal reasons, the only transfer recognized by the Navy is a valid court order that transfers physical custody and does not show intent to return the custody back to you after a temporary period. Single parents that transfer physical custody of minor dependents must be advised that enlistment processing can not begin until 90 days has elapsed from the date of custody transfer and that they may not retain, nor have the minor dependents reside with them during the term of the first enlistment."


 I understand that active duty military is a 24/7 365 days a year job and that the military sees not being married and having a dependent as 'baggage'. I love my daughter unconditionally and have been there for her from day one. We are very close. However, I believe in and feel so strongly about joining the Navy, to become a SEAL, that I am willing to put the Navy above everything else to accomplish my dream and make this a reality. Time is not in my favor as I am at the age limit of 28 to enlist, unless i were able to obtain a waiver. This is probably a shot in the dark, but to your knowledge, do I have any other options available other than going to court, signing over all rights and having to wait until 3 months after the court order is finalized to enlist?