A+Navy+Seal Candidate

SEAL Trainee – The Role of Family

As a family, you’ve laid the foundation of character that has led your son, loved one or student to consider the Navy SEALs. Now, the Navy SEALs would like you to be involved in the milestones ahead, including the decision to enlist, Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, (BUD/S) and active service as a Navy SEAL.  The decision to become a SEAL affects your whole family, and talking with your son, loved one or student throughout the decision process will be valuable for both of you. It will help you understand and prepare yourself for the realities and requirements of service. Here are some important next steps for you:

Be prepared: read the information on our website, and talk to other parents on the special Parents section of our forum. Make notes on the topics that are important to you. Use those notes and conversations as reminders during your conversations with your son, loved one or student.  We encourage you to listen. Find out why he is interested in becoming a SEAL. There are many reasons, and you can help them understand aspects of the commitment they may not have considered yet.

Stay involved as they learn more. Talk to your local Navy recruiter or SEAL Scout together, even if your son, loved one or student has already spoken with a recruiter. If you haven’t met with a recruiter yet, feel free to call 888-USN-SEAL (888) 876-7325 for more information about becoming a Navy SEAL.

DISCUSSION TOPICS: QUESTIONS WILL HELP GUIDE YOUR CONVERSATION

Becoming a Navy SEAL can be a life-changing decision, and it’s perhaps one of the first adult decisions your son, loved one or student will make. Talking about it will help you understand his reasons for wanting to become a SEAL. He may have heard or read how Navy SEALs operate at the forefront of America’s national security efforts, or how being a SEAL is considered one of the most challenging assignments in the military

Here are several topics to discuss. These topics will help guide your conversation with your son, loved one or student.

Why is he considering the Navy SEALs?

  • Protect our way of life
  • Pride associated with the prestige and legacy of the SEALs
  • Serve with honor
  • Serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans
  • Defend those who are unable to defend themselves
  • Ready to take control of his future
  • Push his physical and mental limits
  • Live unconventional and out-of-the-cubicle lifestyle

What are his goals for the future?

  • SEALs are forged by adversity
  • Serving as a SEAL gives him a chance to make a difference
  • Skills learned in the Navy SEALs help men prepare for the professional world
  • SEALs are leaders on the battlefield and in their communities
  • The SEALs offer great opportunities to start or continue a college education

Has he spoken to a Navy Recruiter yet?

  • The Navy recruiters role and that of the SEAL and SWCC Scout Team is to support you throughout the decision process
  • Recruiters have information on SEAL requirements and BUD/S
  • It’s important for parents to talk with a recruiter and the SEAL Scout Team as well
  • Recruiters know the roles of SEALs, both active and reserve

Can he make the commitment of service to the Navy?

  •  Commitment to a team and hard work
  • Six years of training and service

Does the Navy offer college tuition assistance?

  • Sailors are given the opportunity and resources to pursue a college degree. The Navy College program helps Sailors achieve their education goals. Tuition assistance and the GI Bill make it possible to achieve a college degree with minimal out of pocket cost. Many SEALs have post-secondary education degrees. Find out more about the Navy’s education assistance at the Navy College website.

What benefits do the Navy SEALs offer?

  • Starting pay of up to $60,000
  • Bonuses for becoming qualified and for re-enlisting
  • Possible repayment of college loans
  • Extra pay for diving, parachuting and demolitions
  • 30 days vacation per year
  • Medical and dental benefits
  • Retirement after 20 years
  • Tax free pay in combat zones
  • Tax free allowances for housing and food
  • Access to military facilities

Naval Special Warfare is a lifestyle rather than just a job or career. “The office” for a Navy SEAL transcends not only the elements of the sea, air and land, but also international boundaries, the extremes of geography and the full spectrum of conflict. There is no “typical day at the office” for a Navy SEAL.  SEALs constantly learn, improve and refine their skills while working with their teammates. For a Navy SEAL, the only easy day was yesterday.

What skills, abilities and qualities does he want to gain as a SEAL?

  • Build character and confidence
  • Develop countless individual abilities, such as physical and mental strength

Is he capable and willing to complete recruit training plus 58 weeks of intense BUD/S training ?

  • BUD/S – Is extremely challenging, yet greatly rewarding
  • Motivation, determination and selflessness are key elements for success
  • Navy SEAL hopefuls should prepare for BUD/S with a local SEAL Mentor before leaving home
  • Recruits experience accelerated personal growth because of the example set by their BUD/S instructor

Is he prepared to live and serve as a SEAL in a foreign country?

  • SEALs may get deployed in any part of the world
  • SEALs are educated and prepared for all environments and cultures, including language training

When will you be able to see him?

  • Sailors may be authorized liberty (the Navy term for off-duty time) after graduation from recruit training. Go to the Navy’s Recruit Training Command website for more information about graduation liberty.
  • All Sailors accrue 30 days of paid vacation, called leave, per year. Many Sailors graduating from SEAL training take leave before they report to their first duty station.

About the Author
Chris is a former U.S. Navy SEAL, 18-Delta Combat Medic, and SEAL Sniper. His career included tours with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two and SEAL Team Two in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. You can follow him on Twitter @Chris_Hagerman.
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