Here is a great story from my, “Have You Ever Been A Tadpole?“ series, asking readers who have been to BUD/S to come forward and share with us their SEAL trainee experiences in Coronado.
I wanted them to share with all of us, their story on not making it through the SEAL training program.
The latest story comes from a young man who has moved from being a SEAL tadpole to a Rescue Swimmer tadpole. Thank you for sharing your story brother!
“Howdy and Hooyah,
Currently in Coronado, This time as a Rescue Swimmer. It pains me everyday to even look south from NAS North Island. I was in class 298. I made it through Hellweek with 33 others. I was dropped shortly thereafter. I am now living with a Herniated disc/sciatica that Ive been hiding from the Navy for well over a year. I’m hiding it because Id rather die than be dropped from my second special program.
I came to Air rescue with a slew of quitters, I guess the Navy didn’t make their recruiting quotas that year. Most of them were the annoying little shits that I hated in Phase. Guys with bad attitudes or just straight up losers. One guy was in SQT when he got dropped for an alcohol related Incident. He and I were the only non-quitters of 20 former Tadpoles.
Pensacola was by far the worst 10 months of my life, but just like Hellweek Im stronger for it. It was back to square one “Recruit!” “Shipmate” Phase one liberty” and a lot of knife hands and marching….I hate marching.
Yet, the good news was that I was closer to home. I began to sympathize with my fellow former tadpoles, not for quitting but just as people. In the end, we’re all just people that tried to do something special with our lives. Some are victorious, and others fail. I am not ashamed of my failure. I would be living in regret if I were never to have tried.
Right before our glorious winter Hellweek started for class 298, our Proctor read to us a quote by Teddy Rosevelt,
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.