The admiral who oversaw the bin Laden raid says this is one thing Navy SEALs must do
- In a recent interview with PBS, retired SEAL Adm. Bill McRaven said, "SEAL training really doesn't have a lot to do with how big and how strong and how fast you are. There's only one thing you have to do in SEAL training. And that's not quit."
- McRaven was head of the Joint Special Operations Command when US Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2011.
- SEAL candidates go through a rigorous training process, including a "Hell Week" in which recruits sleep only about four hours per night.
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In an interview with PBS News Hour's Judy Woodruff, retired Adm. Bill McRaven, the former SEAL who oversaw the 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound as the head of Joint Special Operations Command, told Woodruff that there's only thing a SEAL recruit has to do during their grueling training: "Not quit."
"So, the one thing that defines everybody that goes through SEAL training is that they didn't ring the bell, as we say," McRaven said. "They didn't quit. And that's really what you're trying to find in the young SEAL students, because, in the course of your career, you're going to be cold, wet, miserable. You're going to kind of fail often as a result of bad missions, bad training."
McRaven started out his Navy career as a SEAL, rising through the ranks until he was charged with overseeing the entire special forces community as the commander of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).
While tenacity is an essential part of being a great SEAL, there's a lot of training that goes into being a part of the Navy's most elite fighting squad.
Before even heading to BUD/S recruits go to Naval Special Warfare Prep in Great Lakes, Illinois for two months of physical and mental preparation.
Candidates learn the ropes at Naval Special Warfare orientation, which lasts three weeks and orients trainees to what lies ahead at Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.
SEAL candidates start the Surf Passage, one of the most well known parts of SEAL training.
You're basically guaranteed to get sandy at BUD/S or Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, which lasts 24 weeks.
Push-ups are another part of life for SEAL trainees. Here, BUD/S students perform push ups in their full gear, with their feet balanced on the shoulders of classmates.
SEALS have to be able to do pull-ups — lots of them.
Students at BUD/S can expect to do a lot of running — 200 miles just during Hell Week.
Hell Week comes during the fourth week of training. SEAL candidates sleep about four hours per night and complete about 20 hours of physical training per day.
SEAL candidates also practice marksmanship during Hell Week.
It's important to stay hydrated during training, which is designed to push candidates to their breaking points.
There's a lot of underwater training in BUD/S. Candidates are expected to start off as strong swimmers, as they'll have to deal with extremely stressful situations underwater during training, including so-called "drown-proofing."
SEAL candidates also undergo scuba training.
Trainees learn about underwater knot tying. Here BUD/S participants try it out before they have to perform the task underwater.
There is an academic component to SEAL training, as well. Here, BUD/S class 246 gets a lesson in combat ethics and core values.
SEAL candidates also head to parachute training. Here, SEAL Team 7 members are parachuting from a MC-130J Commando II, straight into the water.
SEAL recruits participate in a land training exercise during the Seal Qualification Training, a 26-week course after BUD/S.
After 24 grueling weeks in BUD/S, SEAL candidates receive their SEAL Qualification Training diploma.
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