What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Navy SEAL?


Quick Answer

Navy SEAL candidates must be male U.S. citizens between the ages of 17 and 28, although waivers are made for qualified candidates 29 to 33 years old. Candidates must be enlisted in active duty service in the Navy, pass the SEAL physical screening test, have a qualifying ASVAB score, pass the Computerized Special Operations Resilience Test, meet eyesight requirements and be able to obtain secret security clearance.

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Full Answer

Candidates must not be color blind, and their eyesight must be correctable to 20/25 or better. To pass the physical screening test, they must be able to consecutively swim 500 yards in less than 12.5 minutes, do 50 push-ups, 50 curl-ups and 10 pull-ups, and run 1.5 miles in less than 10.5 minutes. The C-SORT assesses a candidate's mental preparedness by testing performance strategies, psychological resilience and personality traits. Candidates are only allowed to take the C-SORT once, and the C-SORT results combined with running and swimming results are important screening criteria.

Once a candidate receives a Navy SEAL contract, he goes through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL, or BUD/S, training before joining a SEAL team. BUD/S training consists of indoctrination, basic conditioning, SCUBA training and land warfare training. Near the end of basic conditioning is Hell Week, a five-day and five-night ordeal of rigorous physical hardship with very little sleep. Many candidates drop out during Hell Week. According to the official SEAL website, out of 1,000 candidates who begin BUD/S training, about 200 to 250 become Navy SEALs.

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