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The Ultimate Challenge

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  • The Ultimate Challenge

    I've had this nagging desire my whole life to join the teams. I thought I quenched it after a 5-year enlistment in the regular military but outside of boot camp at 18 years old, I was never challenged and the bureaucracy of the regular military & "looking busy" left me to finish my contract and honorably separate. Since then I've done a lot that has challenged me in ways I never thought imaginable. I've sailed the Caribbean with my partner after having little to no sailing experience, completed my master's degree and started a few businesses that have allowed me to be semi-retired for the past year. A lot of time to think plus lots of hard workouts have equated to me exploring this curiosity once again. Here are my current PST scores:

    Swim: 8:30

    Push Ups: 102

    Curl Ups: 85

    Pull Ups: 22

    Run : 9:05

    ASVAB (from 9 years ago will have to retake): 92

    I'm about to turn 28 and I realize I'm getting to the point that I either need to pursue this or stop the internal dialogue about it. I'm prior enlisted so I understand I could get a waiver to join at a later age but really don't want to carry a waiver nor do I want to be much older than I am now doing bud/s. What I'm trying to decide on is if I'm a good fit for the teams. I love the ocean. I've surfed in 40-degree water my whole life and I'm most comfortable out there. Have done multiple passages on my sailboat that left me up for 3 days straight. I love a challenge and have found myself paying for these types of challenges my whole life (sailing, climbing mountains, 2 half marathons, 2 marathons, 1 ironman @ 12:15) so my thought process is why not get paid to have these challenges? I've embraced the suck (& the process) in all I've ever done but the issue is I've never considered myself to be a killing mentality type of guy. I'm extremely competitive with myself but when it comes to hand-to-hand combat, I've never explored it and wouldn't consider myself to be any good. Same with shooting. I'm a decent shot but as I sit now definitely not teams material. How important is this to the teams? How many guys join as top shooters? Is shooting/hand-to-hand combat more important than PST scores and mental fortitude?

    I'm not sure how many active or prior SEALs exist on this thread but I'd love some input. I know mentally I would enjoy the challenge. I've put my mind through a lot over the years and know I would thrive in a sleep-deprived, cold and wet environment. My fears are being older and screwing up my one knee again (never had surgery just a couple months of rest after messing up on a climb) and not having that "killer" mentality. I would try for officer as I enjoy the big picture and strategy side of things but still want the opportunity to be hands-on - is this the case for seal officers?

    I appreciate anyone's input in helping me make this decision. Thank you.

  • #2
    Go for it I say. If you want the challenge then go ahead: you seem you do. There are people that go to BUD/S that aren't the best shots and to just about everybody killing is hard to do at first and even after that. With that said thought, it comes with the job. If you feel you can't get over your "fear" then that is a decision you yourself have to make, not anybody else. You will not be forced to do anything that others have not done. With that notion, I myself usually am able to do things I didn't believe I could do before. If you want to be an officer, talk to a recruiter and put together a package because it takes some time to hear back. If you want to reenlist then go. Before that though, make sure you really want to do this. It seems that while you have accomplished a lot, you still want to pursue something new.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      From what I've observed, people from all walks of life seems to choose this path. The only thing the Navy and the Teams are looking for are people who are team players and have an unwillingness to quit. They will teach you to shoot and anything else that is necessary to fulfill the job. It's probably better that you are inexperienced because they won't have to de-train the old habits that they don't want. I've heard you can get an age waiver up to 31 to enlist, but I believe that applies to non-prior. Also, I'm pretty sure officer applicants can get an age waiver up to 33 for prior enlisted. I got this information second hand from a unverified source, so take it with a grain of salt. Go talk to a Navy recruiter and subsequently an officer recruiter so you can get some solid information and weigh your options. LT Dow, the SOAS Program Manager, is a very valuable resource and can help you with the officer process. His information is on this site. There's a ton of information out there floating around and tons of great resources. When I have a question or a random thought, if Google yields not so good results, I'll usually pop over to this forum, the Navy SEAL reddit, or Get good at using search functions on these websites and you can find just about anything. Hope this helps and best of luck.