We are Navy. We are family. We are professionals. We humbly serve as guardians to our fellow Americans, always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. We do not advertise the nature of our work, nor seek recognition for our actions. Our success demands secrecy, and that secrecy saves lives.

Since 1962, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) has been the nation’s premier maritime special operations force – a highly reliable and lethal force – always ready to conduct full-spectrum operations, unilaterally or with partners, in support of national objectives, and uniquely positioned to extend the Fleet’s reach, delivering all-domain options for Naval and joint force commanders. Naval Special Warfare dominates the maritime domain.

During World War II, U.S. naval commandos—called underwater demolition teams (UDTs) pioneered special operations missions from the sea. These were irregular warfare missions from the maritime flanks of the enemy. Over the beach, into the littoral, against island targets, and deep into riverways, these teams operated in complex threat and environmental conditions.

The History of Naval Special Warfare

The forefather's of Naval Special Warfare were resolute examples that inspire how Naval Special Warfare is evolving to fight under, on, and above the sea. Should conflict arise, Naval Special Warfare operators are consistently positioned forward to fight alongside the Joint Force, our allies, and our partners to deny enemy objectives, destroy enemy forces, and compel war termination.

Today's Naval Special Warfare operators can trace their origins to the Scouts and Raiders, Naval Combat Demolition Units, Office of Strategic Services Operational Swimmers, Underwater Demolition Teams, and Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons of World War II. Naval Special Warfare has been the nation’s premier maritime special operations force for over 60 years with a legacy that has spanned generations. To maintain that cherished heritage, NSW leadership believes fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion is a critical factor to current and future success. Since the birth of the SEAL and SWCC teams, NSW’s commitment to embracing diversity, equality and inclusion left a positive and lasting impact on its culture. Accepting only the best and fully qualified SEAL and SWCC candidates has directly resulted in developing America’s finest warriors.

Thoughout history, the Naval Special Warfare Command has viewed diversity, equity and inclusion as an operational imperative. Diversity strengthens our entire NSW team, and give us an unparalleled advantage over our adversaries. Our long history of inclusion began during the height of WW II in 1945, prior to the establishment of the SEAL teams, when Engineman 2nd Class Fred “Tiz” Morrison became one of only six Sailors to complete training for the newly formed Underwater Demolition Team (UDT).

Fred Morrison was the first Black UDT Frogman and was given the moniker, "King of the Frogmen." In his storied Navy career, Tiz was not only the first Black Navy SEAL, but also the first Black Navy SEAL instructor. In the years to follow, UDTs would provide the manpower required to build the first SEAL teams.

In July 2021, another historic milestone followed for NSW when the first female Special Warfare Combat Crewman (SWCC) candidate graduated from training. She earned her SWCC pin and was accepted into a community where approximately 35% of candidates successfully complete training. The U.S. Special Operations Command leadership knows that diversity and inclusion has become crucial to optimizing it's Special Operations Force and its organizational makeup for future warfighting.

I believe that effectively recruiting, retaining, and developing a diverse Force will give NSW a significant competitive advantage. Talent knows no color, class, gender, or creed.

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Rear Adm. Keith Davids

Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command


With an eye towards tomorrow’s fight, the Naval Special Warfare Assessment Command (NSWAC) was established under the Naval Special Warfare Center on August 18, 2022. The mission of NSWAC is to conduct diversified outreach, increase assessment of NSW candidates, and assess leaders at all levels for strategic selectivity and development of its people. For NSWAC, the paramount goal is to conduct outreach and assessment, in order to identify and engage with prospective candidates and select outstanding individuals based on their character, cognitive and leadership attributes.

The Naval Special Warfare Assessment Command is comprised of: Outreach events that deepen our Force’s diversity and capabilities, SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) program that assess potential SEAL officer candidates against their peers in an equitable training environment, the Naval Special Warfare Leader Assessment Program (NLAP) that evaluates and selects NSW operators at every level, and the Women in Special Operations Forces (WISOF) program that develops and upholds operational training standards, providing an objective view of the training environment, informing and advising leadership, and helping to maintain a fair, professional, and dignified training environment for all NSW candidates.

The Naval Special Warfare Assessment Command is building the sustainable architecture for diversified outreach, more rigorous pre-assessments for character, cognitive and leadership attributes.

Outreach events

One of the main lines of effort for NSWAC outreach is supporting events that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Outreach events span across the country and educate young leaders about career opportunities within Naval Special Warfare. The Assessment Command will identify, engage and enroll the next generation of candidates we need to solve the hardest problems from – on – and under the sea.

Naval Special Warfare Insert Challenge

The NSWAC outreach team, utilizing active-duty SEAL and SWCC operators, engages with the public at sporting events, high schools, universities and more. Check out the NSWAC outreach events that may be coming to a city near you. The Naval Special Warfare Assessment Command is headquartered at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in Coronado, California with a detachment in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection

The SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) program is a two-week program that assesses potential SEAL officer candidates against their peers in an equitable training environment. Prospective candidates are selected based on the following characteristics: academic performance, commitment, communication skills, conduct, honor, integrity, leadership, peer evaluations and physical fitness.

What is SOAS? This podcast answers the question in-depth

Naval Special Warfare Leader Assessment Program

Another NSWAC assessment program is Naval Special Warfare Leader Assessment Program (NLAP). Enhancing NSW’s culture of continuous assessment, NLAP evaluates and selects NSW operators at every level. During NLAP, operators participate in purpose-filled events to select for officer and enlisted career milestones. Through feedback from peers, leaders, and subordinates, NLAP assesses an operator’s leadership, character, physical, and mental attributes. The program will help ensure NSW places the right leaders in the right assignments, while offering critical professional development to guide the force into the future.

Women in Special Operations Forces

The extraordinary women of WISOF train the next generation of warriors for the Basic Training Command, and the Naval Special Warfare Assessment Command. Their mission is to work alongside cadre guiding all candidates to meet and excede the character, cognitive, leadership, and physical requirements of SEAL and SWCC assessment, selection, and training.

Hear about Naval Special Warfare from a Female Perspective


Special Warfare Combat Crewman undertake missions the U.S. Navy keeps very quiet because of how vitally important they are. They are extensively trained to execute high-risk warfare and reconnaissance missions in river and coastline settings. As the Sailors who insert and extract Navy SEALs from classified locations around the world, they are true warriors—highly trained, disciplined and distinguished. Their motto is “On Time, On Target, Never Quit,” and they live up to every word.

Every SWCC is an expert in maritime special operations tactics and missions; foreign cultural awareness; advanced weapons tactics; tactical communications; tactical air control; tactical ground mobility; small arms and crew-served weapons; fast roping and rappelling; advanced craft operations; long-range, over the horizon, and riverine navigation; tactical combat medicine and trauma care; intelligence operations; and chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear defense measures; among others.


  • Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Education: 85% High school; 15% College
  • Average stats only, not requirements. Naval Special Warfare Center data, 2020.


In our nation's time of need, an elite group of maritime warriors stands ready off distant shores and on shallow rivers. Defending freedom, they serve with honor and distinction. I am proud to be one of these Sailors.

I am a Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman: a quiet professional; tried, tested and dedicated to achieving excellence in maritime special operations. I am a disciplined, confident and highly motivated warrior.

My honor and integrity are beyond reproach, my commitment unquestioned and my word trusted. The American people depend on me to carry out my mission in a professional manner.

I maintain my craft, equipment and myself at the highest level combat readiness. I set the standard and lead by example. I am responsible for my actions and accountable to my teammates. I challenge them to perform, as I expect them to challenge me.

I am ready for war. I will close and engage the enemy with the full combat power of my craft. My actions will be decisive yet measured. I will always complete the mission. I will never quit and I will leave no one behind.

My heritage comes from the Sailors who operated the PT boats of World War II and the combatant craft of Vietnam. The legacy of these warriors guides my actions. I will always remember the courage, perseverance and sacrifices made to guarantee our nation's freedom. I uphold the honor of those who have fought before me and will do nothing to disgrace my proud heritage. On Time, On Target, Never Quit.


Navy SEALs are responsible for the training, preparation, and execution of special operations in maritime, urban, desert, jungle, arctic, and mountain environments. Their professional occupation in the Navy is known as Special Warfare Operator (SO).

Special Operators are experts in special operations tactics and missions; foreign cultural awareness; tactical communications; tactical air control; combat diving and SEAL Delivery Vehicle operations; paradrop operations; small boat operations; tactical ground mobility; small arms and crew-served weapons; fast roping and rappelling; demolitions and explosive breaching; trauma care; intelligence gathering and interpretation; and chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear defense measures; among others.


Enlisted SEAL

  • Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
  • Weight: 180 lbs
  • Education: 58% High school; 41% College; 1% Post-graduate
  • Average stats only, not requirements. Naval Special Warfare Center data, 2020.

SEAL Officer

  • Height: 5 ft. 11 in.
  • Weight: 180 lbs
  • Education: 98% College; 2% Post-graduate
  • Average stats only, not requirements. Naval Special Warfare Center data, 2020.


In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. Common citizens with an uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, they stand alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve their country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that warrior.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from others. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me - my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave SEALs have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.


Daily life of a SEAL or SWCC

There is no typical "day at the office" for a special operator. Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) and Special Warfare Combat Crewman (SWCC) operators constantly learn, improve and refine their skills working with their teammates. Their office transcends international boundaries, the extremes of geography and the spectrum of conflict. A SWCC operator's day usually includes physical training to ensure they maintain peak fitness levels as well as whatever training and operations are required of their particular unit.

Time with the family

SWCC and SEAL operators spend a great deal of time training for war and deploying overseas. The training and operational tempo can be high, but operators do have room in their busy schedules for family time, including 30 days of leave per year.

Duty stations

SEALs are usually assigned to homeports at Naval Base Coronado, CA and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story, VA. Additional locations oversea are also available.

SWCC are assigned to Naval Base Coronado, CA and Little Creek/Fort Story, VA as well as Stennis, MS. Further assignments are applied per needs of the Navy, Special Operations Command, and Combatant Commanders.


SWCC operate a variety of small boats and craft, including the SOC-R (Special Operations Craft – Riverine), and three types of Combat Craft (Assault, Medium, and Heavy). SEALs employ the mini-submersible SDV (SEAL Delivery Vehicle) and CRRC (Combat Rubber Raiding Craft). SEALs also operate a variety of land-based ground mobility vehicles, including the armored HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle).

Weapons systems

SEAL and SWCC operators are trained on a variety of small arms and heavy weapons, including pistols, rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles, rocket and missile launchers, grenades and explosives, but the most valuable weapons system is the operator.

Security clearance

Both SWCC and SEAL operators are required to maintain a minimum security clearance of Secret. Background security investigations are conducted by agents of DCSA (Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency). The process may include a personal interview of the candidate, family members and contacts along with a questionnaire. A credit bureau report and criminal background investigation are part of the process. Felonies, high credit risk due to substantial debt, foreign contacts and other factors may pose a challenge to obtaining a clearance. Applicants may address questions to their recruiters or chain of command as appropriate.

Application/Fleet transfer

See the steps on how to apply to become a SEAL or SWCC. For additional questions about how to become a SEAL or SWCC, see the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Enlisted Community Manager website or NSW Officer Community Manager website.

Pay and benefits

Navy SEAL and SWCC operators are paid twice a month and receive health care for themselves and family members, low-cost life insurance, and many other benefits. Bonuses and special pays may apply in addition to basic pay and allowances. The Navy offers financial assistance for College Loan repayment, Undergraduate Degree Programs and Graduate Degree Programs. These benefits allow each operator to contribute to their community, family and country. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Starting pay of up to $60,000
  2. Bonuses for becoming qualified and for re-enlisting
  3. Possible repayment of college loans
  4. Extra pay for diving, parachuting and demolitions
  5. 30 days vacation per year
  6. Medical and dental benefits
  7. Retirement after 20 years
  8. Tax free pay in combat zones
  9. Tax free allowances for housing and food
  10. Access to military facilities