THE BCS TRAINING STAGES: THEY'RE DESIGNED TO WEED OUT THE WEAK
By U.S. Navy SEAL + SWCC Scout Team
Posted May 13, 2016
Before being designated as a Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC), a candidate is tested and prepared throughout SWCC instruction. The goal of instruction is to produce the highest quality maritime warrior who can adapt to missions in any environment. Historically, SWCC operators have worked mostly in coastal and river areas, but their missions at times may include non-maritime environments.
.STAGE 1: NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE PREPARATORY SCHOOL (NSW PREP)
The Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School (NSW Prep) is in Great Lakes, Illinois. The curriculum at NSW Prep lasts for two months. NSW Prep has one goal: Improve a SWCC candidates physical readiness for the grueling trials of Basic Crewman Selection (BCS).
NSW Prep ends with a modified PST which you must pass
- 1000-yard swim - with fins (22 minutes and 30 seconds or under)
- Push-ups: at least 50 (two-minute time limit)
- Pull-ups: at least 7 (two-minute time limit)
- Curl-ups: at least 60 (two-minute time limit)
- Four-mile run - with shoes and pants (31 minutes or under)
Fail this test and your dream of becoming a SWCC will be over.
.STAGE 1: COURSE PROGRESSION
The exit standard must be met in order for a candidate to ship to Naval Special Warfare Basic Orientation (NSWO) in San Diego, California. Failure to meet the exit standard will result in a drop from the program.
- Physical/medical assessment
- Course introduction
- Group physical training (determined by ability level)
- Daily academic instruction
- Progress tracking
Testing and transfers
- Exit standards
- Review board
- Ship to BCS
.STAGE 1: ACADEMIC TOPICS
- Basic swimming techniques
- Principles of running
- Injury prevention
- Rest and recovery
- Strength and conditioning
- Knot tying
- Principles of team building
- Running fundamentals
- Alcohol and its effects
- Hypothermia related injuries
- Heat related injuries
- Cycle of achievement
- Mental toughness
- Goal setting
- Military heritage (aircraft, ships, honors and courtesies)
- Core values
- Military pay system
- Operational risk management
- Military rights and responsibilities
- Leave and liberty policies
- Sexual assault, harrassment, fraternization, and discrimination
- Morale, welfare and recreation
.STAGE 1: COURSE CURRICULUM
- Strength and conditioning
- Basic underwater skills
- Group calisthenics
- Academic training
- SWCC Creed
- Core values
- Exercise science
- Basic military training
- Personnel inspections
- Phased liberty
- Professional development
.STAGE 2: NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE ORIENTATION (NSWO)
An introduction to BCS. SWCC candidates learn about the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California and the special operations training lifestyle.
During orientation, SWCC instructors familiarize candidates with all aspects of physical training including running, swimming, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and the obstacle course. Candidates learn SWCC history and basic skills that they will be required to hone throughout the remaining courses.
.STAGE 3: BASIC CREWMAN SELECTION (BCS)
The objective: Develop the class in physical training, water competency and mental tenacity while continuing to build teamwork.
During BCS, candidates are trained, developed and assessed. The focus of this course is on physical conditioning, water competency, teamwork and mental tenacity. Candidates run, swim and do calisthenics. They will participate in weekly timed runs, obstacle course evolutions, and swims in the pool, bay, and ocean. The intensity of candidate performance increases each week.
SWCC candidates learn basic navigation and small boat seamanship. The ultimate test of the candidates’ physical and mental fortitude comes during “The Tour” a three-day training period during which students apply skills, teamwork, and mental tenacity in various weather conditions - all with limited sleep. This course develops intelligent and highly motivated candidates who will perform under the most demanding conditions. Candidates advance to Crewmen Qualification Training (CQT) upon completion of BCS.
.STAGE 4: CREWMAN QUALIFICATION TRAINING (CQT)
In this phase candidates advance to intermediate levels of seamanship and navigation and are introduced to various weapons and communications systems. Candidates become proficient in marksmanship, seamanship, maritime navigation, communications, engineering, waterborne patrolling, mobility and combat casualty care.
They also receive an introduction into the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Mission Planning Cycle, where they prepare, plan, brief, and execute a Naval Special Warfare (NSW) mission. Candidates also attend the NSW Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) course. Physical training during CQT continues to increase in preparation for the requirements of the operational Special Boat Teams which they will join once they complete the course.
- Weapons training
- Small unit tactics
- Sea navigation
- Medical skills
- Maritime operations
Before graduating, candidates also attend SERE training:
CQT training will also qualify candidates in static-line parachute operations
Upon completing these requirements, trainees receive their SWCC pin, designating them as Navy SWCC. They are subsequently assigned to a boat team to begin preparing for their first deployment.