The United States Navy Seal’s Sea, Air, and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the US Navy Seal’s  principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.

Navy SEALs can trace their roots to the Second World War. The United States Navy recognized the need for the covert reconnaissance of landing beaches and coastal defenses. As a result the Amphibious Scout and Raider School was established in 1942 at Fort Pierce, Florida.. The Scouts and Raiders were formed in September of that year, just nine months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, from the Observer Group a joint Army-USMC-Navyunit.

The first group included Phil H. Bucklew, the “Father of Naval Special Warfare,” after whom the Naval Special Warfare Center building is named. Commissioned in October 1942, this group saw combat in November 1942 during Operation Torch, the first allied landings in Europe, on the North African coast. Scouts and Raiders also supported landings in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and southern France.

A second group of Scouts and Raiders, code-named Special Service Unit #1, was established on 7 July 1943, as a joint and combined operations force. The first mission, in September 1943, was at Finschafen on New Guinea. Later operations were at Gasmata, Arawe, Cape Gloucester, and the East and South coast of New Britain, all without any loss of personnel. Conflicts arose over operational matters, and all non-Navy personnel were reassigned. The unit, renamed 7th Amphibious Scouts, received a new mission, to go ashore with the assault boats, buoy channels, erect markers for the incoming craft, handle casualties, take offshore soundings, blow up beach obstacles and maintain voice communications linking the troops ashore, incoming boats and nearby ships. The 7th Amphibious Scouts conducted operations in the Pacific for the duration of the conflict, participating in more than 40 landings.

The third Scout and Raiders organization operated in China. Scouts and Raiders were deployed to fight with the Sino-American Cooperative Organization, or SACO. To help bolster the work of SACO, Admiral Ernest J. King ordered that 120 officers and 900 men be trained for “Amphibious Raider” at the Scout and Raider school at Fort Pierce, Florida. They formed the core of what was envisioned as a “guerrilla amphibious organization of Americans and Chinese operating from coastal waters, lakes and rivers employing small steamboats and sampans.” While most Amphibious Raider forces remained at Camp Knox in Calcutta, three of the groups saw active service. They conducted a survey of the upper Yangtze River in the spring of 1945 and, disguised as coolies, conducted a detailed three-month survey of the Chinese coast from Shanghai to Kitchioh Wan, near Hong Kong.

SEAL training is very rigorous, having a reputation as some of the toughest anywhere in the world. The drop out rate for BUDs classes are sometimes over 90 percent. The average Navy SEAL spends over a year in a series of formal training environments before being awarded the Special Warfare Operator Naval Rating and the Navy Enlisted Classification(NEC) 5326 Combatant Swimmer (SEAL) or, in the case of commissioned naval officers, the designation Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Officer.

All Navy SEALs must attend and graduate from their rating’s 24-week “A” United States Navy SEAL selection and training course known as Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) school and then the 28-week SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) program. SQT qualifies all BUD/S graduates in basic SEAL skill sets in MAROPS, Combat Swimmer, Communications, TCCC, Close Quarters Combat, Land Warfare, Staticline/Freefall Parachute Operations, SEREand Combatives. All sailors entering the SEAL training pipeline with the Navy Hospital Corpsman rating or those chosen by Naval Special Warfare Command must also attend the 26 week Special Operations Combat Medic course and subsequently earn the NEC SO-5392 Naval Special Warfare Medic before joining an operational Team. Once outside the formal schooling environment SEALs entering a new Team at the beginning of an operational rotation can expect 18 months of Professional Development/Schools (PRODEV) and Troop unit level training (ULT) before each 6-month deployment. In total, from the time a prospective SEAL enters military service to the time he finishes his first predeployment training cycle, it can take as much as 30 months to completely train a Navy SEAL for his first deployment.

The U.s Navy Seal Insignia


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