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SEAL Blog. Training for BUD/S

Saturday February 09th 2008 - 10:31 AM EST
Added by: Don Shipley

I graduated BUD/S Class 131 in February of 1985. I served at Team One and Team Two as well as Naval Special Warfare Group Two and The Naval Special Warfare Center as an Advanced SEAL Instructor. I retired after twenty-four years and contracted in Pakistan and Afghanistan with Blackwater.

The attrition rate at BUD/S, 70-80%, is simply because guys have no idea how hard that training is. They underestimate it in a big way, they aren’t prepared mentally or physically and they drop fast.

One major tip for BUD/S... Be in the top percentages of the class physically. Everyone hurts, but guys in the lower percentages really hurt and begin to question the commitment quick. Where you begin in BUD/S is where you’ll finish. You improve but you will never catch anyone physically stronger than you because they get stronger as well and maintain a lead. Again, where you start is where you’ll finish. Being in the back of the pack also brings much unwanted attention from instructors and while many guys have joined the "Goon Squad" and survived it from a crappy performance, your crappy physical evolutions are recorded and come back to haunt you as a poor performer. Not something that SEAL Teams are looking for!

Another major tip... To get ready for BUD/S do what they do in BUD/S. Since the inception of SEAL Team in the 60’s fewer than 10,000 guys have made it through. Training is not much different now than it was then and most guy’s who went through never heard of protein shakes and strange new age workouts to prepare guys for BUD/S. Most guys who made it through did a lot of push-ups, pull-ups, ab work, swimming and running.
These are the things you do in BUD/S and you need to be very good at them.
I did aerobics, I rode a crappy no speed bike, I did some work in a gym once or twice a week with light weights and high reps and everything else was what they do in BUD/S.
Concentrate on the things you do there and you’ll do well. Again, looking at the numbers, most guys who graduated did little more than what you do in BUD/S to prepare.

OK another tip... Don’t sweat it if you don’t have a pool to swim in. If you’re a strong runner, you’re a strong swimmer. What’s strong Strong is being able to pass the 500m swim in 12:30 or better no matter how sloppy you look doing it. Remember, BUD/S is a school and trust me on this, they will teach you how to be a better swimmer, all you have to do is be a strong sloppy swimmer when you show up. Being a very strong runner will help with most any evolutions you face in BUD/S.

Another tip: QUIT worrying about drown-proofing, pool comp and breath holding. Don’t practice these evolutions on your own as you are only setting yourself up for failure. In BUD/S they teach you how to pass these evolutions. Professional Instructors show you how. If you try them, and don’t pass them on your own I promise you that the day you’re pool side in BUD/S getting ready to enter the water your head will be consumed with "I didn’t make it before, I’m sure as Hell not going to make it now."
Remember: BUD/S is a school, a SEAL School and they teach you how to be a SEAL. Let them teach you...

One More: Don’t hump any extra baggage to BUD/S. You need a clear head every minute you spend there. Wives, girlfriends, family issues, bills, whatever... If you have problems you need to fix them before going. Finding out a few days before Hell Week begins that the Little Lady found a Marine boyfriend will be a problem.

Last one Guys: One you won’t hear. BUD/S is a lot of fun. It’s SEAL School for shit sakes. If you want to be a SEAL then BUD/S is a hoot. Seems like no one ever says that but guys who finish had a damn good time there. You’ll spend six-months there. Three months are spent crying and three are spent laughing. BUD/S shows a very dark side of SEAL Humor as the things we find funny, most people would not. Even when getting the Hammer Session of your young BUD/S life, you have to be able to see the humor in it, the "How did they think this one up "

You are in it with guys just like you, same goals, same interests and you bond quickly. You bond through Adversity. You suffer together, you grow stronger together.
You learn how to be SEALs together.

Kick Some Ass...Good luck...




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