Special Warfare Officer
All new Ensigns entering the Navy Special Warfare pipeline will begin at the Naval Special Warfare Center on Coronado Island in California. The first five weeks are the Indoctrination Phase where potential BUD/S students are examined one last time to ensure that they are ready for BUD/S. After the Indoctrination phase, the students are ready to begin BUD/S.
BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/ Seal Training) begins with the First Phase. First Phase is nine weeks and is designed to test the students mental prowess and physical endurance. The first two weeks of the First Phase are spent working up to the third week, better known as 'Hell Week.' Hell Week is five-and-a-half days of constant physical conditioning. In these five-and-a-half days, a BUD/S student will be lucky to get four hours of sleep. During the entire First Phase, a BUD/S student will be tested regularly in timed runs (four miles), timed swims (two miles) and a timed obstacle course. First Phase teaches students the importance of cool-headedness, perseverance and, most importantly, teamwork.
The seven week Second Phase is the diving portion of BUD/S. In this phase students will learn to dive using SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus). Students will be taught to use both an open and closed circuit diving system. Physical conditioning continues but is not stressed as much as in First Phase. Second Phase transforms students into Basic Combat Divers.
Third Phase is the Land Warfare portion of BUD/S and is nine weeks long. Students will travel to San Clemente Island and learn the basics in demolitions, reconnaissance and land warfare. Physical training picks up again to challenge the students' endurance. Students are also taught land navigation, small unit tactics, patrolling techniques, rappelling, infantry tactics and military explosives.
Upon completion of BUD/S, officers begin a six month probationary period with a team. This time is spent watching the potential SEAL officer and to sharpen his skills. He is sent to Post BUD/S school which goes more in-depth into the skills he has already learned. The student will also be sent to Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia to learn basic parachuting.
After completing both Post BUD/S school and the six month probationary period, a new SEAL Officer receives his Trident (Naval Special Warfare Pin). The new Seal officer is sent to his Seal Team and will stay there for three to four years.