The Navy SEALs are the primary special operations force of the United States Navy. They are component of the Naval Special Warfare Command trained to conduct small-unit special operations missions in all environments. It means that they are able to operate in maritime, jungle, urban, arctic, mountainous, and desert environments.
The acronym SEAL stands for the Sea, Air, and Land. SEAL Teams are usually sent to kill or capture high valuable targets (HVTs), or to gather intelligence behind enemy lines. They are amongst the most skilled and effective special operators in the world. The Navy SEALs preferred obscurity through all those years, but in recent years they become increasingly a focus of national interest due to the media attention they have received and through books and movies as well.
The rescue of Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk ship Alabama, and the raid at Abbottabad, Pakistan, where they killed Osama bin Laden the world’s foremost terrorist made them a world headline and exposed a lot of their work to the public.
Scout and Raiders
Formally, U.S. Navy SEALs were formed in 1962, but the modern-day U.S. Navy SEALs existed since World War II. At the dawn of World War II, the United States military established Navy Amphibious Scout and Raider School at Fort Pierce, Florida. In 1942, it was a joint project of the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy in order to prepare special units for the covert reconnaissance of landing beaches and coastal defenses. In September 1942 the first Scouts and Raiders (S&R) operators graduated from the Observer Group, a joint U.S. Army-Marine-Navy unit.
There were few groups of Scouts and Raiders who saw combat all over the world during World War II. They took part in various Allied operations including Operation Torch on the North African Coast, landing operations in Sicily Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and Southern France.
The Naval Combat Demolition Units were formed in 1942 with only one mission to remove the cabled boom blocking the Wadi Sebou River, which spilled into the Atlantic Ocean along the west coast of French Morocco. This was carried out during Operation Torch, as part of preparations for allied landing in Africa. The NCDUs were formed from 17 Navy salvage personnel who were trained at ATB Little Creek, Virginia.
On 6 May 1943, the Naval Demolition Project was directed by the Chief of Naval Operations to “meet a present and urgent requirement.” According to the plan, it was outlined as a two-phase project. In the first phase, personnel was trained in various skills, while the second phase was, in fact, a preparation for Operation Overlord. During the second phase, NCDUs were deployed to England to penetrate the German defense lines in Normandy and to prepare them for the allied amphibious landing.
Some of the NCDUs from the first phase took part in combat at the Pacific theater of World War II.
OSS Maritime Unit
Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a paramilitary organization and a progenitor of the CIA. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) were formed in 1952 by the former agents of the OSS. Some of the earliest World War II predecessors of the Green Berets and SEALs were the Operational Swimmers of OSS.
The OSS Operational Swimmers were deployed to conduct special operations behind enemy lines in order to engage in organized guerrilla warfare as well as to gather information on such things as enemy resources and troop movements. The OSS Operational Swimmers were fundament of the OSS Maritime Unit formed in 1943 and they completed their training in 1944 when they were deployed to combat in several theaters during World War II.
Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs)
They were formed especially for the Operation Galvanic and Tarawa at the request of the V Amphibious Corps and their commander Rear Admiral Kelly Turner. The Marines identified coral as an issue for future amphibious operations. The UDTs were formed from the SEEABE
Prior to Operation Galvanic and Tarawa, V Amphibious Corps had identified coral as an issue for future amphibious operations. Rear Admiral Kelly Turner, commander V Amphibious Corps had ordered a review to get a grip on the problem.
Much like their brethren in the US Army Special Forces (aka Green Berets), the Navy SEALs claim a lineage to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The OSS was a paramilitary organization and also a progenitor of the CIA
As in past conflicts, they prefer obscurity; however, unlike past conflicts, they have become increasingly a focus of national interest; particularly since the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk ship Alabama, and the raid at Abbottabad, Pakistan, where they killed Osama bin Laden the world’s foremost terrorist.
Navy SEALs are no joke by any means and they are amongst the most skilled and effective special operators in the world. They are world renowned and feared by enemies and allies alike. Their training pipeline is rigorous and even if you complete the grueling BUD/S program you still have to go on to SQT(SEAL Qualification Training) which puts you on a team and you must prove to the team that you are capable of working with them integrating with your team and able to perform 100% the demands of SEAL missions without hesitation or error.
In other words the team of fully qualified SEALs has to accept and like you and believe you are a valuable asset to the SEAL community. Once they do that and SQT is over then you finally are pinned the “Budweiser” or SEAL rating trident. So to become a SEAL is very difficult. The attrition rate of sailors who volunteer to become a SEAL is to the tune of 80 to 85% of the classes that begin the journey to attain the coveted Naval Special Warfare SEAL rating and trident.
It is a fact that an entire training BUDs class failed to produce a graduate (BUD/s class 78) so yeah statistically speaking you have a better chance of getting into an Ivy league school and graduating with a PHd than you do becoming a SEAL. The SEALs are of course the most famous of the units in the US special Operations community due to the media attention they have received and through books and movies as well. They are very effective and professional and know their shit.
Selection and training