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Become a Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Officer

Officer Candidate School (OCS)
Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC)
Lateral Transfer
Inter-Service Transfer
Inter-Service Academy 
• United States Naval Academy (USNA): The application  process for USNA midshipmen is administered by the senior SEAL at USNA.

Important dates

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Naval Special Warfare (NSW) conducts an annual officer accession selection panel to select the next generation of SEAL officers. SEAL officers are expected to lead men and women in combat operations early in their careers. In addition to the traditional concentration on direct action and surveillance and reconnaissance missions, officers will be diplomats and development experts. They must be culturally aware, adept at interagency collaboration, and experts at waging war at the individual to the troop level in complex, politically sensitive, and dangerous environments. SEAL officers will be required to fill critical leadership positions, and must be honorable men and women who can represent the nation well throughout the world. Officer selection is highly competitive; applicants must be dedicated to the NSW community and its mission. Future officers must possess leadership skills, integrity, teamwork, drive, and a relentless pursuit of excellence in the face of adversity.

For a better understanding of the sequence of events for applying to be a SEAL officer, please refer to the SEAL Officer OCS Sequence of Events​​ chart, which provides details about the timeline of each event in the application process.

In selecting future SEAL officers, the panel utilizes a holistic approach in its rigorous search for the men and women who will lead SEAL platoons, troops, and eventually teams into combat. Leadership potential is the most sought after trait. Honor and integrity are indispensable, and the highest levels of physical fitness are expected. Academic achievement, with an emphasis on foreign language skills (Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Dari, French), regional expertise, and cultural knowledge and experience are highly valued. Applications for USNA, NROTC, and OCS (civilians) are typically due in February and an initial panel narrows each cohort down during a panel in March or April. The selected candidates from this panel are invited to SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) which takes place in four different sessions throughout the summer. Lateral Transfer, and Interservice Transfer applications are due in February and an initial down select will occur to review all packages for eligibility for SOAS. Lateral Transfer, Interservice Transfer, and non-SO/SB enlisted OCS candidates are eligible to attend SOAS. Please review appropriate links on the left for details. The selection panel for all cohorts typically convenes in September.  

SEAL Ethos

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Last Modified: 11/7/2019 11:53 AM
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