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Special Warfare Officer
Special Warfare Pin
Special Ops   Buds
Naval Special Warfare group (NSWG) performs reconnaissance mission.   Students demonstrate water confidence and competence under the most extreme conditions.

What is Naval Special Warfare?

Naval Special Warfare (NSW) is the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command which deploys forces to conduct special operations and activities in support of Combatant Commanders and U.S. National Interests.  NSW operational forces are comprised of SEAL Teams, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, and Special Boat Teams specially organized and trained to conduct the full spectrum of special operations in maritime and other extreme environments.

A Career as a SEAL Officer

As a Naval Special Warfare qualified unrestricted line officer, you will lead and command NSW forces at all levels of rank.  A SEAL officer becomes an expert at conducting special operations in complex, politically sensitive, and dangerous environments. SEAL officers will be required to fill critical leadership positions, and must epitomize the SEAL Ethos (http://www.sealswcc.com/navy-seals-ethos.aspx).  During his career, a SEAL Officer typically deploys at least once per pay grade and is likely to be stationed overseas at least once. 

What training is required to become a SEAL Officer?

Qualification as a SEAL officer requires completion of the 3-week Basic Orientation, 21-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S), the 5-week Junior Officer Training Course (JOTC), and the 26-week SEAL Qualification Training (SQT). Then officers complete Jump school, SERE school and language training before joining their teams. Training starts with physical conditioning and being tested for physical and mental toughness in Hell Week, followed by training in open and closed-circuit diving, weapons, demolitions, communications, land warfare, small unit leadership, close quarters combat, maritime operations, air operations, static-line and freefall parachuting, survival, evasion, resistance and escape.

How does a Navy ROTC Midshipman get selected for SEAL training?

Selection for a SEAL officer training quota is highly competitive.  Navy ROTC Midshipmen desiring a quota should be committed to preparing themselves for the selection process.  The selection process is comprised of taking the SEAL Physical Screening Test (PST), attending a NSW Summer Cruise, submitting an application package and being interviewed by a panel of SEAL officers.


MIDN 4/C:  Pursue a challenging and/or technical major.  Read a wide array of books on Naval Special Warfare and Special Operations history. Regional expertise, cultural knowledge, strategic languages, and overseas travel experience are highly valued.  Seek leadership positions. Participate in collegiate sports.  Begin to prepare for the SEAL physical screening test.  The leading predictor for success in the training pipeline is an outstanding physical screening test score.    Prospective officers need to lead from the front and have strong scores in all events to be competitive.

MIDN 3/C:  Strive to improve your physical performance.  Continue language proficiency. Begin to develop your candidate package.  Inform your Chain of Command your intention to be selected for a NSW Summer Cruise quota as MIDN 2/C. Contact and seek mentorship from current and former SEALs. Stay current on US Military and Special Operations news items.

MIDN 2/C:  Request a SEAL Summer Cruise quota.  Attend a U.S. Naval Academy SEAL Challenge weekend if available.  Complete and submit the SEAL officer application package.  Attend a NSW Summer Cruise which entails a one-week Mini-BUD/S followed by several weeks at a SEAL Team where candidates will be challenged physically, have their performance observed, and interviewed by a  panel of SEAL officers for suitability. If unable to attend a NSW Summer Cruise attend one of the SEAL candidate interviews conducted during the summer.

MIDN 1/C:  Midshipmen will be informed of their selection for Designator 1180 (SEAL officer, Student) and made available to the SEAL Detailer upon graduation.  Continue to improve physical capabilities and develop language proficiency.

For Detailed Information

About SEALs, eligibility requirements, preparation, reading lists, and SEAL training visit the official NSW recruiting site at http://www.sealswcc.com/seal-default.aspx and http://www.sealswcc.com/navy-seals-enlisted-general-requirements.aspx

Application process and officer career information visit the SEAL Officer Community Manager (OCM) site at: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/officer/communitymanagers/Unrestricted/nsw/Pages/default.aspx

Naval Special Warfare - http://www.public.navy.mil/nsw/pages/Welcome.aspx

United States Special Operations Command - http://www.socom.mil/default.aspx

  Last Updated:  February 13th, 2020  
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