The sad reality is, it's been a long time since we've experienced what true peace is like. There are many terrorist groups wreaking havoc across the globe and there are special groups put to the task of dispatching any threat to humanity. With all the defense groups protecting the land from terror attacks, it takes a special kind of person to overcome any adversity. For the gravest threats and the biggest dangers, there is one group that is called to action.
America's finest operatives are part of the Navy SEALs. SEAL stands for Sea, Air, And Land. True to their namesake, the SEALs are the most formidable foe a terrorist would face wherever it is he chooses to cause chaos in. This elite group of individuals is made up of America's finest men. They are physically and mentally prepared for any situation and we're all very lucky to have them.
The existence of the Navy SEALs is known throughout the world. They are the most popular special ops group in history and we've all heard about what they are capable of. There's very little we know of these elite individuals and there's a lot more to the Navy SEALs than just doing the hardest missions. Here are 15 things you probably didn't know about the Navy SEALs.
15 They Don't Need Weapons To Win A Fight
Like most of the special ops groups in the world, the Navy SEALs are prepared for combat in all situations. Sometimes, guns and firepower won't secure the success of a mission and in some cases, Navy SEALs are forced to fight using their bodies. They're highly trained marksmen, but when it comes to hand-to-hand combat, the Navy SEALs are just as deadly.
The Navy SEAL operatives train in various martial arts to help them through situations where guns are not an option. As with other military groups, the Navy SEALs train in Krav Maga, which is the official martial art of the Israeli Defense Forces. This savage martial art exchanges flashy moves for strikes that are effective in street fighting. Other martial arts they are trained in is combat jiujitsu and muay thai. Who needs weapons when your fists and legs are enough to take down an enemy?
14 9/11 Forced The Government To Train More Personnel
One of darkest moments in recent American history is the attack on the World Trade Center back on Sept. 11, 2011. The terrorist attack left a major dent in American society and people began feeling vulnerable. It was as if things could go wrong any minute, just like how the towers fell on a bright and sunny morning. After the attack, the government decided to take action.
Before 9/11, the alleged Navy SEALs' Team Six had only 90 elite personnel. It was a pretty small number, but for the government, that was enough as these highly trained individuals are really efficient. However, when the attack happened, the government decided to up that number to 300. There are more Navy SEALs now and there's an estimated 2,500 on the roster. Most of the members are stationed in different parts of the world.
13 War Dogs
Dogs are truly man's best friend. When trained properly, these canine companions can go just about anywhere that a human can and they will be able to surpass any challenges that arise as well. Even the Navy SEAL brings along a dog companion in their mission, but they don't pick out just any dog. Similar to how they pick candidates, the Navy SEALs are very careful when picking what dog will join their team.
For the Navy SEALs, a favorite dog of theirs is the Belgian Malinois. It's a known fact that some dog breeds are smarter than others and many consider the Belgian Malinois as the smartest one there is. These dogs accompany the Navy SEALs in various missions and they are capable of a lot of tasks. They are even allowed to jump out of a plane solo! Like the operatives, they also train for the worst situations.
12 You Can Watch Them Train
The Navy Seals are a secretive group of individuals and for good reason. To avoid compromising their missions, members of this elite group keep their lips tight about their current tasks. There are a few things that the Navy SEALs aren't too secretive about though and that includes the rigorous recruitment process. Aside from that, these elite personnel aren't too shy about showcasing their intense training for the general public.
If people are lucky enough or have the Navy SEAL's schedule written down, they can watch them train at Imperial Beach on Coronado in California. Even better is that watching them is free. All people need to do is be at the right place at the right time to watch the recruits go about their intense routine. Their training is no joke as well so be prepared to see physical conditioning at its finest.
11 No Women Allowed (Until Recently)
In recent years, women have begun playing a bigger role in military groups. A majority of the military groups around the world now allow women to join their ranks and they are treated as equals by their male companions. With the ever-evolving warfare, countries now no longer discriminate against the people that want to join the ranks of their defensive forces but that can't be said for the Navy SEALS.
Until recently, the Navy SEALs was one of very few groups that didn't allow women to join. Summer 2017 saw the first woman enlist in the Navy SEALs. However, she eventually dropped out and there has yet to be another female candidate. Many women are probably capable of keeping up with the standards of the Navy SEALs, and everyone looks forward to seeing the first female Navy SEAL.
10 The Navy SEAL Teams
The Navy SEALs are subdivided into two groups. The first group is made up of Teams One, Three, Five and Seven. The other group is made up of Teams Two, Four, Eight and Ten. According to the US government, there are eight Navy SEAL teams only. It's odd though that the group numbers skip Six and Nine. Even odder, the government denies that these two groups exist.
For years, the existence of Navy SEALs Teams' Six and Nine have been denied by the US government. That denial was made more laughable when it was revealed that SEAL Team Six was responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden. We haven't heard from Team Nine, though. It's weird that the government denies the existence of these two groups. Since Team Six took out Osama Bin Laden, many speculate that these two groups are the finest that the Navy SEALs have to offer.
9 Team Six Was Founded On A Lie
One of the most popular teams in the Navy SEALs is Team Six. For those not familiar with the name, this secretive group was the one tasked with assassinating Osama Bin Laden. This team has a history that's worthy of the history books, as they were founded on a lie. Richard Marcinko was the original founder of the team and he has quite the story to tell.
When Marcinko founded the team, there were only three teams in the Navy SEALs. However, to make the group more intimidating to the Russians, Marcinko decided to rename one of the teams as Team Six to make it look like there were a lot of groups in the Navy SEALs. Marcinko ended up in prison because some of the methods he used in funding the group were illegal. However, it's thanks to him that the group has become one of the most recognizable forces in the US.
8 They Had A Scary Kill Ratio In Vietnam
It's no secret that the Navy SEALs are some of the best individuals to rely on when it comes to special missions. Their intense training regime makes them some of the toughest soldiers on the planet and their ability to surpass insurmountable odds have been on display for years now. One of their earliest claim to fame was on their mission during the Vietnam War.
The Navy SEALs' Team One and Team Two were deployed to help during the Vietnam War. The two groups had a 200 to 1 kill ratio. For a better perspective, that ratio amounts to 200 killed enemies per one soldier lost. The Navy SEALs lost over 40 operatives during the war but as compared to the damage they made to the opposing side, that's a very small number. It's one of their best achievements to date and it just shows how amazing this elite group is.
7 Waterboarding Is No Longer A Training Routine
Waterboarding is one of the scariest torture methods of current times. In this torture, the victim is tied tightly so that he can't move an inch. A cloth will then be placed on the face of the victim and water is slowly poured on him to simulate drowning. It's a very excruciating form of torture and it was a part of the Navy SEAL training routine. At least, it used to be.
Navy SEALs are the best and they prepare for the worst. Once captured by an enemy, there's a good chance they'll be tortured so that they'll spill the beans on a lot of things. To make operatives more enduring when it comes to torture, they trained their endurance using waterboarding. It's surprising that the group uses an inhumane torture as a form of training and new recruits are lucky it has been taken out of the training plan.
6 The PST Is Gruelling
Before getting in the Navy SEALs, interested applicants first have to pass the team's Physical Screening Test. It's a gruelling test that consists of several exercises. Each candidate will have to do these exercises but the Navy SEALs and pass the standards. The test consists of a 500-yard swim, pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups and a 1.5 mile timed run.
These may sound like a simple routine for a person who exercises daily, but the Navy SEALs have their own standards for each of the tests. For the 500-yard swim, for example, candidates are required to finish the test with a minimum time of 12:30, but the competitive standard stands at 8:00. For both sit-ups and pushups, candidates will have to do a minimum of 50, but the competitive standard stands at 80-100. These two exercises have to be done under a time limit as well.
5 Few Candidates Make It Through Recruitment
We don't know much about exactly what it takes to become a part of the Navy SEALs, but based on what we've seen from the results of their missions, becoming a Navy SEAL requires a person to be one of the best. A lot of hopefuls try out to become a part of the elite group every year but only a handful of them make it through.
The recruitment process of becoming a Navy SEAL operative is rigorous on its own. Hopefuls have to undergo more than 130 hours of intense physical and mental activities. Even more dreadful is the fact that the hopefuls will get very little sleep during the process. They will be pushed to their limits and out of the many recruits, only 20% manage to make it through. There's a reason why the Navy SEAL is America's finest operative and that's because they only pick the best of the best.
4 Think Fast, Act Fast
Many believe that Navy SEAL personnel are physically fit and are capable of doing great feats of strength. The Navy SEALs aren't limited to brawn duties, though, as their training provides them with physical and mental prowess. One of the main reasons why SEALs are so deadly is that they are pretty fast on their feet and it's hard to get one step ahead of them.
If the firefight between two groups is intense, the winner isn't the group with the most members or guns. It's the group who can adapt to any situation and think of solutions to any problems that arise. The mental preparation that SEALs go through is intense and tough as nails. They have to be able to endure intense amounts of pressure and what's more important is that they should be able to think clearly even when the firefighting gets way too intense. It's hard to see a SEAL operative shamble at the sound of gunfire or explosives.
3 They're Formidable On All Terrain
Ask a person about what they think the Navy SEAL does and they're likely to answer that these guys are the best of the best when it comes to marine-related combat. We aren't surprised though as the SEAL in the name tries to tell us the same. Bad guys shouldn't be too comfortable on land though as these guys will wreck them wherever they are.
SEAL actually stands for sea, air, and land. These guys are capable of spec op missions on all terrain and they know the tools of the trade regardless of where their mission is. Being all-around operatives is their thing so this shouldn't be much of a big surprise anymore. It's a common misconception that SEALs are water-based operatives only, but that's not really the case. Under each personnel's head is a deep understanding of many forms of combat in various terrain.
2 An Operative's Loadout
Operatives from the Navy SEALs are individuals capable of many physical feats. Aside from that, they are modern day warriors capable of both long-ranged and hand-to-hand combat. They are dangerous on their own already, but with the right equipment and loadout, the Navy SEALs become a true force to be reckoned with.
Aside from the protective vests, helmet, and night-vision goggles, what makes the Navy SEALs even more elite are the weapons they bring. The preferred weapons for the group is the Russian AK-47 and they pick this because of the weapon's usefulness in many situations. Aside from that, operatives also carry an M79 Grenade Launcher, .45 caliber handgun, M-4 rifle, and of course, knives. These pieces of equipment make a Navy SEAL more capable and much more dangerous than he already is.
1 They Aren't The Only Special Ops Group
As special as the Navy SEALs are, they aren't the only elite group in America and in the rest of the world. There are other groups that specialize in other types of operations. For the US, there's the Green Berets, Army Rangers, and the Night Stalkers. All of which are formidable and efficient like the Navy SEALs.
Many countries have their own spec ops group that rival the skills of the Navy SEALs. France has GIGN, Pakistan has SSG and Russia has the very controversial Alpha Group. These spec ops teams are highly-trained in all aspects and their physical and mental preparedness is always at its peak. We don't know which of these groups are the best, but that would depend on the mission they're in. Although the Navy SEALs are impressive, we can't forget that there are other groups that can achieve the same feats and possibly even more.