The acronym for Navy SEALs stands for sea, air and land teams. While the Navy SEALs operate mostly on land, this special military group has also been known to partner with the CIA, starting with the Vietnam War and continued into Afghanistan and Iraq. They’re also well-known for tracking down and killing Osama Ben Ladin in Pakistan.

Members of the Sea Air Land Team Five (SEAL5), from Golf Platoon, conduct an exercise in a Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) or Ridged Boat Inflatable Hull (RBIH).

Made up of males only, this special team originated in WWII. Determining the need for covert operations, a special school – The Amphibious Scout and Raider School  –  was launched in 1942 in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Phil H. Bucklew, “The Father of Naval Special Warfare,” was part of this first group and the Naval Special Warfare Center building was named after him.

This group was involved in Operation Torch, the first allied landings in Europe.

They also helped during landings in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and southern France. Started on July 7, 1943, a second group of Scouts and Raiders had their first mission at Finschafen, New Guinea. Succeeding missions included operations in Gasmata, Arawe, Cape Gloucester, and on New Britain’s eastern and southern coast.

Atlantic Coast (Jan. 17, 2005) Ð A SEAL delivery vehicle team (SDV) perform a fast-roping exercise from a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter to the topside of Los Angeles-class submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769). The mission of the SDV teams includes clandestine insertion of SEALs, ordnance delivery, reconnaissance, and locating and the recovery of objects. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Davis J. Anderson (RELEASED)

The third Scout and Raiders organization operated in China fighting the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO).They patrolled the upper Yangtze River in the spring of 1945 and conducted a detailed three-month patrol of the Chinese coast from Shanghai to Kitchioh Wan, near Hong Kong.

Jumping ahead to the Vietnam War, President John F. Kennedy recognized the need for special operations in fighting guerilla warfare in Southeast Asia. In a speech to Congress on May 25th, 1961, President Kennedy announced his plans to spend more than $100 million to strengthen U.S. special operations forces and expand the U.S.’ capabilities in unconventional warfare in Southeast Asia.

Headquartered at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Coranado, California, Navy SEALs are trained at this facility and continue to be engaged in a variety of special operations. Primary roles of Navy SEALs include: direct action; special reconnaissance, Foreign internal defense; counter-terrorism and unconventional warfare. Other roles include counter-drug operations, personnel recover and hydrographic reconnaissance.

General capabilities of the Navy SEALs include combat swimming, sky diving and combat patrols. Requirements to become a Navy Seal include the following:

  • S. Citizen (Not waiverable)
  • 18-28 years old, 17 with parental permission. Waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Males only (Not waiverable)
  • High school graduate or equivalent. Be proficient in reading, speaking, writing, and understanding English.
  • Uncorrected vision no worse than 20/200 in both eyes. Both eyes must be correctable to 20/20.
  • Minimum ASVAB Score of: General Science (GS) + Mechanical Comprehension (MC) + Electronics Information (EI) = 165 or Verbal Expression (VE) + Mechanical Knowledge (MK) + Mechanical Comprehension (MC) + Coding Speed (CS)=220.
  • Pass the SEAL Physical Screening Test (PST).

For more information on becoming a Navy SEAL, visit


Navy SEALs conduct immediate action drills at the John C. Stennis Space Center. The drills are a part of the SEALs pre-deployment training. Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command and are trained to conduct a variety of operations from the sea, air and land.