The United State Navy SEAL platoons project power far beyond their small 16-man size. The success of their mission doesn’t just rely on weapons or technology but on the specialized training of the individual SEAL operator. They come from all walks of life from all across the American landscape. Most have some measure of athletic ability. Over a third have college degrees. They all share a common goal to become a member of the most elite team in the world The United States Navy SEALs. Each year 600 to 800 attempt the basic underwater demolition SEAL training or BUDs at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado California but only one third complete the rigorous 25-week transition from sailor to SEAL. This is the story of one such group. Class 224. You get treated like the absolute lowest form on earth and you’ve really got to find it within yourself to say you know I know I can do it. I know I can finish it and I know I can do anything they throw at me. Thats where it builds character. You find out if you’ve got it in yourself. If you can just block everything out and just focus on that brass ring of getting through that six months of hell. First phase is really the phase that’s gonna separate the men from the boys. These guys come here they really don’t know what to expect so we’re gonna push them and we’re gonna push them hard to see what they have. The guys that want to be here no matter what we do or what we say they want to be a SEAL and they’re going to be a SEAL and that’s all there is to it. BUDs is a real butt kicker. Just having the mental fortitude. Not only trying to get through the PT sessions but also getting through the lack of sleep having instructors on your back being hurt all the time. All those things start taking a play into it during the day. And just having the idea of there’s nothing that’s going to stop me from finishing this training or finishing this evolution that’s getting through it. I believe that BUDs builds teamwork and character by weeding out the weak and bringing the strong together to survive the training. I don’t think any one man can make it alone through BUDs. I’d say the obstacle course is never below my expectations. It’s some of the best training you can get because you’ve gotta think on your feet you’ve gotta act you’ve gotta move and you’ve gotta be fast. And you’ve gotta be safe because you can really hurt yourself. First phase is a really fast paced phase and these guys are constantly moving and grooving every second of every day except when they are eating. The guys when they hear about SEAL training they’re like well all you have to do it run. All you have to do is an O course and things like that. Not really that big of a deal. But once you start putting everything together and the days are endless that’s when guys decide this really isn’t for me. I don’t want to be wet. I don’t want to be cold this pace right here is not for me. Because that’s what’s gonna happen when they leave here. They go to SEAL team where the pace is just like that. It never ends. Just about everything it buzzes it’s a timed demolition or it’s a race. It builds camaraderie with the guys. They take their boats out and they’ll race out to the surf. And sometimes their boats will flip over on them because the surf gets so big. It’s quite an experience to be paddling the rubber boat and facing this eight-foot wall of water coming at you that’s just going to destroy you and send you tumbling around and there’s almost a washing machine effect in the water. What we’re looking for from a recruit number one he has to have the physical skills to complete the training. Two he has to have the mental aptitude because we’re not just a bunch of knuckle draggers. You have to have mental skills as well. We don’t look for any kind of personality. There’s all sorts of different personalities in the teams. But we are looking for a guy that’s willing to sacrifice and can work well with others in a teamwork environment. I think the evolutions that cause the most problems are the water evolutions. Some of these kids are from Wyoming or places where they haven’t even seen the water or at least the surf zones and they’re not really too comfortable in the water. And you’re doing drown prevention where your hands are tied behind your back and your feet are tied up. They don’t like that. Drown prevent I think it’s more of a mental thing than a physical evolution. It’s all about trying to stay calm and be comfortable in the water. Half of our class failed it the first time they went through and I think it’s because they a mental block over the idea of not having control. You’ve just gotta have confidence in yourself and say I’ve done this before I can float on the water. 3000 guys have done it before I have you know why can’t I do it? It’s a mental thing.