Do us special forces team, of which the Navy SEALs are part, are highly trained and specialized soldiers, representing each branch of the Armed Forces. They are known as the spec ops and have specialized knowledge, high grade artillery and weapons, rugged survival and tactical gear, specialized surveillance methods and equipment, and more. With this, they complete global missions. Stephen Varanko III is part of these spec ops and has taken the time to lift a bit of a veil on this special branch of the military.
Stephen Varanko III on the Pararescuemen
A pararescueman is one the most highly trained, toughest, and elite individuals in the entire military. Technically part of the Air Force, the ‘PJs’ must take part in incredibly rigorous tests if they want to enter the training. Once they are accepted, they have to go through mentally and physically grueling training that few people will be able to sustain.Once certified, however, they are able to wear their maroon beret. This beret represents their training in exfiltration and infiltration, search and rescue (sea and land), and first aid training.
On Special Tactics
Special Tactics is also a branch of the Air Force, operating under their Special Operations. The PJs are part of the Special Tactics and complete spec ops missions to help operations behind enemy lines. There are a number of other specialized branches within the Air Force Special Tactics units, which includes Tactical Air Control Command, Special Operations Weather, and Combat Control.
On the Officers Jobs in Air Force Special Tactics
Anyone wanting to become involved in Special Tactics must be an officer. There are then three positions available to them. Those are:
- Spec Ops Weather officer.
- Special Tactics officer.
- Combat Rescue officer.
On Becoming a Combat Controller
Another key element of the elite personnel within the military is the combat controller. These have been trained in air traffic control. Often, they have also taken part in joint terminal-attack-control situations and tactics, while also having learned about other spec ops skills. Becoming a combat controller requires 35 weeks of training that focuses on numerous special mission skills. Once graduated, they can wear a scarlet beret.
On the BUD/s
The BUD/s is the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs branch. This has been created especially for the Navy SEALs and takes seven weeks to complete, culminating in the Hell Week. It starts with indoctrination, followed by basic conditioning, diving, and land warfare tactics. Only those with 100% health and fitness can take part.
On Graduating from BUD/s
Every year, around 1,000 people start SEAL training. Out of those, only 30% make it through the first week. From what is left, around 50% keep it up to week three. Even less then graduate. Anyone who gets through a physical screening test with a score of less than 800 is more likely to graduate.
On Hell Week
Hell Week is exactly what it says: a week of hell. It comprises of 132 hours of nonstop mentally and physically intense training at San Diego’s Coronado Naval Amphibious Base. During the entire week, the participants are given just four hours of sleep.