Knowledge is Power

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“The only easy day was yesterday.”

The U.S. Navy’s primary special operations force, the Navy SEALs conducting maritime military operations going all the way back to the Vietnam War.

Here are things you may not have known about these modern-day warriors.


42. Only Because Holodecks Don’t Exist Yet

To practice for the Bin Laden compound mission, Seal Team 6 recreated a full-size replica of the compound in North Carolina and practiced over and over again to make sure everything went right.

Navy SEAL Facts

41. We’re Vomiting Just Thinking about It

The Navy SEAL physical screening requires a 500 yard swim in 12:30, 50 push-ups in 2 minutes, 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes, 10 consecutive pull-ups in 2 minutes, and a 1.5 mile run in 10:30. Only after being able to accomplish these things will a candidate be admitted into training to become a Navy SEAL where, somehow, everything gets harder.

Navy SEAL facts

40. Fear Itself

Navy SEALs undergo rigorous mental training to rewire their brains so that they can respond to fear without freaking out the way normal humans do.

Navy SEAL facts

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39. Carrey On

During filming of The Grinch, Jim Carrey consulted a Navy SEAL to teach him how to handle torture so he could withstand the grueling make up process. We think he didn’t want to reveal any information about who stole Christmas.

Navy SEAL facts

38. Wait for the Drop

Around 80% of SEAL trainees drop out before finishing the program. For us, just thinking about the 132 hours of training during Hell Week is enough to make us want to get back into bed. Or, more accurately, stay in bed.

Navy SEAL Facts

When a trainee drops out, they ring this bell.

37. In Their Element

With their specialized training, Navy SEALs are not restricted to just the sea, but are capable of fighting in desert, urban, and jungle conditions. The SEAL stands for Sea, Air, and Land.

Navy SEAL Facts

36. Training Day

SEAL training isn’t particularly secretive, and San Diego tourists can visit local beaches and watch prospective SEALs haul logs, operate inflatable boats, and practice landings. If that bores you, you can always just watch the actual seals.

Navy SEAL Facts

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6

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35. They’re Not Alone

The Navy SEALs have counterparts in other branches of the military. The Army has the Green Berets, Night Stalkers, Army Rangers, and Delta Force. The Marine Corps have RECON and MARSOC. These are soldiers that receive training above and beyond that of the other troops and are considered Special Forces.

Navy SEAL Facts

34. A Spoon Would Hurt More

During his interview with NASA, Bill Shepherd, a Navy SEAL who became an astronaut, was asked what he was best at. His answer: “Killing people with a knife.”

Navy SEAL Facts

33. Sea, Land, Air… Outer Space

Not the only former Navy SEALs go to space, Chris Cassidy, current SEAL and Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA spent time on the International Space Station participating in numerous space walks and taking awesome selfies.

Navy SEAL Facts

Chris Cassidy Selfie

32. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

Rudy Boesch was one of the very first Navy SEALs and participated in 45 combat missions including raids, ambushes, rescues, and intelligence ops. He was also a contestant on Survivor. He competed twice, at age 72 and 75. He didn’t win the show, but he won the heart of America.

Navy SEAL Facts

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31. Quite the Body of Work

One of the most famous former Navy SEALs, Jessie “The Body” Ventura was a member of the Navy’s UDT during the Vietnam War. He went on to become a professional wrestler, then a television personality, and finally the Governor of Minnesota.

Navy SEAL Facts

30. It’s Not Just Any Old Fork

The trident that Navy SEALS wear on their uniforms are officially designated as the “Special Warfare Insignia,” but is sometimes called the “Budweiser” in part for the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) course and in part because it bears a striking resemblance to the Anheuser-Busch logo.

Navy SEAL Facts

29. Golden Tribute

During the funeral of Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor, who died in combat after jumping on a grenade to save his teammates, every SEAL on the west coast attended and affixed their golden tridents to his coffin.

Navy SEAL Facts

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6

28. Is It In You?

The runner-up in the first Ironman race ever was a Navy SEAL named John Dunbar. He was winning the race until his support team ran out of water and started feeding him beer instead.

John Dunbar

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27. The Honda Civic of Guns

The Navy SEAL arsenal includes the Russian-made AK-47 due to its reliability in almost all situations.

Navy SEAL Facts

26. The Things We Steal for Love

There was an aerospace engineer stationed with Navy SEALs who was arrested for stealing $74,000 of military funds to build himself a plane so he could more easily visit his wife, which is almost as romantic as it is stupid. Almost.

Navy SEAL facts

25. G.I. Jane

Up until 2016, by law, women were not allowed to join the Navy SEALs. Since the pipeline for applications opened, no women have applied. Considering one of the requirements is learning how to properly drown, we can’t really blame them.

Navy SEAL facts

24. A Hard Man

Navy SEAL John Schmidt III, who has served in the military for 23 years, is facing disciplinary action for apparently moonlighting as a porn star with such titles as “Apple Smashing Lap Dance.” The issue, apparently, is that he’s not allowed to do other work while employed as a Navy SEAL.

Navy SEAL Facts

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23. Dogs of War

The Navy SEAL dog of choice is the Belgian Malinois. They are highly trained special ops experts who can identify concealed humans and explosives, are extremely fast runners, and can even operate a parachute either in tandem or solo. Good to know that we’d be even less useful than a dog.

Navy SEAL Facts

22. American Sniper

Chris Kyle, a US Navy SEAL sniper, had over 150 confirmed kills and many more unconfirmed, earning himself the nickname “The Devil” amongst Iraqi insurgents.  The previous American record for a sniper was 109 confirmed kills.

Navy SEAL Facts

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6

21. Life is Better Where it is Wetter.

Navy SEALs are said to be most effective when striking from the water.

Navy SEAL facts

20. It Ain’t Easy Being Green

Nicknames for the Navy SEALs include “Frogmen,” “The Teams,” and “The Men with Green Faces.”

Navy SEAL facts

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19. Face Time

The nickname “The Men with Green Faces” was given to them by the Viet Cong due to the camouflage face paint the SEALs wore during combat missions. So… just for the record, greenface is okay.

Navy SEAL facts

18. Michael Phelps Would Have Been Great

Many current SEAL missions were first assigned to the Operational Swimmers of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a precursor to the CIA. They specialized in dropping operatives behind enemy lines to engage in organized guerilla warfare and to gather information on enemy resources and troop movements.

Navy SEAL facts

OSS Swimmers (Frogmen)

17. Clearing the Way

After a disastrous landing on the Tarawa Atoll in 1943 where many Marines were lost due to obstacles such as reefs, the Navy formed Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT), another SEAL precursor, tasked with destroying those obstacles to clear the way for a smoother landing.

Navy SEAL facts

16. Screw U

The UDT kept operating during the Korean War and even assisted South Korean commandos in destroying tunnels on land. High command had an issue with UDT swimmers operating on land as it did not to fall within their specific umbrella of operations. Apparently, they took the U in UDT very seriously.

Navy SEAL facts

15. The Beginning

The Navy SEALs officially started after President John F. Kennedy gave his famous “man on the moon” speech in 1961. In that speech, JFK proposed an increase in paramilitary funding and support for special operations. By the following year, America had Navy SEAL teams 1 and 2, and the Viet Cong had a serious problem.

Navy SEAL facts

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6

14. High Fidel-ity

Some of the first missions taken on by the Navy SEALs was doing secret reconnaissance on shore in Cuba in advance of a proposed amphibious invasion of the island. Of course, that never happened.

Navy SEAL Facts

13. Solid Numbers

During the Vietnam War, Navy SEAL teams One and Two had a kill ratio of 200:1 and were the most highly decorated group of soldiers in the entire war.

Navy SEAL facts

12. Renaissance Killer

Navy SEAL Richard Marcinko was so badass that the Viet Cong offered a bounty of 50,000 piasters for his death. Over his career, he earned 34 citations and medals and wrote five best-selling novels. Oh, and he also founded SEAL Team 6.

Navy SEAL Facts

11. Numbers Game

SEAL Team 6 was actually only one of three SEAL teams at the time, but was given the designation 6 to confuse Soviet Intelligence about exactly how many teams there actually were.

Navy SEAL Facts

10. Not Their Real Name

SEAL Team 6 was disbanded in 1987 and their successor is officially The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DEVGRU. People just like referring to them as SEAL Team 6 because it sounds cooler.

Navy SEAL Facts

9. They Are the Captain Now

The SEAL Team that took out Bin Laden was also the same team that rescued Captain Phillips from Somalian pirates. Perched on the fantail of a destroyer, they managed to take out three pirates on a lifeboat with three simultaneous sniper shots to the head. You know what they say. Three heads are better than one.

Navy SEAL Facts

8. But They Didn’t Touch the Car

The Navy SEALs conducted extensive operations in Panama were they blew up Manuel Noriega’s private jet and his personal gunboat.

Navy SEAL Facts

Manuel Noriega

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6

7. Made You Look!

During the Iraq War, Navy SEALs tricked the Iraqi military into thinking an amphibious assault was imminent by setting off explosions and putting marker buoys 500 meters off the Kuwaiti coast.

Navy SEAL Facts

Marker Buoy

6. Be Very Very Quiet….

After 9/11, Navy SEALs were deployed to Afghanistan as part of a hunter-killer task force whose primary objective was capturing or killing Al Qaeda senior leadership.

Navy SEAL Facts

5. Live by the Code

Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell was the sole survivor of a Taliban ambush. After being wounded, he managed to evade the enemy and was aided by members of the Sabray tribe. Following Pashtunwali, an unwritten code of ethics followed by indigenous Pashtun people, the tribal chief fended off further Taliban attacks to keep Luttrell safe until the US military could be contacted.

Navy SEAL Facts

Marcus Latrell and the man who saved his life, Mohammad Gulab.

4. Man’s Best Friend

In 2009, four years after his return, Luttrell’s dog was shot by a group of hooligans. Luttrell chased them through four counties to catch them. During his call to 911, he told the operator, “You need to get somebody out here because if I catch them I’m going to kill them.” The perpetrators were charged with animal cruelty, which is way better than the death penalty that Luttrell would have given them had the police not gotten there first.

Navy SEAL Facts

3. Navy SEALs and the Funky Bunch

Luttrell parlayed his combat experiences into a bestselling book called Lone Survivor, that later became a movie starring Mark “Good Vibrations” Wahlberg.

Navy SEAL Facts

2. Stealthy Penetration

After their successful assassination of Osama Bin Laden, The company Fleshlight rewarded members of SEAL Team Six by sending them Fleshlight sex toys from their ‘stealth’ collection. If a Navy SEAL wants to pleasure himself without you knowing, trust us, he’s already done it.

Navy SEAL Facts

1. Because it’s Torture, That’s Why

As part of their training, Navy SEALs were waterboarded, but the practice was discontinued because so few SEALs could withstand it. This was leading to low morale.

Navy SEAL facts

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6
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