SEAL officer Career Path

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usna candidate, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. usna candidate

    usna candidate Member

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    I was wondering what the normal career path for a SEAL officer is. I understand that SEALs spend a lot of time away from home, but after they leave platoon life because of advancement in rank, how is family life? Do they deploy as much as a normal SEAL operator or since they have a staff job the pace is slower and they can enjoy a semi-normal family life? I hope these questions aren't too hard to answer.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    As I mentioned to another poster (on a different topic), you may want to post this question in the Life After the Academy forum.
     
  3. usna candidate

    usna candidate Member

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    My bad. I will.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Not "your bad." It's just that your question may get a broader audience.
     
  5. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    A typical career path for a SEAL officer would include 1 or 2 deployments as a platoon AOIC, 1 deployment as a platoon OIC, a troop commander as an 04, Operations Officer, XO, and CO. CO of a SEAL Team is an 05 Command. All of these positions come with separate deployments of likely 7 - 9 months and the work ups are pretty intense so it's a lot of time gone. The CO tour often has two deployments within the 2 year tour. In between those tours will be some sort of Shore Tour as an 03 (maybe at BUD/S), and graduate school often as an 04 or 05. There are few jobs at a SEAL Team that would be considered as a traditional "staff job". Depending on what's going on in the world even the CO could be on the ground with a gun on a "mission" although it would have to be a big one. We lost a Team CO in a helicopter fastrope training accident a number of years ago so it's not like they're doing paperwork all day. After the Team CO tour, then it becomes less "operational" (although I don't suggest you ever use that term if you should meet a post CO SEAL, they really dislike being call non-operational). However, the deployments will likely keep coming and are often longer and they may spend a lot of time down range. In some ways, family life gets even harder for the most senior officers (and those trying to become one :)). It may sound like a lot but there are tons of SEAL officers that are great family guys and if you look around at the senior leadership, most have been married for a very long time and have great kids. SEALs and their wives can enjoy their own peculiar brand of normal family life from the earliest days of being a SEAL so I don't see the point in waiting to get married until after the platoon OIC tour.
     

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