Best route for SEALs

DeltaHunter

Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
58
Hello. I am currently a MIDN at Virginia Tech. I am in my freshman year. My lifelong desire is to become a Navy SEAL officer. What is the best route to fulfilling my dream? I understand that USNA has the most BUD/S officer slots, around 30 per year. Would USNA be my best chance of getting an officer slot? NROTC has about 20 BUD/S slots nationally. I am reapplying to USNA and hopefully can get in but if I do not get in, am I doomed? What is the best way to get an officer slot at BUD/S?

Thank you.
 

Humey

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
1,510
The academy guys have more spots, but its not like NROTC doesnt have access to this also. I mean if there are 50 spots and Rotc gets 40%, it isnt exactly the end of the world. My son got a pilot spot from AF Rotc and the AF academie have more spots than Rotc. So while being in academy can give you better access, it easier to get into the ROTC.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
6,616
USNA had 36 spots last year. They have been in the 35 range for the last few years. NROTC I had a hard time finding data but saw numbers from high teens to mid 20s.

Yes you can absolutely get a spot out of NROTC. You are at VA Tech so I am sure you guys have produced a few SEALs in the last few years. The path is pretty clear on how to pursue a SOAS path for training to be eligible for the spot come service assignment.

The pros of USNA in this pursuit are many in my opinion. Being surrounded by 50-75 Mids with this goal is huge. Having training partners, SEAL officer (s) and SEAL Chief (s) assigned to USNA to train, mentor and prepare you is significant. Having a SEAL who knows the ins and outs of the crawl stroke they use and help you develop one. The screeners available to Mids to weed out others for Mini BUDs and then Mini BUDS itself. It's one of the reasons the successs rate of USNA grads at BUDS is so high. It's not as high as a decade or two ago when 15-16 people were selected. USNA had 90%+ success rate back then. I did some digging and texted a buddy who wears a Trident about attrition rates now. Overall Officer attrition rates are around 40% with USNA being around 20%. Getting a BUDS spot is one thing, making it is another. Once someone is selected for a SEAL spot you better believe the training for BUDs gets crazy. The SEALs assigned to USNA take it as their responsibility to prepare them.

Now at VTCC I am sure you have a training partner or two to help you grind away. I think the adavantage at USNA is accessibility to things like pools. I think mentally seeing your peers (competition until selected) out running at 5 am helps drive you to see the competition and know you have to work. I think seeing a familiar face at Mini-BUDS and BUDS can help when you are having those bad days. When the guy next to you has been your buddy and training partner for nearly 2 years from Mini BUDS screeners to BUDS you won't let each other down and know how to pick one another up on bad days.

Again, viable from either path. The only guarantee to getting a BUDS slot is to enlist with a contract. You can apply to lateral move after getting a SWO pin or another community (won't happen as a pilot) to go to BUDS, but it gets harder as each year passes... one year older, life happens, training time to even prepare. But LT Brendon Looney is a great success story who earned his Trident without going to BUDS out of USNA.
 
Last edited:

kinnem

Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
13,976
Can never argue with NavyHoops. I know several guys who made it to mini-BUDS, BUDS, and became SEALs from my son's NROTC detachment while he was there. They all made it through mini-BUDS but only 4 were selected for BUDS. All got through BUDS, but at least one DORed later during EOD training. Every day is a challenge and there are never guarantees.

Hoops is right on about training with someone. The folks interested in SEALs at DS's college formed their own club (they called it Boat Crew) who got together late Friday afternoons and evenings (when normal people go to happy hour) to work out and do SEAL type stuff. Folks who weren't specifically interested in SEALs could join as well. My Marine Option DS joined which is why I know something about it. I watched them train a couple Friday evenings when I went to see the boy for a father son weekend and was truly amazed at the **** they did.... and then they finished the warm up and began the real workouts. They didn't have the mentors that are available at USNA but they must have done a good job among themselves to achieve the results they did.

I'm confident VA Tech already has a similarly motivated group of people, and if they don't you could probably get it started.
 

DeltaHunter

Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
58
Thank you all for the advice. I really appreciate it. I will reapply to USNA but if I do not get in, I will definitely pursue SOAS and compete with my peers as well as motivate them to keep working.
 

end4r

New Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
1
Thank you all for the advice. I really appreciate it. I will reapply to USNA but if I do not get in, I will definitely pursue SOAS and compete with my peers as well as motivate them to keep working.
Ill be the exact same boat there with you next year
 

mcneill18d

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
34
I am guessing "Mini BUDS" is a smaller scaled version of BUDS. How long does it last? How do you qualify to participate in "Mini BUDS?" I want to service select Special Warfare, but know little about the Academy's preparation program. Is there a website or anything I can use to learn some more about it?
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
6,616
Mini-BUDs has varied from 3-4 weeks. It is held in Coronado and it has slightly varied over the years. It is part challenge with BUDs like training and also a lot of information. You train onsite where you would if you went thru BUDs and do a mini-hell week. It was ~36 hours back in the day. I am sure somethings have slightly morphed. I say information also because the SEALs want to educate those pursuing this path as to the reality of what being a SEAL officer is all about. For instance one of the Mids we considered a top prospect to get SEALs was slated to get married right after we graduated. After mini-BUDs he decided he didn’t want to risk his future young marriage and didn’t continue to pursue this path. Also natural attrition has some deciding its not for them. Divorce rates are incredibly high.

The site referenced by HoosierDad is a good start. There are also lots of older threads on this topic if you use the search function. Essentially there are screeners required to get to mini-BUDS. It can vary over the years on it, but be prepared to crush the PT test SEALs take and a miserable 24-48 hours of training to get thru a screener.
 

kinnem

Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
13,976
I am guessing "Mini BUDS" is a smaller scaled version of BUDS. How long does it last? How do you qualify to participate in "Mini BUDS?" I want to service select Special Warfare, but know little about the Academy's preparation program. Is there a website or anything I can use to learn some more about it?

Just to keep it simple while you research the referenced web site, Mini-BUDS is a USNA and NROTC "summer cruise". You must be selected for mini-BUDS. I know folks who weren't. You must also do well there to be selected for BUDS after commissioning. Of course plenty DOR from BUDS as well. ENlisted can get another chance at BUDS. Officers cannot (unless dropped because of injury, I'm sure).
 
Top