The legendary Navy SEALs will not alter their rigorous PT standards, even as they are forced to open the doors to women in 2016.
Naval Special Warfare and U.S. Special Operation Command completed a thorough review of the standards and decided the long standing run, swim, sit-ups, pull-ups, and push-ups standards used by the SEAL and SWCC communities will stay, according to the Chief of Naval Personnel.
“I literally submitted that paper… last night,” Vice Adm. Bill Moran said ofthe plan, which must still be reviewed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. “We have our plan. We’ve been leaning pretty far forward on this. We’re ready to go.”
There’s a big difference between being ready to go and being in a rush to push women into physically demanding training that compels more than 80% of men to drop out.
“For young women that want to be in that community, we’ve got to give them time to get ready,” said Moran. “So I’m not in a rush to push the first one through and get at it that way.”
When the Defense Department announced in 2013 its plans to lift the exemption on women in combat roles, the services were ordered to evaluate their physical standards and be forced to make the case why any jobs should remain closed to qualified women.
“The standards were thoroughly reviewed by SOCOM and SPECWARCOM for the Navy. [Rear] Adm. [Brian] Losey’s team fed that to SOCOM, SOCOM approved that the standards we have are the standards we need,” Moran said. “And if you meet the standard and you’re able to become a SEAL or a SWCC.”
One potential headache facing Naval Special Warfare is the published minimum standards are far below what is actually needed to enter school. The published standards are:
500-yard swim: 12:30 minimum, 9:00 optimum
1.5 mile run: 10:30 minimum, 9:30 optimum
And in two minutes or less:
Push-ups: 50 minimum, 90 optimum
Curl-ups: 50 minimum, 85 optimum
Pull-ups: 10 minimum, 18 optimum
But in 2014, the average SEAL candidate who was selected for BUD/S did more than 22 pull-ups on his PST.
“In other words, the requirement of 10 pullups doesn’t even get you looked at,” said NSW recruiting directorate commanding officer Capt. Duncan Smith.
Of the tens of thousands who apply for BUD/S each year, less than 700 will be given a slot at the school, meaning the selection ends up on a curve.
Could the Obama administration use political pressure to put someone in who “meets the standards” but would not otherwise have been selected for training?