Brandon Webb Navy SEAL Red Circle

On Friday morning, June 14, 1997, two days after my twenty-third birthday, I arrived in my dress whites on the main quarterdeck of the pre-training office in Coronado to check in for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. It had taken me more than four years to get this far, and I was aware that the odds of making it through the course were somewhere between 1 and 3 out of 10. I was nervous as hell.

The grunt on duty handed me a check-in sheet with a list of signatures to collect that would grant me admission, signatures for such items as Medical, Dental, Admin, and Physical Training Rest and Rehabilitation, or PTRR. As I scanned the page I heard a roar like the crash of a gigantic surf coming from outside. The sound practically shook the building.

“Forty-nine! Fifty! Fifty-one!”