September 1985, SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team Two, Little Creek, Virginia:

“Amphibious assault was a tactic employed during wartime hundreds maybe even thousands of years before the existence of ballistic submarines, SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV) and the Dry Deck Shelter (DDS). Homer described several waterborne assaults in his epic poems The Odyssey and The Iliad. Persian King Xerces (486-465 BCE) lost hundreds of ships to a freak coastal storm in his failed attempt to attack at the heart of Greece, Athens. Not to mention the beat down his massive army received from the warriors of Sparta at the Thermopylae. The Vikings reign of terror on Great Britain through their almost mystical use of waterborne attacks pushed the English to develop a more effective coastal defense and navy.

Modern use of the amphibious assault has had no less an effect on its intended targets than the ancient attackers did. From thousands of Allied soldiers landing on the beaches of northwest France to the sinking of several British flag ships in the port of Alexandria, Egypt by the Italians during World War II, the silent but deadly option still strikes fear into the hearts of mortal men,” Master Chief said.

During high school this type of lecture or monologue would have probably put most in the room to sleep. No one was asleep, but that didn’t stop the class clown from chiming in.

“So Master Chief, yah read much?” Swamp Thing asked. He looked at the rest of us, his face screwed up. We laughed.

Eight of us huddled around an SDV sitting on its trailer, outside one of the garage bays used for maintaining the SDVs. The late summer sun was blazing bright in the Virginia sky. We tried to use the SDV for shade. It wasn’t working out too well. We felt like chickens in a roaster. The trailer was metal so it burned exposed flesh when touched. The concrete grinder felt like you were lying on a pizza stone. Plus we were waiting. Waiting for one of the Advance Operator Training (AOT) cadre to tell us what was going on. The waiting made everything more irritating.

The SDV was broken. During a dive the day before one of us new guys ran it into a wall smashing up the front end. All the SDV’s vitals are located in its nose. We were told it was down hard. Some of us wondered, as did the Cadre, if the wreckage was intentional. The pilot only smiled and the navigator simply shrugged his shoulders. We were all pretty tired of diving anyway so no tears were shed for the SDV.

We’d been baking in the sun for about an hour when Master Chief came over to chat with us. Someone in our group was complaining about being shafted by the detailer… he wanted to be a real SEAL not an SDVer. Master Chief had a few things to teach us about Frogmen.