I had the honor of serving with BP Grogan in the SEAL Teams. He’s an incredible guy, and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the SOF community, and the often mis-understood (even by our own community) SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams. I hope you enjoy his perspective and this trip back in time, and Naval Special Warfare history.
-Brandon Webb, Editor-in-Chief SOFREP.com
Twenty years, that’s how long it took for me to realize I’d done something unique, something different. I was young when I started my SEAL career at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two (SDVT-2). I thought all the Team guys at real SEAL Teams must be right. They must have known something I didn’t. They must have known there was no point to the SDVs. The problem was I didn’t feel that way. I thought SDVs were cool. Thinking they were cool and knowing they were cool were two different things though. I never said it out loud. I kept my thoughts to myself. I figured I’d get hazed or something worse. Over the years I started to believe the real Team guys.
(Photo: SDV Ops courtesy US Navy)
I checked into SDVT-2 during the summer of 1985. Before that I went through BUD/S training, graduating in early ’85. I went to SDV School in San Diego followed by jump school. Most Team guys went to Fort Benning in Georgia for jump school, I was spared the humiliation. Jump school at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, in New Jersey was tame, even lame. A week or so of falling out of airplanes and I was off to Virginia Beach, to Little Creek, home of the East Coast SEAL Teams.
(Photo: SDV Swimmer Pair Links up with a Submarine courtesy US Navy)
The Team building was hard to find. I figured it would stand out a little. I thought it would be by the beach. Like the West Coast Teams. It wasn’t. The sign out front of the building was wrong, I think. It said UDT-22 (Underwater Demolition Team – 22). Or maybe that was my first Team sweat shirt. Either way it took me awhile to find out where to check in. I wandered onto SEAL Team Four’s quarterdeck first. They showed me were to go but not before giving me a hard time.
SDV Ops Video
I wasn’t the only lost new guy. Several of my BUD/S classmates were assigned to SDVT-2 with me. We straggled in a few minutes apart with the same faraway look in our eyes. Fortunately we were all early, real early. Unfortunately we were in uniform and were forced to hang around the quarterdeck while the old guys came in. BUD/S thrashings paled in comparison to what we would be subjected to at the Team.
We noticed a plaque hanging on the wall near the quarterdeck. It was plain and nondescript. Not like the other plaques. It was decorated with the SDVT-2 symbol, some names and a motto or saying, “Are you just a SEAL or are you an SDV SEAL?” Not many guys volunteered to go to SDVs, I did. I read the saying with a sense of subdued pride. Other guys laughed out loud at the plaque, they weren’t volunteers. We were relieved to leave the quarterdeck and start our check-in at the base Personnel Support Detachment (PSD). There would be time enough for getting to know the other SDVers, even if they were less than hospitable.
Read the rest at SpecialOperations.com
(Main Photo: SDV Ops courtesy US Navy)