Following in the wake of the death of Seaman James D. Lovelace during the First Phase of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training on May 6th, an instructor at the Naval Special Warfare Center (NSWC) has been temporarily relieved of his training duties, and a Washington Post article has called into question how BUD/S handles the students who wash out of the program.  Two students have recently died (one by suicide, and one through his drunk driving accident) after washing out of the training.

Combine these events with the widespread fear within the SEAL community that BUD/S training will be made easier for female SEAL candidates once they inevitably do arrive at SEAL training, and there is a palpable trepidation, both within and without the SEAL community, that BUD/S training is on the verge of being watered-down, toned-down, de-intensified, weakened, or whatever other adjective one wishes to ascribe to denote “being made easier.”

Going to BUD/S is not a right.  Let’s start there.  It takes work to get your foot in the door of BUD/S, once you are enlisted or an officer in the U.S. Navy.  Hell, women have only just recently been given the key to the damn door.  Prior to that decision, the door was steadfastly locked to females.

Lots of young men dream of becoming SEALs.  I was one of those young men.  I worked hard and prepared myself and studied like a madman, and received an NROTC scholarship, and worked some more, and made it through pre-SEAL training, prepared some more, and was lucky enough to be selected to attend BUD/S, following graduation from college.