There are no tips or tricks to Navy SEAL training. Everyone has to do the push-ups that make your fingers bleed and the 100-foot rope climbs that tear callouses off hands. Everyone has to endure the brutality of a cold, dark, and unforgiving Pacific ocean.

I started class 215 of BUD/S training (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) with roughly 220 candidates. Seven months later, only 23 of the original (not counting the roll-ins) candidates would finish.

The first six weeks for me were brutal. But eventually, you adapt to any environment, even in the harshest of conditions. Viktor Frankly talks about this in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to be a Navy SEAL.

In short, there are no cheat codes, no hall passes. You’ll just have to get on with it. And that’s why 90 percent fail. They just don’t understand what training really involves. So here are three steps I’ll share with any prospective Navy SEAL.


Step One: Do Your Homework

Really understand what you’re getting into. How many times have I heard the sob story of some SEAL quitter packing his bags and telling me and my friends he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. A funny sidenote: We had an Egyptian show up to Navy SEAL training. He thought he was supposed to be in navy dive school. “Why the fucking logs?!” he would squeal. Doom on you for not doing your research.

Our complete guide to Navy SEALs is a great place to start.