So you have a college degree and are now thinking about what you want to do with your life? Many attempt to join the military through the Officer Candidate School (OCS) route. There are many opportunities military wide for young college grads seeking to lead in the military, however officer slots for any of the Special Forces units are few and hard to come by. In fact, latest numbers for SEAL officer candidates were about 1 in 8 get accepted to attend SEAL training after OCS.
Applying to Officer Candidate School and wanting to become a Navy SEAL means you will actually be selected to go to BUDS immediately after you complete OCS. You will be accepted to attend SEAL training by a board of SEAL officers and then they will send you to OCS first with immediate follow on training at BUD/S. This is good as you know before you are sworn in that you are going to be afforded the opportunity to attend SEAL training. It is a hard road as you are also competing with enlisted SEALs with college degrees seeking to become officers.
This route will require you to be highly competitive in EVERYTHING. Here are what I consider the top five:
1) College Grades should be great - 3.5 above
2) Extra courses - language skills perhaps / awards
3) College athletics is a plus - team capt helps more
4) SEAL PST scores should be stellar:
- 500yd swim - 8 min and under
- 100 pushups in 2 minutes
- 100 situps in 2 minutes
- 20 pullups
- 1.5 mile run - 9 min and under
5) Letters of recommendations help too. The best ones are from someone who really knows you not just some former SEAL who knew you for 10 minutes during an interview. However, you need those too though as these count as interviews with a SEAL or former SEAL.
Of course, it goes without saying, criminal records, medical issues, test scores all should be without issue in order to get accepted. See your local officer recruiter if you are seeking the OCS route after college.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Military.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at Military.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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