Navy SWCC Training Program

by Stew Smith

Special Warfare Combatant Crewmember Fitness Training

I received an email from a young man in the delayed entry program (DEP) who wants to drive small and fast boats for the Navy. Basically, he wanted to know who drove the boats that deliver the Navy SEALs and what the training is like.

The group the DEPer is asking about is the Special Warfare Combatant Crewmember (SWCC) Training Program. SWCC training is part of Naval Special Warfare and the school is located in Coronado, CA. The program is nine weeks long, and under the command of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) commanding officer.

The forefathers of SWCC are the Swift Boats or the Brown Water Navy from the Vietnam era. The "Brown Water Navy" is now one of the three components of the Naval Special Warfare Command (SEAL Teams, SEAL Delivery vehicle (SDV) Teams, and Special Boat Units). These high-tech, high-speed boats make up the maritime component of the U.S. Special Operations Command - SOCOM.

The future SWCC operators go through an intensive course of instruction that is similar to SEAL training. It includes the following phases:

- Fitness
- Swimmer skills
- First aid
- Maritime navigation skills
- Basic seamanship
- Engineering
- Communications
- Weapons
- Special warfare skills

Once stationed at the Special Boat Unit (SBU), the SWCC student will receive advanced training and operate in direct support of Navy SEAL missions as boat drivers, medic assistants, navigators, communications links, and direct suppression fire from the arsenal of weapons on these vessels. Many get opportunities to attend jump training as well.

Below are the physical standards you must meet when at the SWCC Training Center. As you can see the pace and intensity is challenging but not impossible. It is highly recommended that you be able to perform at least the Week 9 standards prior to entering. To ensure your graduation chances, it is recommended to surpass the following minimum standards with the recommended scores:

Fitness Standards

Physical Evolution Standards
Weeks 7-9 Recommended
500yd swim 9:00 - 10:00
Pull-ups 11 15-20
Push-ups 70 80-100
Sit-ups 75 80-100
1.5 mile run 9:00 - 10:30
Swim 1/2 mile (ocean) without fins (sidestroke) 30:00 20:00
Swim 1 mile (ocean) with fins (sidestroke) 50:0 40:00
Swim 400 meters (pool) without fins 10:30 9:00
Run 10 kilometers (sand) with boots and pants 60:00 50-55:00
Water entry from height of 1 meter Completion
25 meter underwater swim (ocean) Completion
Drownproofing (ocean) Completion
Basic Lifesaving (ocean) Completion
Swim 200 meters (ocean) in full uniform Completion

Most of the injuries at SWCC as well as BUDS involve unprepared leg muscles for high amounts of running. You have to run to get better at running. Check out the Stew Smith article archive for sample running, swimming, and PT programs. Also- the SWCC Workout eBook is available at the eBook store.

The SWCC career will be exciting for anyone who transfers from a Navy gray hull and is also open to young sailors out of A-school as a closed-loop career path. Many sailors start in SWCC and make it to BUD/S and earn the Navy SEAL title. It is a great way to get into the SEAL community.

Learn more about available Special Operations opportunities.

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 Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

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