Navy SEAL Requirements

Navy SEAL completes a water jump.
A Navy SEAL completes a water jump during a Special Boat Team 12 maritime craft air delivery system training exercise. (Seaman Matthew Syberg/U.S. Navy)

Although there is no easy way to become a SEAL, there are several ways to become a SEAL candidate. As a civilian, you can request to join the SEALs before enlisting through the SEAL challenge contract (seaman to SEAL program). The SEAL challenge contract guarantees you the opportunity to become a SEAL candidate and entitles you to certain bonuses and benefits when you enlist.

If you don't get a SEAL challenge contract before enlisting, you still can volunteer to take the physical screening test (PST) during the first-week boot camp. If you successfully pass the PST, a naval special operation motivator will interview you. The motivator then will submit a request for you to enter the Naval Special Warfare (BUD/S) training pipeline.

TIP: Be sure to tell the Navy recruiter that you want to take the SEAL challenge before you enlist. SEAL volunteers that don't have the SEAL challenge contract before joining don't qualify for the same benefits as applicants that have the contract.

Navy SEALs Qualifications

All SEAL candidates are required to meet the following qualification standards and pass the PST:

  • 18-28 years old (17 with parental permission)
  • A U.S. citizen.
  • High school graduate (or meet High Performance Predictor Profile criteria). Be proficient in reading, speaking, writing and understanding the English language.
  • Have clean record -- Not be under civil restraint, a substance abuser or have a pattern of minor convictions or any non-minor, misdemeanor or felony convictions (waivers are granted, depending on number and severity). The special assistant for legal affairs must not enlist applicants with lawsuits pending against them without prior approval.
  • ASVAB minimum requirements: SEAL - GS+MC+EI=165 or VE+MK+MC+CS=220. Since you cannot get a waiver on the required ASVAB score, it is critical that you score high on the ASVAB. Check out our ASVAB practice tests to learn how you can Ace the ASVAB.
  • Eyesight requirements: Uncorrected vision in the better eye can be no worse than 20/70, the worse eye no more than 20/100. Both eyes must be correctable to 20/20. Color deficiencies require approval.

Once you enlist in the delayed entry program, you will be assigned a SEAL/SWCC mentor who will screen/test and help prepare you for the first level of training boot camp and Pre-BUDS. You will be judged initially by your Navy PST scores so prepare for this phase of your journey by practicing the PST several times. Consider the PST your entrance exam; you will be required to take the Navy SEAL PST before attending boot camp several times with your SEAL/SWCC mentor.

After boot camp, you will attend an advanced workout program at Great Lakes that will prepare you for BUD/S. Taking the Navy SEAL PST is still a requirement, and getting into the optimum range is highly recommended. For the latest in academic, physical and psychological background requirements, see the Official Navy SEAL/SWCC Page.

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