Special Warfare Combatant Fitness Training

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Seaman Apprentice Damien Bell uses his uniform as a floatation device during a training exercise in the combat training tank at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. (Courtesy photo)

The Vietnam-era swift boats or Brown Water Navy are the forefathers of SWCC. 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).

SWCC training is part of Naval Special Warfare School in Coronado, California. The five-month program is under the command of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S).

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 at the SWCC Training Center. As you can see, the pace and intensity is challenging but not impossible. To ensure your graduation chances, it is recommended to surpass the following minimum standards with the recommended scores:

Fitness Standards

PHYSICAL SCREENING TEST MINIMUM AVERAGE OPTIMUM
Swim 500-yard breast or side stroke 13:00 10:00 9:30
Push-ups in two minutes 42 79 100
Sit-ups in two minutes 50 79 100
Pull-ups no time limit 06 11 25
Run 1.5 miles 12:30 10:20 09:30

The minimum standards only will guarantee you a contract to join the Navy. To ensure better performance and increase your graduation standards, you should push yourself toward and beyond the optimum fitness standards. You can check and compare your PST scores at the official Navy SWCC PST Calculator.

For more information on academic, medical screening and background requirements, see The Official Navy SEAL/SWCC page at www.sealswcc.com

Most of the injuries at SWCC and BUD/S involve unprepared leg muscles for high amounts of running. You have to run to get better at running. PT programs to train for the SWCC teams can be found at these Military.com links:

Pull-ups/flexed arm hang

Push-ups and sit-ups

Running

Swimming

Prepare for ruck marches

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