Basic Underwater Demolitions and SEAL (BUD/S) instructors know the human body can have amazing stamina and endurance even in the harshest of weather, conditions, and environments. But they also know that to do this they must be able to ignore the pleas from the body, and that is a very hard skill to develop. That’s why it’s so hard to become a SEAL.
The greatest challenge lies in Week 4 of Phase One (out of three). Over a grueling 5 days, there is continuous training to determine who has the ability and mindset to survive and who is the strongest and who is the weakest. Can you guess what week it is? If you guessed Hell Week, you guessed correctly.
During Hell Week the trainees are constantly in motion. They are always cold, hungry, and wet. Some challenges are just dirty… and when I say dirty, I mean dirty. One of the challenges the trainees face is they have to roll around in mud and put their faces directly in it. Sand burns eyes and trainees know what sand finally taste like. Medical assistants stand by 24/7 for emergencies and then monitor the exhausted trainees. Sleep is barely allowed, they only get three to four hours for the whole week! Also, an amazing fact I didn’t know is that the trainees consume up to 7,000 calories a day and still lose weight! What a diet!
Throughout Hell Week, BUD/S instructors always remind candidates that they can “Drop-On-Request” any time they feel they can’t go on. All the have to do is simply ring a shiny brass bell that hangs within the camp for all to see their failure. That’s harsh… The trainees are probably always thinking, I want to go ring that bell sooooo bad! Especially during Hell Week too, considering the fact they have 116 hours of physical labor in that one week!
Through the long days and nights of Hell Week, trainees learn to rely on one another to keep awake and motivated. Team work is essential. If you do something, you do it for your team. Not yourself. If you suffer, your team suffers. “You and your team are one – learn to work with them” is what the instructors always teach the trainees.
Hell Week – extreme physical endurance, lack of sleep, cold, hunger, pain. This is what it feels like to become a Navy SEAL. Do you have what it takes? If you do, you have my undying respect… forever and always!!!