Sailors Find Out What it Takes to Be a Part of Naval Special Warfare

Story Number: NNS070317-06Release Date: 3/17/2007 11:42:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kieshia Savage, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Motivating Team East Coast held six seminars March 12 through 14 at Naval Station Norfolk to inform Sailors about opportunities in NSW programs.

"The seminars are intended to motivate young candidates to join our community," said Mark Courrier, the NSW East Coast motivator and a retired Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) master chief. "They are about communicating everything we have to offer and to give Sailors a baseline where they can start building a foundation for Naval special warfare."

During each of the two-hour seminars, Sailors were educated on the challenging physical and mental ability needed to begin their journey into the world of SEAL or Special Warfare Combat-craft Crewmen (SWCC).

"This community makes up less than 1 percent of U.S. Navy personnel," said Chief Special Warfare Boat Operator (SW) Michael Smith, the NSW West Coast motivator. "We're looking for men that are willing to go out and do some difficult -- but challenging and rewarding -- jobs."

Smith and Courrier were joined by SEAL and SWCC detailers who shared information and answered questions about program requirements and expectations. Many who attended seemed especially interested to learn they could earn up to $75,000 on a single reenlistment bonus after successfully completing a special warfare pipeline.

The motivators stressed a number of points but made it clear it takes a certain kind of Sailor to complete the program and make it to the fleet.

"It's more than physical fitness," said Courrier. "You must have the drive and the mental capacity to make it."

Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airmen Apprentice Kenneth Wilson, a Sailor on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), expressed his interest in pursuing a career as a SWCC operator.

"I decided to come to the brief because I wanted to better myself and better my experience in the Navy," said Wilson. "I plan to train more and start working toward becoming a SWCC immediately."

Smith said he hoped the dozens of Sailors who attended the seminars are more informed on the NSW community and looks forward to motivating even more to add to the ranks of these elite.

"Everyone is hesitant because they think they don't have what it takes or they're not ready, but you can only be so ready for anything," said Smith. "You just have to find out what your vision is, figure out what all the steps are to achieve your goals and start working toward them."

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