Longest Serving Navy SEAL Passes on Legacy Title

Story Number: NNS110826-04Release Date: 8/26/2011 5:08:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Megan Anuci, Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- The title of "Bull Frog," a legacy title in the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community, was passed to a new NSW representative at a ceremony in Coronado, Calif., Aug. 22.

The "Bull Frog" title recognizes the active duty Underwater Demolition Team (UDT)/SEAL operator with the greatest amount of cumulative service following completion of UDT Replacement Accession or Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, regardless of rank.

Adm. Eric T. Olson, the former commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), retired from active duty after 38 years of service Aug. 22. When doing so, Olson passed the "Bull Frog" title to Adm. William H. McRaven, USSOCOM, and Cmdr. Brian Sebenaler, training and readiness officer, NSW Command.

The UDT/SEAL Association, owner of the trophy and sponsor of the title, says, "...eligible candidates must currently serve on active duty and maintain continuous service within the Naval Special Warfare community."

"It is a title held by the man with the longest continuous active duty service as a SEAL," said Olson. "It is an honor that has meant a lot to those who have held the distinction. It's been my honor to hold it."

McRaven and Sebenaler, both graduates of BUD/S Class 95, will share the title as the 15th "Bull Frog." The two men have a combined service of more than 70 years.

Retired Capt. Karl Heinz, the 12th "Bull Frog," presented individual trophies to McRaven and Sebenaler at the ceremony. Retired Rear Adm. Dick Lyon, the first-ever "Bull Frog," joined Heinz in presenting the award. The "Bull Frog" trophy is engraved with each recipient's name and dates of service.

"It is my great pleasure to present the trophies to the incumbent 'Bull Frogs,'" said Heinz. "The incumbent and former 'Bull Frogs' have agreed that the 'Bull Frog' trophy should appropriately reside in the newly constructed UDT-SEAL Heritage Center in Norfolk."

The title came from UDT swimmers being glorified as "Frogmen" in early Navy recruiting campaigns, followed by books and movies. The "Bull Frog" was the superior commander.

For more information on Naval Special Warfare, visit www.seal.navy.mil or www.navy.mil/local/nsw/.

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