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United States Navy SEALs

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U.S. Navy SEALs
U.S. Navy SEALs Special Warfare insignia.png
The Special Warfare insignia, or "SEAL Trident."
Active 25 May 1961;– present
Country United States United States of America
Branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Type Special Operations Forces
SEa, Air, Land
Role Primary tasks:
  • Direct action
  • Special reconnaissance
  • Foreign internal defense
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Unconventional warfare

Other roles:

  • Counter-drug operations
  • Personnel recovery
  • Hydrographic reconnaissance
Size ~2,500[1]
Part of Navsoc logo.jpg United States Naval Special Warfare Command
United States Special Operations Command Insignia.svg United States Special Operations Command
Garrison/HQ Coronado, California
Little Creek, Virginia
Nickname The Teams, The Green Faces[2]
Motto "The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday"
"It Pays to be a Winner"
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Multinational Force in Lebanon
Operation Urgent Fury
Achille Lauro hijacking
Operation Just Cause
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Restore Hope
Battle of Mogadishu[3]
Operation United Shield
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Red Wings
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Maersk Alabama hijacking
Death of Osama bin Laden

The United States Navy's Sea, Air, and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's special forces.[4] Their acronym is derived from their ability to operate at sea, in the air, and on land. In the War on Terrorism, SEALs have been utilized almost exclusively for land-based missions. All SEALs are male members of the United States Navy. [5][6][7] The CIA recruits operators from the SEAL Teams.[8] Joint Navy SEALs and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War.[9] This still exists today and is seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,[10][11] and in the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.



The Navy SEALs were formed in the second world war. The United States Navy found the need for covert, elite operations. As a result the Amphibious Scout and Raider School was established in 1942 at Fort Pierce, Florida. The Scouts and Raiders were formed in September of that year, just nine months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

World War II

The first group included Phil H. Bucklew, the "Father of Naval Special Warfare," who the Naval Special Warfare Center building is named. Started in October 1942, this group saw action in November 1942 during Operation Torch, the first allied landings in Europe, on the North African coast. Scouts and Raiders also helped during landings in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and southern France. A second group of Scouts and Raiders was started on 7 July 1943. Their first mission, in September 1943, was at Finschafen on New Guinea. Later operations were at Gasmata, Arawe, Cape Gloucester, and the East and South coast of New Britain. The third Scout and Raiders organization operated in China. Scouts and Raiders were to fight with the Sino-American Cooperative Organization, or SACO. They conducted a patrol of the upper Yangtze River in the spring of 1945 and, disguised as coolies, conducted a detailed three-month patrol of the Chinese coast from Shanghai to Kitchioh Wan, near Hong Kong.

Birth of Navy SEALs & Vietnam

President John F. Kennedy, aware of the situations in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for special operations in the fight against guerrilla warfare. In a speech to Congress on 25 May 1961, Kennedy spoke of his respect for the United States Army Special Forces. In the speech he announced his intention to spend over $100 million to strengthen U.S. special operations forces and expand American capabilities in unconventional warfare.


  1. "Navy Steps Up Search for New SEALs-Changes to special-warfare recruiting, training practices show promise for growing unit". The Navy Times. Retrieved 27 July 201.
  2. Wentz, Gene; B. Abell Jurus (1993). Men In Green Faces. St. Martin's Paperbacks. ISBN 978-0-312-95052-1 .
  3. Four operators from DevGru were a part of the assault convoy during Battle of Mogadishu
  4. "SEALs Surface to Blow Holes in Navy Nerd Image". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  5. "Coast Guard Graduates First Two SEALs « Coast Guard Compass". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  6. US Navy. SEAL requirements "SEAL Requirements". SEAL requirements. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  7. Jill Laster. "Program letting Coasties train as SEALs on hold". Navy Times.
  8. Waller, Douglas (3 February 2003). "The CIA Secret Army". TIME (Time Inc).
  9. SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam by John L. Plaster
  10. Haney, Eric L. (2002). Inside Delta Force. New York: Delacorte Press
  11. Efran, Shawn (producer), "Army Officer Recalls Hunt For Bin Laden", 60 Minutes, CBS News, 5 October 2008.