President Barack Obama, May 2, 2011
For anyone who was a fan of the Fox TV Show '24' your thoughts today might have turned to Jack Bauer and his CTU crew that provided justice and retribution during all of the years we had little. Team Six of the Navy SEALs has made that unreality real and for that I am grateful.
But who are the Navy SEALs? I will admit that aside from some pretty slick movies about the elite branch of our armed forces, I actually knew very little. Here's what I found out today:
The United States Navy SEa, Air and Land (SEAL) Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special op force and are part of the Naval Special Warfare Command. They are also the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command. The acronym ("SEAL") is derived from their capacity to operate at sea, in the air, and on land – but it is their ability to work underwater that separates SEALs from most other military units in the world.
Navy SEALs are trained and have been deployed in a wide variety of missions, including direct action and special reconnaissance operations, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, hostage rescue, counter-terrorism and other missions. Without exception, all SEALs are male members of either the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard.
The Navy SEALs were organized during the Second World War when an Amphibious Scout and Raider School was established in 1942 jointly by the Army and Navy at Fort Pierce, Florida. It was intended to train explosive ordnance disposal personnel and experienced combat swimmers from the Army and Marine Corps, becoming the Naval Combat Demolition Unit.
The NCDU's first mission was Operation Torch during the invasion of North Africa in 1942 and they became the 'first group' specialized in amphibious raids and tactics in the United States Navy.
By the next year, the syllabus had expanded to include underwater demolition. The formation of nine volunteer Underwater Demolition Teams mostly composed of navy personnel from the Seabees were organized into special teams and reconnoitered and cleared beach obstacles for troops going ashore during amphibious landings.
Since then the SEALs have participated in every war or skirmish that the United States has been involved in culminating in th news that in the early morning of May 1, 2011, a team of 40 CIA-led Navy SEALs, 24 on the ground, successfully completed an operation to kill Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan about 35 miles from Islamabad. The Navy SEALs were part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, previously called "Team 6".
The official Navy SEALs motto is:
"Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit"
Movies about Navy SEALs
Unofficial quotes are:
"The only easy day was yesterday!"
"Don't bother running, you will only die tired"
"Alone I am lethal, as a team I dominate."
National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum and Memorial
The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is located in Fort Pierce, Florida, was recognized as a National Museum by an act of Congress and is dedicated to preserving the history of the Navy SEALs and their predecessors.
Movies about Navy SEALs
- The 1991 film The Finest Hour portrays Navy SEAL training as well as combat missions in the Middle East.
- In Under Siege and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, a former SEAL , now cook played by actor Steven Seagal, is the only person who can stop a gang of terrorists when they seize control of a US Navy battleship (Under Siege) and a train (Under Siege 2).
- The 1997 Ridley Scott film G.I. Jane presented the idea of women training and becoming Navy SEALs. Actress Demi Moore played Lieutenant Jordan O'Neill opposite actor Viggo Mortensen's character Master Chief John James Urgayle.
- A SEAL team has been featured in Antoine Fuqua's 2003 film Tears of the Sun, led by actor Bruce Willis.
- Lieutenant Darius Stone and NSA Agent Kyle Steele are both former Navy SEALs in the 2005 film State of the Union.
- The low-budget 1999 film U.S. Seals, filmed in Bulgaria and criticized for its inaccurate portrayal of SEAL operations.
- Jim Street (Colin Farrell) in the movie S.W.A.T
- SEAL Team Rollback, fictional account of classified UDT/SEAL missions in Vietnam. Takes the reader through the history of the Vietnam War from the fall of Dien Bien Phu to the Mayaguez.
- In the action movie The Condemned a SEAL team is mentioned.
- The film SEAL Team tells the story of Navy SEALs during the Gulf War.
- Navy SEALs are mentioned in the 2005 film Yours, Mine and Ours.