A Veteran of SEAL Team Six Describes His Training

The navy SEALs Team Six is so elite and secretive that its very existence has never been acknowledged by the military—even after its members led the successful assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In this exclusive book excerpt, former Team Six member Howard E. Wasdin describes his progress through SEAL training and its notorious Hell Week, an unthinkably brutal training gauntlet designed to separate the born warriors from the merely mortal.

By Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin

SEAL Team Six and Delta operators.

Adapted from SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin, to be published this month by St. Martin’s Press; © 2011 by the authors.

When I showed up at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California, I walked over the sand berm and saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Huge waves crashed in.

Holy crap. I jumped into the balmy California water. It wasn’t balmy—especially in comparison to the Florida gulf waters I’d trained in.

That’s freezing. I popped out quicker than I’d jumped in. Wonder how much time we’re going to have to spend in that.

During the days leading up to training, SEAL Master Chief Rick Knepper helped prepare us with early-morning swims in the pool and late-afternoon calisthenics on the beach. Master Chief looked like an ordinary guy in his 40s, calmly exercising as we grunted and groaned. He didn’t seem to break a sweat.

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