So, you have a college degree and are now thinking about what you want to do with your life? Many attempt to join the military through the Officer Candidate School (OCS) route. There are many opportunities military wide for young college grads seeking to lead in the military, however officer slots for any of the Special Forces units are few and hard to come by. In fact, latest numbers for SEAL officer candidates were about 1 in 8 get accepted to attend SEAL training after OCS.
Applying to Officer Candidate School and wanting to become a Navy SEAL means you will actually be selected to go to BUDS immediately after you complete OCS. You will be accepted to attend SEAL training by a board of SEAL officers and then they will send you to OCS first with immediate follow on training at BUD/S.
You will be accepted to attend SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection training by a board of SEAL officers - then to OCS if they want you to attend BUDS in the future. Applying to Officer Candidate School and wanting to become a Navy SEAL means you will actually be selected to go to BUDS immediately after you complete OCS.
This is good as you will know before you are sworn in that you are going to be afforded the opportunity to attend SEAL training. It is a hard road as you are also competing with enlisted SEALs with college degrees seeking to become officers.
This route will require you to be highly competitive in EVERYTHING. Here are what I consider the top five:
1) College Grades should be great - 3.5 above
2) Extra courses - language skills perhaps / awards
3) College athletics is a plus - team Captain helps more /leadership roles.
4) SEAL PST scores should be stellar: - 500yd swim - 8 min and under - 100 pushups in 2 minutes - 100 situps in 2 minutes - 20 pullups - 1.5 mile run - 9 min and under
5) Letters of recommendations - The best ones are from someone who really knows you not just some former SEAL who knew you for 10 minutes during an interview. However, you need those too though as these count as interviews with a SEAL or former SEAL.
Of course, it goes without saying, criminal records, medical issues, test scores all should be without issue in order to get accepted. See your local officer recruiter if you are seeking the OCS route after college.
Realize that there is a timeline each year you need to adhere to. By January or February, you should be completely done with your recruiting process, applications, medical screening, testing, letter of recommendation. The board will convene late February / early March each year and will determine if you get the opportunity to attend SOAS the upcoming summer. You need to be 100% prepared for your mini-BUD/S stint as you will be tested in all areas of fitness, leadership, followership / teamwork, and pass an interview with the SEAL board.