SEALs diversity article in Time mag - Recruits can't swim?

SEALs diversity article in Time mag - Recruits can't swim?

Joined: March 10th, 2005, 5:37 pm

March 5th, 2012, 5:57 pm #1

short story on how the current demographics won't be able to support future missions...adding that its demanding swimming tests could undercut diversity efforts, and that the Navy is considering swimming classes for new recruits..

Am I reading it right that the article states that minorities can't swim?

and its not required to be able to swim to join the Navy?????
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Joined: February 15th, 2009, 5:46 am

March 5th, 2012, 8:13 pm #2


estimated ~70% of African-Americans can't swim.  Drowning deaths are signifigantly higher (up to 3x) among African-Americans. 

Theories on why this is the case are varied, some say it was due to segregation at public pools (thus older generations didn't learn, and never taught their descendants), some say lack of pools in inner cities (those that are built are small wading type pools, not Olympic-sized pools for competitive swim meets), some say it's because they don't want to get their hair wet or are worried about the effects of chlorine. 

And I don't think you have to know how to swim to join the Navy.  At least I don't think you have to prove it.  Didn't JFK help PT-109 crewmates who didn't know how to swim?     
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Joined: November 10th, 2006, 3:04 pm

March 5th, 2012, 8:14 pm #3

short story on how the current demographics won't be able to support future missions...adding that its demanding swimming tests could undercut diversity efforts, and that the Navy is considering swimming classes for new recruits..

Am I reading it right that the article states that minorities can't swim?

and its not required to be able to swim to join the Navy?????
It HELPS, it is part of training, and they have remedial swimming classes. One fella in my boot company was from Nigeria. When he saw the swimming pool in the field house at RTC Orlando, he said "I have never seen so much water in a pool before in my life!". But, Josef learned to swim.

-in most cases, if you go into the water, you are gonna die. Sad fact they really don't explain too well in bootcamp.....

"The FANS are fighting back!!!"
"The SECURITY GUARDS are fighting back!!!"
"The PEANUT VENDORS are fighting back!!!"
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Joined: September 15th, 2005, 2:34 pm

March 5th, 2012, 8:53 pm #4

In the mid 80s the Navy used to discharge people who couldn't swim...I know because I put several of them in the Army when I was a recuriter from 84-87.
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Joined: March 10th, 2005, 5:37 pm

March 5th, 2012, 9:01 pm #5

anyone know if the requirements are to enlist? online?
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Joined: November 10th, 2006, 3:04 pm

March 5th, 2012, 9:08 pm #6

to JOIN, it is not required. To get through bootcamp, it is required to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency(frankly, it was very akin to a certain part of Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail- He floats! Pass!). I also was in from 84-88, and I didn't hear of anyone washing out for swimming, including the guy from Nigeria.......

"The FANS are fighting back!!!"
"The SECURITY GUARDS are fighting back!!!"
"The PEANUT VENDORS are fighting back!!!"
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Joined: March 10th, 2005, 5:37 pm

March 5th, 2012, 10:51 pm #7

but as a personal preference, if I was to join the Navy, which would most certainly entail me being on a ship in the ocean, I would want to learn to swim, whether it was a requirement or not...
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Joined: November 10th, 2006, 3:04 pm

March 5th, 2012, 10:59 pm #8

too bad that your chances for survival, if tossed into the drink, are so small. If the cold water didn't get you, you would have to contend with things like exhaustion, burning fuel oil, or sharks.

Our company commander did tell us some good news- Land will never be further than 7 miles away..... 7 miles being the deepest known section of the Marianas trench.....

"The FANS are fighting back!!!"
"The SECURITY GUARDS are fighting back!!!"
"The PEANUT VENDORS are fighting back!!!"
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Joined: December 29th, 2005, 4:15 am

March 5th, 2012, 11:35 pm #9

short story on how the current demographics won't be able to support future missions...adding that its demanding swimming tests could undercut diversity efforts, and that the Navy is considering swimming classes for new recruits..

Am I reading it right that the article states that minorities can't swim?

and its not required to be able to swim to join the Navy?????
It's probably different now, but my Father was an instructor in Navy basic (?) training in 1944 - 45 and taught basic water survival techniques, some hand to hand combat techniques and physical training. He had a couple of amusing stories about running recruits through the showers and into the pool out the other end, taking a cigarette break with his fellow instructor, casually walking through turning off the showers, then out to the pool and finding recruits at the bottom. Amusing only in that no one was ever hurt in those stories.

An old soldier, but not faded away. Yet.
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Joined: April 25th, 2005, 12:47 am

March 6th, 2012, 2:47 am #10

estimated ~70% of African-Americans can't swim.  Drowning deaths are signifigantly higher (up to 3x) among African-Americans. 

Theories on why this is the case are varied, some say it was due to segregation at public pools (thus older generations didn't learn, and never taught their descendants), some say lack of pools in inner cities (those that are built are small wading type pools, not Olympic-sized pools for competitive swim meets), some say it's because they don't want to get their hair wet or are worried about the effects of chlorine. 

And I don't think you have to know how to swim to join the Navy.  At least I don't think you have to prove it.  Didn't JFK help PT-109 crewmates who didn't know how to swim?     
Don't know about now but in 1971 you didn't need to know how to swim.
They have you jump in a pool from a 6 foot platform, if you can't swim, and splash around like I did, they pull you out, set you back from your company and show you how to float on your back, then they make you do a lap or whatever it was, floating on your back and that was it, you passed.
I guess they figure if your ship sinks your a goner anyway.

Owen
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