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Patriotic Article
Military
By Navy Lt. j.g. Arlo Abrahamson

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Navy SEALs Speak to D.C. Area Students About Careers
(November 27, 2009)

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WASHINGTON (November 19, 2009 - NNS) -- A group of Naval Special Warfare operators from East Coast-based SEAL teams addressed an audience at the Navy Memorial in Washington Nov. 17 as a part of a community outreach effort designed to educate citizens about the mission and scope of Navy special operations.
Nov. 17, 2009 -  Navy SEALs answer questions during a Naval Special Warfare community outreach event at the Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. The event, sponsored by The Smithsonian Associates, iinformed citizens about the mission and scope of Navy Special Operations in the 21st century.
Nov. 17, 2009 -  Navy SEALs answer questions during a Naval Special Warfare community outreach event at the Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. The event, sponsored by The Smithsonian Associates, informed citizens about the mission and scope of Navy Special Operations in the 21st century.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua T. Rodriguez
The event was sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates, and featured a series of video documentaries on the history of Naval Special Warfare along with three SEAL guest speakers who provided the audiences with testimonials of their own careers as special warfare operators.

Capt. Gardner Howe gave opening remarks and explained the structure and makeup of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) along with its subordinate service level organizations. He also provided a brief overview of the future aims of the SEAL community.

The discussions helped shed light on the mindset, intellect, and commitment to excellence required by those service members who choose a career in military special operations.

"There is no prototype SEAL candidate, but there are certain qualities," said Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Shawn Johnson. "We need people who are strong both mentally and physically and can adapt and overcome in the most arduous of conditions. We also need people from diverse ethnic and skill backgrounds so we can be a dynamic force capable of operating in a variety of environments across the globe."

Johnson told the audience that teamwork is an intangible part of being a SEAL. He said Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUDs) training teaches candidates the importance of their teammates from the very first day that students enter the course.

"In the most difficult days of BUDs training, you learn that it's about the man sitting next to you, " said Johnson. "Those are the guys that get you through the hardship. Those are also the guys that will get you through when you're on the side of that mountain during a real world operation."

Lt. Mark Greene provided the audience with a glimpse of his own journey in becoming a SEAL. As a prior enlisted special warfare operator who entered the Navy with nearly four years of college, Greene said he wished he had the opportunity to learn about Naval Special Warfare as a young man.

"I wish someone would have told me about a career as a Navy SEAL when I was coming up," said Greene, speaking to college and high school students in the audience. "Once I knew about what this community was all about, I knew this is what I wanted to do."

This message appeared to resonate with the audience.

"I learned a little more about the Naval Special Warfare community this evening," said Midshipman Benjamin Beitler, a member of the U.S. Naval Academy wrestling team who attended the event. "I was very impressed with these guys and what they had to say."

By Navy Lt. j.g. Arlo Abrahamson
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs
Copyright 2009

Reprinted from Navy News Service

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