Two U.S. Coast Guard Officers become Navy SEALs

Coronado, Calif. – Two Coast Guardsmen will graduate from Navy SEAL training Friday at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and receive the coveted SEAL trident.

Upon graduation, the two officers will join the prestigious ranks of the Navy SEALs after more than a year of continuous training, considered by many among the most difficult in the world.

“Naval Special Warfare is proud to team with the nation’s first U.S. Coast Guard officers qualified as U.S. Navy SEALs,” said Rear Adm. Gary Bonelli, Deputy Commander of Naval Special Warfare Command. “During the past fourteen months they have proven their mettle and have truly earned the right to be called our teammates. Cooperation among all services is a critical component of the National Maritime Strategy. Today’s graduation is just one more example of the many integral ties that bind our maritime services.”

The newly designated Navy SEALs will be making history as the first uniformed personnel ever assigned to an operational SEAL team while a member of another branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

“We are extremely proud of the dedication and effort displayed by these two members in graduating from SEAL Qualification Training,” said Rear Adm. Dean Lee, Commander of the Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group. “They are trailblazers for our service, and we wish them the best of luck as they continue to serve their nation.”

The two Coast Guard officers – whose names are being withheld for security purposes – volunteered to attend Navy SEAL training under an agreement signed in July 2008 by the Coast Guard, Navy and Special Operations Command.

The historic agreement allows up to four Coast Guardsmen a year the opportunity to train and integrate with an operational SEAL team for approximately seven years before returning to their service.

This partnership provides qualified operators for the Global War on Terror and operationalizes the National Maritime Strategy – “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower” – signed by all three U.S. sea services in October 2007.

Three more Coast Guardsmen are in the Navy SEAL training pipeline, with one member on course to complete his training in the Spring of 2011.

By allowing members to train and operate as SEALs, the Coast Guard gains subject matter experts in special warfare and furthers the development of its own counter-terrorism programs. Both services benefit from the improved interoperability and shared techniques, tactics and procedures.

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