SEAL Target Geronimo explodes a number of media myths about the raid to kill bin Laden. It was not a “kill mission” from the start. The SEALs had no explicit orders to kill the archterrorist and would have captured him if possible. There was no “45-minute” running gun battle. The SEAL team fired only 12 bullets, and the whole operation lasted only 38 minutes.
Richard Miniter reviews the new book detailing the night al Qaeda’s chief died—and the headaches it could cause Obama.
The men most likely to succeed as SEALs, according to a 2010 Gallup study commissioned by the Navy, are at least 5-foot-8 and 162 pounds, eschew Big Four sports for pastimes like water polo, snowboarding, and lacrosse, and hail from “New England, the northern Plains, or the West Coast.” Their average age is 22 to 25.
Some highlights from the Navy SEAL workout:
- getting “drown-proofed”: swimming with bound arms and legs
- “surf torture” (official name: water immersion): a prolonged bob in the 60-degree Pacific Ocean
- jumping on and off a pier while being hosed down with cold water
- retrieving a raft from a distant shed and supporting the 150-pound object—packed with paddles and gear—on your head
- “Hell Week,” a five-day regime of simulated battle stress—and less than four hours of sleep a night
- more than 150 miles of swimming more than 1,300 miles of running over the full six months training