We get this question all the time. “What wet suits did you wear back in the Navy SEAL Teams and what would you recommend today?”
First off you need to decide what type of diving or swimming you will be doing and where? How cold is the water?
Are there jelly fish or coral that you want to protect your body from?
The US Navy SEALs typically wear two types of wetsuits:
Dive Wetsuits – These wetsuits are primarily used for diving operations and are designed to keep the SEALs warm and protected from the elements while submerged in water. These suits are typically made of neoprene material and come in varying thicknesses depending on the water temperature.
Combat Swimmer Wetsuits – These wetsuits are specifically designed for combat swimmers and are typically worn during amphibious operations. They are made of a lightweight, breathable material that allows the SEALs to move quickly through the water while providing some insulation. These suits also come in varying thicknesses depending on the water temperature.
It’s worth noting that the US Navy SEALs have access to a wide range of specialized equipment and gear, including wetsuits, which can vary depending on the specific mission or training scenario.
For a typical swim off the shores of Little Creek, Virginia you could have several go to pieces of equipment for work.
In the summer you may want to use a thin lycra layer to protect you from jelly fish.
In the fall and spring you would want to add a thin neoprene top and depending on temps possibly add a hoodie.
For winter you would use a full suit and hoodie and pray that you were swimming and not just sitting in an SDV submarine with little to no movement. Or better yet – in the winter your whole platoon may fly south to find warmer waters to train in.
Just got a message back from a current BUDS instructor and his go-to wetsuit for swimming with the candidates is an Oneill wetsuit (different suit for depending on how cold it is).
Question: What type of wetsuit did you wear in BUDS? I wore just the issued upper top in BUDS which was from a local dive shop in San Diego.
Question: What type of outfit did you wear in the Teams? I had a custom fitted full suit. I trained a lot in the Caribbean so I would mostly put on a long sleeve t-shirt to protect from jelly fish or a thin layer on just my chest.
Question: I heard that the Teams were looking for new wetsuits for the platoons? Do you have any info on that?
Answer: Yes; check out the article in Military Times here:
The main requirements and needs are to have extra padding on the elbows and knees (where you will need it crawling around on a ship or coming up on a rocky shore). The outfit must allow them to swim freely and shoot weapons with no restrictions to their mobility. It will have to be very durable to handle adverse conditions on rocky shorelines, obtruding metal on oil rigs or ships and help to protect the diver from scrapes and rough use.
Question: What is the deal with the new artificial blubber used in hi-tech to help in frigid Arctic cold?
Answer: Check out the latest MIT technology in diving in cold water here:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brad McLeod is married with two kids and an all around average family guy.
He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and despite training all the wrong ways – made it to Navy SEAL training in Coronado, California.
He flunked out of Navy SEAL BUD/S training after making it over half way through (6 months of grueling training). After a year in the Fleet Navy on the USS Cleveland (LPD-7) he came back to graduate BUDS and serve on SEAL Team Four.
His story is simple–Don’t Ever Quit on your Dream! Put one foot in front of the other and fall forward.
Proceeds from this website go to help raise funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation on CrowdRise.
Navy SEAL Recommended Swim Fins