As a former Navy SEAL, I get asked all the time what kinds of equipment I carried in the field and what was my favorite gear.
Check out this list of some of the basic and exotic equipment that Navy SEALs choose to carry into the field to get their missions done. On any mission you will see about every other guy wearing different gear so often no two are alike.
#10 HEAD GEAR
If you’re out in the ocean you may wear a dive hoodie to keep the cold water off your head.
However, if you’re in the jungle you may simply wrap a green T-shirt around your head and dunk it in water to keep cool.
Head gear is all mission dependent—but kind of fun to see what guys can come up with.
#9 TACTICAL VEST
For close quarters combat you will see SEALs wear a vest similar to the Law Enforcement SWAT Vest.
For jungle ops more like a harness that is more open and less hot when wearing it for extended periods.
Some of the CrossFit gyms that have LEO and soldiers have use plate carriers to help weigh them down for workouts.
All Team Guys will wear a watch but if you checked all the guys in the platoon—most of them would be wearing different ones.
Most guys wear a digital watch as they are cheap and not worried about them if they get lost or broken.
You will probably see more SEALs wearing my favorite Casio “G-Shock” digital watch than any other. Close 2nd is the Timex Ironman Triathlon. Great Value. Not a big deal if it is lost during a mission.
A digital watch can be a liability as they can make a beeping sound with an alarm – so you have to turn off all alarms before a mission. SEALs will put duct tape over the face of the watch to make sure there is no glow.
Zero Dark Thirty SEAL Gear and Helicopters
#7 EYE GEAR SUNGLASSES
Hanging out on the boats for a day of diving or at the range for weapons firing – you gotta have good sunglasses.
The Oakley Jury sunglasses are a good go-to eyewear and are the personal favorites for myself and my platoon.
From there you will see guys wearing goggles during desert missions to keep the sand and grit out of their eyes. Most other times they don’t wear standard eyewear during missions.
#6 HYDRATION BLADDER
The reality is that they work. But nowadays all of the high-speed guys use hi-tech tactical water bladder reservoir systems.
These carry more water in a more efficient manner – but occasionally they leak and don’t perform.
Either way they are an improvement and help get the job done.
#5 Escape and Evasion Kit
The SERE II E+E kit is a must-have gear for any Special Forces operator in the field.
The E + E kit should have at least signaling mirror, small water filter, extra map, fire starting gear and money in local currency as well as gold and silver coins.
If all else fails this will be your go-to bag when the $#@% hits the fan and you have to run for your life.
#4 Navy Seal KaBar Fighting Knife
Your standard MK 3 Navy Knife is great for any operation but guys carry a wide arrange of knives.
You can use the MK 3 as a tool to saw through rope and tap on the hull of a submarine if you get stuck outside the door.
I carried the MK 3 back in the day and still use it today.
#3 Weapon and Optics
Recently Team Guys have been carrying the SCAR weapon system also.
Old school guys would just use iron sights and not worry too much about it.
#2 TACTICAL BACKPACK
Back in the old days we used A.L.I.C.E. packs and eventually moved up to the Berghaus packs.
Team guys today use a variety of packs and the Kelty Map tactical backpack fits the bill to get the job done.
#1 LIGHTWEIGHT BOOTS
If your feet are messed up then you can’t move out and complete the mission.
It is no secret that the Navy SEALs have used the Bates 8 Inches Durashocks Boot as a workhorse boot for the past decade plus. They are standard issue at BUDS after many years of testing and abuse.
Runner Up #1 Tactical Gloves
You will see guys wearing a wide range of gloves depending on the mission.
These will of course keep your hands from getting torn up and blistered but also keep them a little warm or less exposed.
One great glove is the Hard Backed Glove that provides a bit of padding to the back of the hand.
Many of the guys like the use the Mechanix gloves and spray paint over the white lettering. Some don’t even bother and leave them the way they are. Check out the picture at the very top as his gloves still show white lettering.
Popular gloves for the guys are the Mechanix gloves and Outdoor research gloves.
Check out the photo of the Team guy at the top – he doesn’t even have the words “Mechanix” blacked out.
Many guys will spray black paint over the words to help them blend in.
Runner Up #2 Swim Fins
SEALs get issued a wide variety of swim fins but if they have to pick one out of the supply rack they will go for the Aqua Lung Rocket fins just about every time. You can’t go wrong with these fins.
Team guys will carry extra paracord in case the strap breaks. Questions from our readers online.
QUESTIONS FROM OUR STUDENTS
Question: What are the best books to read before going through BUD/S training?
Answer: We are a bit biased and suggest: Freak Frogman Workouts by SEAL Grinder PT Founder Brad McLeod Former Navy SEAL.
We also suggest Breaking BUD/S: How Regular Guys Can Become Navy SEALs.
Question: Which gear do the Frogmen use between Casio vs Suunto? Team Guys often use Casio watches and Suunto Altimeters.
Question: Do frogmen use altimeters? Which altimeters do they use? SEALs use the Suunto altimeters.
Question: What kind of SpecOps gear was used in the movie “Zero Dark Thirty”? Check out the list above for some of the SEAL equipment used in the raid on Bin-Laden.
Question: Where can I get a Suunto Core? Yes; check out this link for Suunto Core on Backcountry.com.
Question: Why do Team Guys carry carabiners on their tactical vest?
Answer: You can always use a carabiner for assorted things from carrying gear to getting hauled out by a chopper. Carabiners are light, don’t take up much space and easy to use in the dark when you’re wet and cold. If the carabiner is shiny, just dust it with some flat black spray paint to avoid catching unwanted light on it.
Question: What were the running shoes that the guys in DEVGRU wore on the Bin-Laden raid?
I think you mean the Vasque Juxt Multisport Shoe. They wore these light weight shoes instead of heavier boots.
Question: What type of flashlight does a Frogman use? We used the issued lights for some missions but always something with a red lens so you could read maps at night without messing up your night vision.
Question: What do you think of the Aimpoint vs ACOG or EOTech? It is personal preference as some guys use the ACOG and some love the Aimpoint.
Question: Do you have a list of all list of all military issued knives that the team guys have used?
Answer: Ha; I am not sure on that one. I would have to go back and do some research for that as that could be hundreds of different kinds of gear.
Question: What is the rebreather that you see some operators using like this one?
Answer: The photo shows a MK25 rebreather unit.
The team guys also use a Draeger rebreather that is made in Germany has been used for decades in underwater combat swimmer missions.
Question: Where can I find out more info on the SEALs?
Question: What do you use a carabiner for on my tactical vest?
Answer: You can use it to attach gear, build a climbing harness or clip to your web belt if you are in need of extraction.
Question: How much does it cost to outfit a team guy operator?
Answer: It cost about $500k to initially train a candidate to prepare them for a team. Each mission is different but a gear kit can be thousands of dollars from head to toe not counting weapon.
Weapons can also cost thousand more with an M4, top shelf pistol and knife.