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cruellae
05-15-2014, 06:06 PM
Hi,

I have a character who was trained as a Navy SEAL, and then went on to work for the CIA. I am hoping to find out what kind of training these people go through, specific exercises and skillsets, and I'd also be interested in other special forces groups' training, it might be relevant.

Thanks so much for the help!

-cruellae

robjvargas
05-15-2014, 06:19 PM
Find the movie starring Demi Moore, G.I. Jane.

It's not totally there, because of the woman storyline (i.e. fitting everything into the movie plus the storyline), but it's close, from what I heard.

cmhbob
05-15-2014, 07:25 PM
Watch "Act of Valor." Those are real SEALs in the movie.

Bear in mind that SEALS are much more of a brutal trigger-puller than the more "cerebral" Special Forces ("Green Berets") types. SF goes in and trains the insurgents to overthrow a government, or helps train up the military or militia.

SEALS go kill bad guys. There's a certain elegance to their directness, but they are direct and brutal.

midazolam
05-15-2014, 08:09 PM
Read LONE SURVIVOR by Marcus Luttrell.

He goes into great detail about the SEAL training from Day 1 of Indoc (the first phase of training after Navy boot camp) right up through the end of BUD/S.

A few of the things he talks about - getting wet and sandy, emphasis on teamwork and swim buddies, four mile runs in full gear, landing boats on rocks and carrying them onto shore, being forced to tread water in the Pacific for as long as humanly possible before hypothermia sets in (15 minutes in 55 degree water), weapons training, communications training, air training, combat training, Hell Week (from what I read, five days of intense "hell" on about three total hours of sleep), horrific underwater training (where the instructors rip off your mask and tie your oxygen tubes in knots to see if you can handle it), and lots of other great details. The training is several months long, but the most intense phases are the first eight weeks or so. Luttrell started in a class of 180 - only 20 made it through.

cruellae
05-15-2014, 08:29 PM
I'll definitely have to pick up that movie, robjvargas.

Wow, midazolam, that sounds pretty intense, even more so than I was thinking.

I think you're right, cmhbob, I might actually be more interested in the more cerebral special forces like the Green Berets. I was thinking more of black ops missions in enemy territory, things like that.

Thank you everyone! This is really helpful.

shadowwalker
05-15-2014, 08:30 PM
Rather than relying on fiction to learn about the Seals, I would check out their website and find sites run by current/former Seals. I found great factual information and contacts this way (although it had to do with Army Special Forces).

ETA: If you start looking at Army Special Forces, do not refer to them as "Green Berets". Those I had contact with took great umbrage to being referred to as hats. :)

WeaselFire
05-15-2014, 08:59 PM
The beauty of the government is that they write everything down in a manual:

http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/31_Series_Collection_1.html

There are also a million trade craft manuals for his CIA training you can refer to. Keep in mind that training specific to a mission or event may be classified but that all the basics are the same.



Physical Conditioning
Mental Conditioning
Special Skills
Continual Practice and Immersion

There really isn't anything more.

Jeff

midazolam
05-15-2014, 08:59 PM
LONE SURVIVOR is non-fiction and Marcus Luttrell is an actual SEAL - just wanted to mention that in case it wasn't clear!

MDSchafer
05-15-2014, 09:21 PM
Two books: No Easy Day by "Mark Bowen" and Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney, they're about as close to an inside look as you're going to get at special forces training.

robjvargas
05-15-2014, 09:31 PM
Rather than relying on fiction to learn about the Seals...

I agree, don't take that from it. But if you want to see SEALS' constant immersion in water, the sleep deprivation, and so on, the movie comes pretty close to reality in those kinds of atmospheric parts of the training.

The movie took dramatic liberties, as movies are wont to do. But that doesn't mean there isn't something to learn from them as well.

SergeantC
05-15-2014, 09:45 PM
One author who has written several books on Special Forces and SEAL training is Dick Couch. His books include The Warrior Elite, The Finishing School, and Chosen Soldier. I found them quite informative as to what Special Operations troops go through.

Trebor1415
05-15-2014, 09:58 PM
There are a ton of books and quite a few movies that discuss the training of SEALS and other special forces.

A 10 second Google search found these:

http://www.amazon.com/Navy-Seals-Class-Discovery-Channel/dp/B000B6Q0OI

And part 1 of that is online for free:

http://documentarystorm.com/navy-seals-training/

Here's one from 1969 or so that might be useful as historical info

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzkeqJMfPN4

Here's a book on SEAL training

http://www.amazon.com/The-Warrior-Elite-Forging-Class/dp/1400046955

And a whole list of books

http://www.sealswcc.com/navy-seals-motivational-reading.html#.U3T_nnbfrNU

You know, I'm sure that if you do a quick Google search for "books on special forces training" or "books on green beret training" you'll find the same sort of stuff. I'll leave that for you to do though.

badwolf.usmc
05-15-2014, 11:39 PM
Watch "Act of Valor." Those are real SEALs in the movie.

Bear in mind that SEALS are much more of a brutal trigger-puller than the more "cerebral" Special Forces ("Green Berets") types. SF goes in and trains the insurgents to overthrow a government, or helps train up the military or militia.

SEALS go kill bad guys. There's a certain elegance to their directness, but they are direct and brutal.

Navy Seals do FID, Foreign Internal Defense, missions just like the other "Special Forces".

cruellae
05-16-2014, 02:53 AM
shadowwalker, thanks for that tip! I will keep it in mind, call them "Special Forces," not "Green Berets."

WeaselFire - That looks really helpful. A few of the things seem to be restricted, but the others seem like they'll be useful. Thanks!

Thank you SargeantC, Trebor, and MDSchafer, I was definitely hoping to find books specifically about training, and it looks like those are. Wonder if my library has any of them...

badwolf -- What does Foreign Internal Defense mean? Is that what cmhbob was saying about training insurgents to overthrow a government or helping train a military or militia? (Sorry if it's an obvious question)

King Neptune
05-16-2014, 03:00 AM
If you search carefully, then you should be able to find some of the training manuals online, and those should give you an idea of the details.

At least some of the documents on http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/31_Series_Collection_1.html are not actually available; although others may have more luck.

badwolf.usmc
05-16-2014, 06:29 AM
badwolf -- What does Foreign Internal Defense mean? Is that what cmhbob was saying about training insurgents to overthrow a government or helping train a military or militia? (Sorry if it's an obvious question)

FID is just military speak for training teams that are sent to foreign countries. For example, teams have been sent to African countries to train soldiers who were going to Somalia to combat troubles there.

The DOD also send senior officers on FID missions to teach human rights to foreign officers. FID missions are not just limited to combat skills.

LoneRider
05-20-2014, 08:06 AM
Chosen Soldier by Dick Couch covers Army Special Forces.