Murphy's Law: December 6, 2004


No one really noticed, but the pass rate of those in training to be U.S. Navy SEAL commandos has gone way up. But the navy isnt worried about the quality slipping. One of the rarely discussed, or even mentioned, aspects of the SEAL training was that the number passing in each class depended more on how many SEALs the navy needed, than on the quality of the candidates. The final cut was not made randomly. Increasingly difficult (like sitting in the cold California surf at night until enough people passed out) tasks would be assigned to the students until enough "failed" to leave the magic number of candidates the navy had jobs for. One could say that this was simply a way to get the best of the best, or grading on the curve. And many SEALs accepted it as a reasonable way to select elite fighters. But the fact remains that many qualified trainees were flunked. Now, everyone that qualifies, gets to be a SEAL. The navy is expanding the SEAL force and needs all the qualified people it can get. Its doubtful that there will be any noticeable decline in the quality of SEAL commandos. 


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