Do You Have To Know How To Swim To Join The Navy? Here’s What You Need To Know

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By John A

Are you looking to join the Navy but aren’t sure if your swimming abilities are up to par? You may be surprised to learn that not only does the U.S. Navy provide lessons for those who don’t know how to swim, it also offers a range of other aquatic training options! In this article, we cover everything you need to know about joining the Navy and what type of swimmers they’re seeking.

Quick Answer

Yes, you must be able to swim in order to join the Navy.

Do You Have To Know How To Swim To Join The Navy?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. It depends on the position you are applying for in the Navy. Generally speaking, if someone wants to join the Navy they will be required to pass a basic swimming test before they can enter into service; however, different branches of the military may have varying requirements.

If someone is joining as an officer or enlisted sailor then it would be expected that they know how to swim. This means being able to demonstrate several strokes such as breaststroke and backstroke, floating, treading water, and even underwater swimming over short distances while wearing clothes – all demonstrating a certain level of competence. The recruit must also show basic safety knowledge including what actions should be taken in case of emergency or panic whilst in open water environments.

On top of this there are other jobs within the Navy which don’t require any prior experience with swimming whatsoever; these include administrative roles where swimming ability does not usually come into play at all during daily duties so knowledge about how to handle oneself in open waters isn’t relevant either way for those positions. These roles do however still require some fitness tests which need passing before entering into service but typically not a formalized test related directly with aquatic skills since actual interaction with bodies of water choices doesn’t occur on a regular basis within these particular jobs when compared with other sailors who spend their days aboard ships out at sea.

Swimming Skills Required for Navy Recruits

For those looking to join the US Navy, there are several swimming requirements each recruit must meet before completing basic training. The ability to swim is essential for all military personnel, as it’s a skill that could one day save their lives. Navy recruits need to be comfortable performing in and around water; This includes an understanding of safety protocols, proper techniques, and overall physical fitness.

All navy recruits must pass the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). This consists of a 500-yard freestyle swim – meaning they must complete eight laps in a 25-meter pool using the crawl stroke with no breaks or pauses. Additionally, recruits should be able to demonstrate competitive strokes like butterfly and backstroke while treading water for two minutes without any assistance from flotation devices or walls. Furthermore, they need to be proficient in simple underwater skills such as how to clear an underwater obstruction or retrieve objects from the bottom of a pool.

Recruits will also have opportunities to learn self-rescue strategies like surface dives and floating/treading skills which can prove invaluable during emergency situations; this includes being able to enter deep waters from different heights safely and navigate through hazardous conditions like currents and riptides. Finally, Rescue Swimming is taught during boot camp; this involves life saving techniques such as throwing lines/buoys into rough waters while rescuing someone who has gone overboard or been swept away by high waves – an increasingly important skill now that climate change has increased our exposure natural disasters brought on by storms at sea or floods ashore.

Different Roles in the Navy Requiring Swimming Proficiency

The Navy is a highly specialised branch of the military, one that requires its personnel to be capable in a variety of different fields; and swimming proficiency is no exception. Although it’s widely known that members of the navy must have at least basic swimming skills, there are many unique roles within the force which require an even higher level of skill and expertise.

One such role is being part of an underwater demolition team, or UDT for short. These teams are sent into hostile waters to clear any obstacles from sea routes – this includes everything from mines to sunken ships. To do this safely and effectively, team members must master a variety of complex diving techniques as well as possess advanced swimming capabilities so they can move quickly and accurately in order to complete their mission. In addition to these duties, UDTs also conduct covert operations when necessary such as gathering intel on enemy vessels or sneaking up on foreign shores undetected; these missions necessitate expert swimmers who can remain concealed while providing valuable reconnaissance information.

Another key role requiring proficient swimming is Search & Rescue (SAR). SAR personnel play an integral part in both naval operations as well as civilian emergencies; they are responsible for rescuing survivors from sinking or crashed vessels while remaining calm under pressure and putting their own lives at risk in order to save others’. They employ expert search techniques based on ocean currents, tides, wind direction and other environmental factors which enable them locate victims faster than anyone else could during times crisis – all without compromising their own safety by operating in hazardous conditions with strong winds and large waves crashing against them constantly.
Swimming proficiency also plays an important role within Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams; these highly trained professionals go out into dangerous environments where unexploded ordnance poses significant risks both inside the water itself but also onto nearby land areas too. EOD personnel must navigate through murky waters filled with debris while safely locating bombs underwater before disposing them efficiently with minimum disturbance created – something that requires immense coordination between movement speed combined with dexterity only found among specialist swimmers who’ve mastered difficult underwater manoeuvres like those listed above plus more besides!