Ask A Sailor: What does it mean to go to Boot Camp undesignated?
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Q: When did you join the Navy?
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: I joined in 2009 so I’ve been in for about five years.
Q: Why did you join?
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: Big reason was for the challenge. Everyone told me you won’t make it. For me, hearing that made me want to do it even more.
Q: How did you join?
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: I did NROTC at the University of Florida. After commissioning, I went straight to BUD/S.
Q: Tell us about BUD/S.
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: It was the best and worst time of my life. Hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s so incredibly challenging. But I went through it with my best friends, 40-50 guys who are my brothers. It sucks and it’s hard, but it’s kind of fun with your boys.
Q: How long have you been in the Navy Leap Frogs?
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: I came straight from SEAL Team 5 a little under a year ago.
Q: How many times have you jumped?
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: I’ve jumped 310 times, which is actually the fewest on the team. Some guys have more than 18,000 jumps.
Q: How do you join the Navy Leap Frogs?
A: There’s a strict application and interview process. You must be unanimously voted in by the team.
Q: What do they look for?
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: First, you must be Special Warfare. You have to be recommended by your Chain of Command and be military freefall certified. Then, because of the nature of the job, you have to have a personality. We can teach people how to jump, we can’t teach them a personality.
Q: What makes the Navy great?
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: The stuff I’ve done compared to friends my age isn’t even comparable. Really glad to do what I do. As a SEAL I get to think outside the box, come up with creative solutions to complex problems and work with the most talented people on earth.
Q: How should one prep for BUD/S?
Lt. (SEAL) Gibson: Get in great shape, work out, talk to SEALs, and check out http://sealswcc.com