The Vietnam War was a turning point in U.S. military history, as the nation’s first draft ended and the United States began to rely on professional soldiers for its armed forces.

The navy seal stories vietnam is a blog that documents the military history of the United States Navy SEALs. This blog shows how they sharpened their deadly skills in Vietnam.

See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

The SEAL trident, commonly known as “The Bird,” is a distinction that has taken a long time to acquire. It is only worn by full-fledged SEALs who have completed all required training and maintain high standards. Image Credit: Alamy

Underwater Demolition Teams, which were formed on Aug. 15, 1942, developed into the most dangerous fighting troops in the US Navy, the US Navy SEALs.

During World War II, as amphibious landings grew more common in Europe and the Pacific, UDTs were sent ahead of landing troops to collect information and clear natural and man-made barriers. Scuba gear became a component of UDT equipment after the war. Parachuting, ground combat capabilities, guerilla warfare, and counterinsurgency were all added to the UDT’s repertory during the Korean War in the 1950s.

Because of President John F. Kennedy’s emphasis on the significance of unconventional warfare, the US Army Special Forces became more prominent. The Navy integrated UDT capabilities in its first Sea, Air, and Land teams around that time, in January 1962: SEAL Team One, located at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado near San Diego, California, and Seal Team Two, based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia.

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    Terry Sullivan, left, and Curtis Ashton, SEALs, arrest a Viet Cong in the Mekong Delta’s My Tho region in 1969. Image Credit: Alamy

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    During a demonstration on April 20, 1970, members of a SEAL/Underwater Demolition Team are scooped up by an H-46 Sea Knight aerial resupply helicopter. / SEAL Museum of the United States Navy

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    During “hell week,” trainees crawl over log barriers, which puts them to the test physically, psychologically, and emotionally. SEAL training is often regarded as the most difficult in the world. National Archives and Records Administration

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    During a mission in May 1970, a member of the SEAL squad works his way through thick muck and mud. / US Navy

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    The Mobile Riverine Force’s small boats dock alongside their mothership, the USS Colleton, a self-propelled barracks ship. / Navy of the United States of America

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    An inflatable Zodiac boat is used to train a SEAL squad. © US Navy SEAL Museum

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    Members of Sea-Air-Land Team One’s Foxtrot Platoon display a range of weaponry, including at least three Stoner 63 light machine guns, which have been rejected by other forces but are popular among SEALs. / SEAL Museum of the United States Navy

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    SEALs land along the Bassac River, 67 miles southeast of Saigon, in a highly infested hostile region to execute Operation Crimson Tide, a one-day sweep against enemy defenses, bunkers, and sampans. / Navy of the United States of America

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    In October 1968, SEALs board a fire team boat for transfer to their next mission location. © US Navy

  • See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

    On Jan. 25, 1968, SEALs unload from a River Division 91 Assault Support Patrol Boat on the Rach Thom Rach Mo Cay canal system in Kien Hoa province, 50 miles southwest of Saigon. They attacked a Viet Cong stronghold, demolishing an estimated 40 to 50 bunkers as well as a propaganda center and two tax collecting sites. In addition, 51 suspected VCs were apprehended. / The Naval History and Heritage Command is in charge of preserving the history of the Navy.

The remainder of the UDTs were absorbed into Naval Special Warfare Group 3 at Coronado in May 1983 as SEAL delivery vehicle teams. In Vietnam, the SEALs, like the Special Forces, refined their approach to combat and honed their abilities.

The SEALs have some of the most rigorous physical and mental training in the world.

“Then comes the difficult part — the task of basically taking on any circumstance or adversary that the globe has to offer,” the Navy proclaims. The SEALs, who are often called upon to carry out the military’s most difficult small-unit direct-action operations, have adopted the slogan, “The only easy day was yesterday.” V

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See How Navy SEALs Sharpened Their Deadly Skills in Vietnam

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