My name is Frank M. and I graduated from the SEAL pipeline with class 286. I am certain that much of my successes are credited to the training and preparation that I received from the NSO/NSW NY Mentor Program. I, like many of my peers, joined the Navy with the intentions of following a career path in the SEAL community. However, I had only the information available through books and media on how to prepare myself for the journey ahead. That is when my recruiters at NRS Elizabeth took me to the Ronald Dario Swimming Complex and I met Steve P. and his staff.
The training I received was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before, and I could not get enough. I was taught the basics from the beginning, and was challenged both physically and mentally to my utmost ability on a regular basis. This translated in a huge way from the moment I began the SEAL pipeline. I was surrounded by other young men like myself, who were highly motivated and dedicated to training. The environment was ideal for breeding success and every one of us is a better man today for having been there.
As I previously stated, we were challenged every day. Physically, we were all in phenomenal shape by the time we were ready to move on to basic training. There was nothing physically that I was not able to accomplish upon arriving, or with some practice, during the course of my training. However, I believe that one of the greatest benefits that the NSO/NSW NY Mentor Program has to offer is the mental preparation and mental endurance that it helps you develop. Steve Prescia does an outstanding job of helping you hone those mental skills that are so vital to your success, as only someone who has experienced the same trials and tribulations can do.
Steve was my first introduction to what a Navy SEAL is and I was inspired by him from day one. His words of encouragement and his dedication to our program and providing the best quality candidate for the SEAL teams are so valuable to our community, and so vital to our success. The lessons I learned there were lessons for life and I will carry them with me during my career as I have during training. I am proud to say that I was trained in the NSO/NSW NY Mentor Program and I am proud to say that I was trained by Steve P. and his staff.
SO3 Frank M., Class 286
In my experience, I have found that not all challenges are the same. Some tried me physically, others, mentally. Had I not had the opportunity to train with my mentor, Steve P., I would not have been prepared to overcome these challenges. My mentor taught me that some would be harder than others. He also impressed upon me that all would have their weaknesses. When I came upon these in training, I used patience and perseverance to help me achieve my goal.
My toughest battle was with First Phase: Drowning Proofing. Being physically dense and negative in the water, I struggled with this task. Because of this stress, I had a hard time relaxing, therefore making it even harder on myself. I was rolled after my second attempt at completing the test. Initially, I had been discouraged. But having spoke with my mentor about his challenges, and similar challenges of others, I realized that I should use this time to not only better my skills, but to master drown proofing.
Although I initially failed, through diligence and relentlessness I was able to conquer this nemesis. This is what I believe Naval Special Warfare has been founded on. Being at your lowest point, but able to fight back and succeed.
As I continue in training, I use this as a platform for my motivation. Whenever faced with an obstacle similar to this, I draw upon the lessons learned. I appreciate all that my mentor has done to inspire me.
SO3 Jack V., Class 287
Rocky Point, NY
To Whom it may concern:
I was introduced to the NY Mentor Program/Steve P. in September 2007 during a PST on Long Island, NY. In reflection, I cannot over-emphasize the importance of Mr. P. and his team and its influence on my path to earning a Trident. Integrity, leadership, professionalism and commitment were the instrumental blocks of a critical foundation that Steve P. and his team built in all those preparing to become Frogmen.
I can recall a PST in Long Island where the instructor intensity was higher then usual, creating more chaos and confusion then any of us had been exposed to. My failure as the "senior man" to take charge allowed the situation to descend into utter chaos. I can still recall Steve pulling me aside after the dust settled and saying "Lead. You're paid to be a leader. Lead by example in all situations. Even when you think nobody is watching, the guys are always looking to you to lead them." This 30 seconds of mentoring alone directly contributed to my success in leading my boat crew through Hell Week, my squad through SQT and now my platoon through work-up in preparation for combat in Afghanistan.
In short, I cannot imagine my own success thus far without the thorough preparation I received from Steve P. and his team. I hope and expect that we continue to use this vital and invaluable asset to prepare and develop future Frogmen for years to come.
LTJG Stephen S.
Korey J. R,
I wanted to let you know that I was chosen as a SEAL officer candidate. More importantly, I wanted to thank you for the help, advice and the strong recommendation you gave me. I cannot thank you enough for your guidance. You may not remember me. I was the football player from ECU. I believe you referred to me as "meat head" a time or two. Anyways, I hope our paths cross in the future. And again, I cannot thank you enough for your words of encouragement. I will not let any of you guys down, you have my word.
- Korey J. R, M.S.
Last Name G.
Mr. Fuller, I don’t have much time to write so I will get this out as briefly as possible. Sleep as much as possible before shipping to Boot camp; sleep at the USO and sleep on the plane. Don’t rush through the airport in Chicago! Eat before going to the USO, they won’t let you stay there once you check in; they will hurry you off to the Petty Officers and then you will wait for a bus. Drink plenty of water, more than you ever have before, and don’t touch your face (eyes, mouth, and nose) or you will be sick and miserable! I am one of six out of 75 in Division 830 that isn't sick, so drink only water, sleep as much as possible, and eat well at the airport in Chicago; use your whole meal check! Take time to make phone calls right after you get off the plane. Once you get to RTC you will get about 30 seconds to make a call. Bring your cell phone with you; keep it as long as you can.
You will be fitted for shoes by a machine, so pay attention or you will get the wrong type of shoes. You will not sleep for 20 hours once at RTC. Everyone will be yelling at you and the stress level will be high. Processing days go by quickly because you will be in an exhausted haze. The food is good. Bring a couple bars of soap. DO NOT CALL A PETTY OFFICER “SIR”, get out of that habit right now! “MOVING” and “AYE, AYE” is all you should say, followed by “CHIEF or “PETTY OFFICER, or what ever they are. Study ranking and recognition, it will save you a lot of grief. If you know collar devices and your General Orders you will be fine. Lay low and do what you are told and the beginning of Bootcamp will be a breeze.
PT is not challenging here. After doing Mr. Fuller’s workouts, you will crush the PST here. Focus on conditioning. Do way more running than weight lifting.
C.A.G., SR, USN
Last Name J.
Boot camp has been a huge learning experience for me. Just like you said, “ears open, mouth closed.” I was the opposite and got hammer for it. Now I got it figured out; I do every right, I keep my head down, listen, study, and learn. All of us do the low profile thing. We’re here to make it through. No one is showing off. We've all learned well from what you taught us. You don’t want to fly too high or fly too low. Anyway, sir, since I've learned this, my Boot camp experience has been easier and more fun. Pass it on to the other guys? We've all grown up so much, sir. We’re all a lot better candidates for what we've been through. We've made you and Senior Chief legends out here. Our RDC’s want to meet you. Well sir, I have to go clean the head. I look forward to your next letter, and seeing you and possibly Senior Chief, if he’s got nothing to do, at graduation.
Last Name J., SR, USN
Dear Mr. Fuller,
The number one thing to remember is: “Attention to Detail.” It is important to get this concept down, otherwise your Division is in for a long night of harassment. One more note, make sure you get a ton of sleep before you get here and drink plenty of water.
Robert O., SR, USN