Tuesday, October 11, 2005

SEALs Launching Public Recruiting Effort

Associated Press October 11, 2005
CORONADO, Calif. - The Navy SEALs prefer to operate in the shadows, but the Pentagon's need to increase the ranks of the elite terrorist-hunting commando force is prompting an unusually splashy recruiting effort.

Navy SEAL Mitchell Hall, who won a Bronze Star in 2001 in Afghanistan, hopes to use the upcoming Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii to spread the word about the need for more recruits.

The competition will make the 31-year-old chief petty officer a spokesman for the community of self-described quiet professionals and put him in front of the cameras he spent years avoiding.

The change in recruiting methods comes amid the Pentagon's increasing reliance on special operations and the call for a 15 percent increase in SEALs over the next several years.

The SEALs have a legendary reputation as an elite, highly skilled fighting force, but it is hard to find candidates with the necessary physical conditioning.

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