Monday, March 15, 2010
The Coronado-based Naval Special Warfare Recruiting Directorate was reported today to be heavily recruiting high school and college-level water polo players to be Navy SEALs.
The recruitment effort is based on a nearly $500,000 Gallup study commissioned by the Navy, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The study finds water polo players are most likely to pass the elite unit's rigorous 21-week training program, which has a dropout rate of about 67percent, according to the newspaper.
Triathlons, lacrosse, boxing, rugby, swimming and wrestling are the next six most desirable sports for potential unit members, according to the study.
Navy SEAL recruiters have failed to meet their recruiting goals in two of the past four years.
In addition to recruiting athletes directly, the Navy is focusing on school coaches and athletic directors, knowing that they're the gatekeepers to the targeted students, the Union-Tribune reported.
"Those are the influences,'' Robert Rohrbach, recruiting directorate operations officer, told the newspaper. "Those are the individuals who counsel the athletes as to what might be an opportunity.''