Navy SEAL: Your friends determine your success

Get yourself a “swim buddy”

In a recent Sunday message, Navy SEAL Jeff Bramstedt recalled his training days. From the beginning, each trainee is paired up with a partner, called a “swim buddy.”

Swim buddies are are never more the 3 feet away from each other, whether they’re doing an evolution in the water, running down the beach, or even running an errand – swim buddies stick together through the whole 6 months of BUDS (SEAL bootcamp).

By the end, said Bramstedt, they can finish each others’ sentences and almost share a brain and, though they get sick of each other, each one knows he can count on his swim buddy when he needs him the most.

“So, there were times during training where I’d know that I was just beyond myself, like, I was at the end of my rope,” said Bramstedt. “I was at the end of me, and I knew that I was not going to make it through this evolution… All it took was my swim buddy saying, ‘Man, we got this.
We got this!'”

The reason that trainees are assigned a swim buddy is because their superiors know that their SEALs would be unprotected and vulnerable if they were ever caught alone in an operation. But, if their SEALs create the habit of working in pairs, they will always be better protected and more likely to succeed in their goals.


First, get someone in your life who loves God to whom you can go for prayer, a challenge, a good conversation, or just encouragement when you’re feeling down.

Second, be somebody’s “swim buddy!” Be the kind of person that others go to when they fall down. Pray, encourage, listen, and support those God has surrounded you with.


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