Navy SEALs BUD/S class 234

release year: 2002
genre: documentary
viewing setting: home DVD 3/3-4/18 and 5/7-9/12 and previously 6/25/10, 6/20/09, 8/16/05, 9/24/04, and 12/5/03

synopsis: This is a five-hour, six-part documentary that follows an actual BUD/S class through training, where 17 of 83 make it and go on to become U.S. Navy SEALs.

impressions: This is without a doubt the most detailed and thorough documentary on BUD/S (the Navy's Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.) This is the most rigorous military training we have and it's entirely voluntary, meaning that if you can't deal with the stress, you need to just leave. This is the training that produces elite warriors who can operate for hours underwater, jump from planes, clear rooms with guns, blow up beaches, and so on. This documentary covers everything involved in the training process, including instructors' cursing, the motivations of students, the methods of instructors, the logic behind the design of the program. It's divided into six roughly 45-minute episodes, and a nice touch is that at each one's beginning, the names of those who remain in the class at that point roll by. The viewer really gets a sense of the shrinking class as people voluntarily drop out. The video and audio quality here are top-notch. Note that you can't buy this in most stores, only through the Discovery Channel store or their web site.

something this movie has that no other movie has: An almost daily account of the entire BUD/S program.

official page: here

final word: At $20, this is a tremendous value for anyone who's a fan of the SEALs or challenging military training in general.

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