How Many Navy SEALs Have Died? All You Need To Know

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How Many Navy SEALs Have Died

The United States Navy SEALs are among the elite fighting forces in the world. But the question on the lips of many is, “How many Navy SEALs have died?

The Navy SEALs engage in some of the deadliest missions in the world. These include rescuing hostages, raids, targeting terrorists, and conventional forces.

The raid on Osama Bin Laden at his residence in Pakistan tells you all you need to know about the Navy SEALs. It was a dangerous mission but highly successful, as no life was lost.

The Navy SEALs are exposed to many life-threatening situations, from training to missions. However, while some SEALs have died in battle, some have passed away during training.

Here is a recount of the number of SEALs that have died so far. Keep reading for more!

How Many Navy SEALs Have Died?

The United States lost 590 Navy Seals from 2000 to 2020. Around 27.9% of the 8,000 Navy SEALs die annually, on average.

The Chinook was gunned down on August 6, 2011, and remains the largest single loss of U.S. Navy SEALs the country has experienced since the Afghanistan war started.

The Taliban fired a rocket-propelled grenade while the helicopter was 100 to 150 feet from the ground. 17 Navy SEALs lost their lives.   

Stats indicate that 3,629 Navy Seals have been wounded in action since 2000. 

Navy SEALs Missions And Death Stats

The SEALs embark on dangerous missions, putting their lives at risk. But the good part is they’re well-trained and can successfully execute risky tasks.

The SEAL’s mortality rate is lower than 1%, even in combat zones. Though they are well-trained professionals and avoid casualties, they inflict heavy losses on the enemies.

In wars, both sides are likely to experience casualties. Even the SEALs, as well-trained as they are, still experience losses, though are minimal.

Here are stats of missions the SEALs have embarked on and personnel lost during those missions.

  Mission Year Number Of Navy Seal Deaths
1. War in Afghanistan 2001 – 2021  


2. Iraq War 2003 – 2011  


3. War in Iraq/Syria 2014 – present 8
4. War in Yemen 2015 – present 1
5. Other Conflicts Navy SEALs have intervened in.  

2000 – present



So these are the number of Navy SEALs that have died in combat. The U.S. troops have remained in Syria since 2015.  

How Many Navy SEALs Have Died During Training?

Navy SEALs are tough, and so are their training and missions. They undergo specialized training, which makes them one of the best in the world.

Navy SEALs training is challenging, so only a few participants reach the final stage. Some quit during training; others are dropped, while others may be unlucky and succumb to strenuous activities.

Several deaths have been reported during Navy SEALs training. Below are the stats showing the number of people that have died during training since 2000.

  Training Year Number of Navy SEALs Deaths During Training
2000 6
2001 10
2002 13
2003 8
2004 11
2005 8
2006 5
2007 6
2008 5
2009 9
2010 4
2011 8
2012 9
2013 9
2014 5
2015 6
2016 3
2017 9
2018 6
2019 4
2020 3
2021 1
2022 3
2023 1

 How Many Navy SEALs Have Died From Shark Attacks?

The SEALs spend an enormous amount of time underwater during training and combat. Thus, every student must pass a swimming test before joining the Navy SEALs.

The swimming test is the toughest and one of the most dangerous students must pass before becoming a SEAL. It is even more difficult because the training isn’t done in a swimming pool. Instead, you’ll have to swim in an ocean where sharks exist.

Sharks can smell blood from around 12 miles away. And let’s not even forget how dangerous sharks are. They are the most efficient predators on planet Earth.

How many Navy SEALs have sharks killed during training or active duty? Since the creation of the SEALs, the shark has only killed one SEAL. And that happened in 1963.

Another thing you need to know is the killing didn’t occur during training or active duty. The young SEAL, LT. John Gibson was having a recreational swim when a 10-foot ridge-back carcharhinid shark attacked him.

The Navy SEALs perform their Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in California or Virginia beaches, but the attack didn’t occur either. Instead, it happened when the Lieutenant was swimming in the tropical paradise of ST. Thomas is located in the Virgin Islands.

So, LT. John Gibson is the only SEAL that a shark has killed. There hasn’t been any report of shark attacks since then.

The BUD/S training is highly competitive and demanding. You can only become a SEAL if you complete this training. So, a shark attack will be the least of your worries during BUD/S. Instead, you’ll be more concerned about passing your training and becoming a SEAL.

A Handy Tip: The Navy SEALs released a statement in 2007 that none of their trainees has experienced a shark attack.

However, many believe information about SEALs shark attacks is confidential; instead, they haven’t had a newsworthy case. 

Here is how the BUD/S third phase training goes.

How Tough Are Navy SEALs Training

The Navy SEALs are one of the world’s most demanding military training and body conditioning training tests. Students must overcome obstacles to test their teamwork, stamina, and leadership skills.

Here is a clear picture of how difficult the Navy SEALs are. For every 1000 people that started this training, only around 200 to 250 succeeded.

Here are some of the requirements to join the U.S. Navy SEALs:

  •         You must be a citizen of the United States of America
  •         The age requirement is 18 – 28. (17 years can join, though with parental permission).
  •         Your record must be clean – You mustn’t be under substance abuse or civil restraint, including misdemeanor or felony convictions.
  •         Eyesight requirement is critical to join the Navy SEALs. You mustn’t have color blindness. Uncorrected vision in your better eye should be at most 20/70, while the worst eye should be at most 20/100. Furthermore, your two eyes should be correctable to 20/20.

A Handy Tip: Note that you’ll need approval for color deficiencies.

  •         You must be a high-school graduate. Another option is to meet the High-Performance Predictor Profile criteria.
  •         The ASVAB minimum requirements to join are SEAL –GS+MC+EI = 165. Another option is VE+MK+MC+CS = 220.

A Handy Tip:  Scoring high in your ASVAB is crucial since you cannot get a weaver.

The SEALs only have an interest in intelligent and witty people. That’s why you must ace your ASVAB test. A high school in your ASVAB and physical test measures your learning ability and mental sharpness.

The SEALs physical fitness test is essential, as the job is physically demanding, likewise, the training process you will undergo for the next few months.

The physical test usually includes a 1.5-mile run or 500-yard swim. A pass is enough to take you to the next round of your training.

How Long Does Navy SEALs Training Take

The SEALs’ training lasts for 24 months. The training is divided into two parts.

You will undergo six months of BUD/S training. Then the remaining 18 months are used for specialized training programs.

Here is what the specialized training entails in no specific order:

  •         Navigation
  •         Demolitions
  •         Reconnaissance
  •         Small boat operation
  •         Foreign language training
  •         Special weapons and tactics
  •         Close-quarters combat
  •         Parachuting and survival techniques

A Handy Tip: The Navy SEALs require all students to pass the C-SORT (Computerized-Specialized Operations Resilience Test). This test helps in measuring your mental toughness and resilience.


How many Navy SEALs have died? We have lost 590 SEALs from 2000 to 2020. The Chinook, gunned down in 2011 by the Taliban, remains the single biggest death the United States military has ever recorded. 30 persons, which comprise 17 SEALs, lost their lives.

The Navy’s elite Special operations forces are the U.S. Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) forces. They are often cited as the world’s most highly trained and flexible naval commando forces.

The SEALs perform several high-profile missions and have a demanding training program. The requirements to enter the Navy SEAL indicate how tough becoming a SEAL is.

We have lost a lot of SEALs via missions and during training. You can check the tables for information on the number of deaths recorded during different missions and training.

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Susan Tapia is an ambitious, savvy news writer with a vibrant personality and an eye for detail. She is highly experienced in crafting compelling stories and dedicated to seeking out the truth. With her inquisitive nature, she delves deep into every subject she touches, uncovering unexpected facts that help her engage her readers. Susan has an unbridled passion for writing, and she strives to inspire others through her work. She confidently shares her thought-provoking ideas with enthusiasm and candor, making sure the world can see the truth no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Simply put, Susan Tapia is a trailblazer in the journalism industry who never fails to deliver her readers riveting stories they won't soon forget.

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