The first step, of course, was to talk to a U.S. Navy Recruiter. The recruiter for Northwest Iowa was Jeremy Baltushis, out of Sioux City. Cole had to take a military ASVAB test, get his physical done, and had to pick a job in the Navy. He was sworn into the Navy in June 3, 2009.
During the summer of 2008 Cole went through scuba training via the Blue Water Divers on the Iowa Great Lakes chain of water. He fell in love with scuba and eventually made it through advanced diver training. He made up his mind he wanted to try to make a career out of diving and adventure. After talking with Baltushis there were a few options for Cole and the U.S. Navy.
Navy Divers, EOD and SEALs all spend time in scuba training. Chief Baltushis explained to Cole that he would first need to get into the Navy, and then he could try to get into one of the Special Operation programs.
Special Operation jobs in the Navy are very demanding, thus the importance of a PST to screen likely candidates. Cole was assigned a SEAL motivator and the process started to get him tested. His motivator was Daniel Ploussard. After talking with Ploussard, Cole decided he wanted to try to get into the SEAL program. He had been working out for a few months, but after meeting with Ploussard in person those workouts got more organized and strenuous. "I want to thank Dan for doing such a great job in helping my son" said Cole's father, Ryan Hale. The PST for the SEAL program is the hardest test out of the five Spec/Opps areas in the Navy.
Last week Ploussard met Cole at the YMCA in Spirit Lake to test him and see if he would make it. There are five segments tested.
Swim, pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and than a run. Cole's test included:
500-yard swim in a min of 12:30.You can only use a breast or sidestroke for the test. Cole used the combat sidestroke and did the swim in 9:47.
10 minute rest, Min of 42 pushups in two minutes. Cole did 50.
2 minutes rest
Min of 50 set-ups in two minutes. Cole did 63.
2 minutes rest
Min of 6 dead hang pull-ups. Cole did 8.
1 ½ mile run in 11 minutes. Cole did the run in 9:58.
Cole passed with flying colors and now will get a slot into BUD/S training. "I want to make sure that everyone understands that he is not a SEAL, but will get a chance to try to make it through the training" added Ryan Hale.
"This is a tremendous right of passage for a young man like Cole" said Ploussard. Ploussard will have to re-test Cole every 30 days to make sure he is staying in shape.
Ryan Hale also added, "I'm very proud of my son. It has taken lots of dedication and drive for him to achieve a spot into this type of training. After Cole Graduates from high school, he will leave for basic training, from there he will go to a Spec/Opps prep school, then onto BUD/S training."