Navy Divers (ND) work in an extremely unforgiving environment, and subsequently a very high premium is placed on ensuring that Sailors who are serving in the ND rating have the requisite physical stamina not only to complete a broad array of physically demanding tasks, but also the strength and endurance to extract themselves for danger should a mishap take place. As a result, Navy Divers—as well as Aviation Rescue Swimmers, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians, SEALs, and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen—must pass a Physical Screening Test that is considerably more stringent than the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test.
The test begins with the ND candidate swimming 500 yards (equivalent to 450 meters) using a breaststroke, sidestroke, or combination of the two within twelve-and-a-half minutes, followed by a ten-minute rest period. Next come 50 pushups, with the Recruit’s chest touching the floor and arms fully extended and locked at the apex of the pushup. A two-minute respite precedes 50 sit-ups (with elbows touching the knees on each repetition). Two more minutes of rest are given before performing six pull-ups in which the chin is pulled above the bar. Thankfully, a ten-minute rest is given before the final task: running one-and-a-half miles in twelve-and-a-half minutes.
Recruits considering a career in the Navy Diver rating should be aware that while passing the Physical Readiness Test is a requirement for entry into the rating, it is not in and of itself a guarantee that they can count on a trip to the Navy’s Diver Preparatory School at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois.

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