What does a Navy SEAL actually do

There is only one quality all Navy Seals must have

In an interview with Judy Woodruff of PBS News Hour, retired Admiral and Navy Seal Bill McRaven, who led the raid on Osama bin Laden's property as head of Joint Special Operations Command in 2011, said there was only one thing that a Seal recruit can do during his strenuous training he had to do: "Don't give up."

"So the one thing that should define anyone who goes through seal training is that they don't want to quit," McRaven said. “You mustn't want to give up. And that's really what you're trying to find in the young Seal recruits. Because over the course of your career you will be wet, hypothermic and unhappy. You will often fail in challenging missions and hard training. "

McRaven began his career in the Navy as a Navy Seal and rose in his position until he was appointed Commander of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to oversee all special forces forces.

While tenacity is an integral part of being a great Navy Seal, there is a ton of training that goes into becoming a part of the Navy's most elite combat group.

Here are the 17 captivating images that show what it really means to be a Navy Seal

There is only one quality that all Navy Seals must have - says the admiral who led the arrest of Osama bin Laden

There is only one quality that all Navy Seals must have - says the admiral who led the arrest of Osama bin Laden

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  • Before completing their BUD / S training, recruits attend the Naval Special Warfare Prep in Great Lakes, Illinois for two months of physical and mental preparation.

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    MC1 Les Long / US Navy / DVIDS

  • During the Naval Special Warfare Orientation, the candidates learn, among other things, to climb along ropes. The preparation takes three weeks and is intended to prepare the recruits for what to expect in the Basic Underwater Demolition / Seal training.

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    U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Abe McNatt

  • Navy Seal candidates begin training in the water, one of the most iconic parts of Navy Seal training.

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    U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Lynn F. Andrews / RELEASED / DVIDS

  • Basically, it is guaranteed that the recruits get sandy during the Basic Underwater Demolition / Seal Training, which lasts 24 weeks.

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    U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Abe McNatt

  • Pushups are another part of a Seal trainee's life. Here the BUD / S recruits do push-ups in full gear, with their legs resting on the shoulders of the person behind.

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  • Navy Seals must be able to do pull-ups.

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  • BUD / S recruits can expect that they have to walk a lot - 320 kilometers in the so-called hell week alone.

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    Richard Schoenberg / Corbis via Getty Images

  • The hell week takes place in the fourth week of training. Navy Seal candidates sleep about four hours a night and do about 20 hours of physical exercise a day.

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    U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Abe McNatt / DVIDS

  • The Navy Seal recruits also practice marksmanship during Hell Week.

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    Kyle Gahlau / US Navy

  • It is important to drink enough water while exercising. It is a training that pushes the trainees to their limits.

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    US Navy / Petty Officer 1st Class Abe McNatt

  • There's a lot of underwater training in the BUD / S training. Candidates are expected to be strong swimmers as they will face extremely stressful underwater situations during training, including drills that simulate drowning.

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  • Navy Seal candidates also undergo scuba diving training.

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  • The trainees learn how to tie underwater knots. This is where BUD / S recruits try it out before they have to do the underwater task.

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    Photo by Richard Schoenberg / Corbis via Getty Images

  • There is also an academic component to Navy Seal training. Here the BUD / S-Class 246 receives a lesson in combat ethics and basic values.

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    Photo by Richard Schoenberg / Corbis via Getty Images

  • Navy Seal trainees are also required to parachute training. Here Seal recruits jump straight into the water from an MC-130J Commando II.

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    Staff Sgt.Erin Piazza / US Air Force / DVIDS

  • Navy Seal recruits participate in a land exercise during Seal Qualification Training (SQT), a 26-week course following BUD / S training.

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  • After 24 exhausting weeks in the BUD / S training, the Navy Seal candidates receive their Seal Qualification Training diploma.

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    Photo by Richard Schoenberg / Corbis via Getty Images