Navy Swim Test Qualifications

Swimming in the Navy

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Why You Need To Know How to Swim in the Navy. gettys

No matter how you join the Navy, you must pass the swim test.  Everyone must pass a Navy Third Class Swim Test.  The initial test is conducted in basic training (boot camp) for enlisted personnel, and as part of officer accession training (OCS, Academy, ROTC) for commissioned officers. Navy personnel in certain ratings (jobs) must be able to pass the requirements for a second class swim test. 

The Navy does offer remedial swim training to those not accustomed to swimming, but this is often during any "free" time the recruit or student may have and he/she is still expected to pass the basics of the swim assessment in order to join the ranks in the Navy.

Third-Class Swim Test - A third class swim test is a test to determine if a person can stay afloat and survive without the use of a personal Flotation Device (PFD) in open water long enough to be rescued in a man-overboard situation. The 3rd class swimmer qualification is the minimum entry-level requirement for all U.S. Navy Personnel.

The third class swim test consists of TWO modules. Module one is composed of three separate events, a deep water jump, a 50-yard swim (using any stroke), and a 5-minute prone float. Swimmers who successfully pass module one may continue on to module two. Module two consists of shirt and trouser or coverall inflation.

A 3rd Class Swimmer is described as a person who can stay afloat and survive without the use of a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) in open water under optimum conditions long enough to be rescued in a man-over-board situation. The 3rd Class Swimmer qualification is the minimum entry-level requirement for all U.S.

Navy personnel. 

Second-Class Swim Test - A second class swim test is a test to determine if a person can stay afloat and survive without the use of a personal flotation device (PFD) indefinitely. The second class swimmer qualification is used as an entry-level Requirement for Small Boat Operators, Naval Aircrew, and Rescue Swimmers.

The second class swim test consists of a deep water jump, 100 yard swim demonstrating 25 yards each of the crawl stroke, breast stroke, side stroke, and elementary backstroke. Immediately after the completion of the swim, without leaving the water, students will prone float (face down) for 5 minutes and transition to a back float before exiting the water.

A 2nd Class Swimmer is described as a person who can stay afloat and survive without the use of a PFD indefinitely under optimum conditions. The 2nd Class Swimmer qualification is used as an entry-level requirement for Small Boat Operators, Naval Air Crewman, and Rescue Swimmers. 

First-Class Swim Test - The first class swim test is required for certain Naval duties, such as to become a certified Navy Swimming Instructor.

To pass the First Class Swim Test, candidates must first obtain a Red Cross or YMCA Life Saving Certificate (or NEC). The candidate must show proficiency (perfection) with the crawl stroke, breast stroke, side stroke, and elementary backstroke.

Additionally, they must perform a 25-yard underwater swim, surfacing twice to demonstrate the surface burning oil technique.

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