Military Exercises

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Navy Secretary Ray Mabus visited the SEAL school in February / Navy photo by Christopher Morton

Those SEAL commandos — their nickname represents their prowess on SEa, Air and Land — are a tough bunch. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus was out at their training school in Coronado, Calif., recently. He says he was amazed by the strength of even those just beginning the rigorous regimen to become a member of the Navy’s special-ops community. “I felt old and weak just watching,” the 62-year old said over breakfast Wednesday.

He visited the “grinder” — that open, outdoor space where sailors work out — and realized the would-be SEALs around him had been doing push-ups for quite some time. “They were doing push-ups,” he recalls, “and they were doing a lot of push-ups.” And they kept on doing them.

Mabus could stand the suspense no longer, and turned to an instructor. “I finally said — `How many push-ups are those folks going to do?'”

“And he said: `They’re going to do them until you leave.'”

Mabus says he beat a hasty retreat.