Elijah M. Dove, 17, of Mountaintop, was among the 50,000 Scouts who attended the July 2013 National Jamboree in West Virginia were provided the first ever opportunity to earn the SEAL Challenge Award. To earn this award the Scout had to successfully pass the actual Navy SEAL Physical Screening Test (PST) while at the Jamboree. SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) sailors administered the test.
“This strength and endurance test consists of a 500 yard swim in 12:30 or less, 50 sit-ups, 50 push ups, 10 pull ups and a mile and half run in 10:30 or less.” said Special Warfare Operator Chief James Jackson. “The decisions to keep the PST the same as the real SEAL standard came from a panel of SEALs who are Eagle scouts,” said Capt. Duncan Smith, commanding officer, Naval Special Warfare Recruiting Directorate. “Both Officer and enlisted SEALS chaired the panel and the decision was backed by Admiral Sean Pybus, the former commander of Naval Special Warfare Command.”
More that 500 Scouts registered to take the Navy SEAL PST and were provided with weekly workout plans and physical conditioning tips by the Navy. Only 237 Scouts actually attempted the event and just 46 passed the test. Of the 30 Scouts who attempted the challenge on the initial day of testing, two succeeded, one of whom is an Eagle Scout from Troop 106.
Elijah was able to complete the rigorous challenge while the temperature hovered in the mid-90s with a heat index well over 100 degrees.
Dove sailed through the pool and handled the push-ups and sit-ups with ease. Upon completion of the pull-ups, the remaining Scouts lined up on the track, ready to complete the Summit SEAL Challenge. During the run, Dove maintained a steady pace until a SEAL called out, “If you don’t move, you will fail.” With that said, Dove became the first Scout in the country to complete the challenge and win the award. At noon Monday, July 22, Dove received his Summit SEAL Challenge patch, certificate of completion and Challenge coin from the SEAL/SWCC Team.
Eli is a senior at MMI Preparatory School. He is applying to the US Naval Academy, the US Merchant Marine Academy and several engineering universities as part of the Naval ROTC Scholarship. He plans on studying naval/marine engineering or mechanical/civil engineering and serving after graduation as a Naval Officer or as an Engineering Officer in the Merchant Marines.
Dove credits his parents, especially his mother, with helping him prepare. “My mother spent countless hours training me and motivating me. Her guidance and coaching enabled me to reach beyond what I thought I was capable of.”
There was a special ceremony for the first 7 Scouts to complete the challenge. Those 7 scouts received a Challenge Coin, one of 10 given at the Jamboree. The other 3 Coins went to high ranking national Scout officials.