The other day, my Dad sent me and my cousin a link to a YouTube video of SEAL BUD/S Instructor, Terry Patstone.
My cousin recently completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, and we all three (plus, my uncle) had been waxing nostalgic about our own various BUD/S experiences at a family get together to celebrate the cousin’s graduation. The YouTube video was a follow-on to that reminiscing session and featured a 14-minute compilation of clips from the year 2000 Discovery Channel series, “Navy SEALs: BUD/S Class 234,” about the eponymous BUD/S class running at that time.
The compiled clips all featured Navy SEAL — and at the time, BUD/S Instructor — Terry Patstone, and holy cow, did it bring me back twenty years to my own BUD/S experience. Instructor Patstone, also featured in the opening credits of the movie “Lone Survivor,” was one of my BUD/S instructors when I went through in late 1999-early 2000, just prior to class 234 forming up. I remember Patstone well, and the video brought back a flood of BUD/S memories.
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I have always told people when they ask me about BUD/S that television documentaries can never really capture the pain, discomfort, physical and mental struggle, and just plain “suck factor” of BUD/S. This compilation, and the series itself, probably comes closest to depicting it accurately, in that the viewer is able to experience the way BUD/S instructors tortured the students, even if it was dialed down when the cameras were rolling (and it was).
Patstone in the short video sums up the mental attitude of a successful BUD/S student pretty well when he tells one student, “Winning here is a conscious decision.” He stressed that they had to want to be there, to be a part of the team, and when they weren’t carrying their weight, he let them know: “You’re sad. You’re weak,” he bellows to one student. To another, an officer struggling through a run, he says dryly, “Sir, if you feel you need to fall down, fall down directly on your face.” He then rubs sand in the wound by blaring Latin music at the trainee as he brings up the rear on the class run.
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Patstone is the epitome of the classic BUD/S instructor, from his bushy black mustache, to his dry wit, to his savage anger when the class is not performing up to the exacting standards of the instructor cadre. As the old saying goes, he is straight out of central casting. He clearly sees himself as a gatekeeper to the community, and ferociously guards access through his role as an instructor in the selection program. He tells one boat crew struggling to do log PT, and clearly feeling sorry for themselves (as we all did!), “I don’t like this little defeatist attitude you’ve developed. We see that attitude and it just makes us want to crush you.”
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And crush them he does, though with the trademark sadistic humor SEAL instructors are famous for employing. During log PT, he tells the students with mock sympathy, “I realize this exercise will tire your shoulders,” before then proclaiming, without missing a beat, “So we will work on something else: squats.” He then leads them through a set of squats with the log on their shoulders.
In other words, Patstone is merciless, driven, focused on passing only those worthy of joining his community, and relentless in making sure all others fall to the wayside. Enjoy the clip and the small taste of BUD/S it provides.
D Perry says
Was a paratrooper zIm retired, I’m old, I’m beat up, and I’m tired…You boys are the tip of the spear.( I’ve had several ops with various teams over the years) I digress. You are going to need to take it from hear. In this mind of mine I can still kick the ship out of 9,-15 men ANYTIME regretfully in reality it now takes me 9-15 seconds to pick a piece of mail off the floor
MSG. Perry 3/75th ABNR RNG ABR.& the good old 1st 508th 82nd Airborne Division. Take care of your bodys !!!
Sgt B says
Come on man, you were probably a supply clerk. You didn’t “run ops”. You can’t fool people who know better.
Operator 1 says
“You we’re probably” which in and of itsself is nothing more than an assumption based off of your Facebook warrior skill set.. this man would smudge you even at his old age. “sGT B ain’t no operator”
‘The Last Easy Day Was Yesterday!’
M W says
Thanks to each Navy Seal who struggled to complete their training with dignity. I am proud of each of YOU. Thank you for your service to our country.
We love u all u r the best of the beast. Officer Terry pastone has to.be rough
Debi Long says
I live in an area where these committed young people do some of their training… I’m a mom of 7, now 62yrs young and recently retired, meaning I’m now a night owl big time… sadly,,I’ve never been around any type of military service growing up and truly never understood the sacrifices given until I was well into my adulthood. Kids raised and my own commitment to my children and family redefining itself, it’s playing on the beach time with my partner. In the wee hours of the morning,my heart has been taken over, over whelming my senses, and so solidly instilling complete awe for these trainees…(and yes, watching has gotten me on a shit list of sorts, so, I try in my own way to show amends and the utmost respect and concern for them while still enjoying the freedom they are so proudly sacrificing for) … GOOD JOB doesn’t in a thousand lifetimes begin to Express the gratitude… Be safe out there young people, your truly the best of the best and THANK YOU, THANK YOU on behalf of those who feel as I do and on a personal nnote,Thank You for the life lessons I’ve been allowed to a certain extent to learn ..My prayers, good vibes, smiles, tears, frustration, hope, respect and so many emotions I’ve experienced in the past 7 years go daily with everyone of you.🇺🇸 ❣
He truly is an asshole!
I had worse as an officer richy racardo.in my days. My brother was an officer also mean as hell with the.army 25 years 25 yes sharp shooter. can kill.u 2 miles away he just got done. Being the warden in arazona.state murder prison .he is glad to be done he lost 1 eye in war.he was hit by a crow bar behind his head he still killed that guy. He was in special services he put on his side in spanish what don’t kill you will only make you tougher and all done when shooting in Washington he trained all the Sharpshooters and went 25 years to Arizona State Prison where all the murders are he’s out now and I’m glad hes got about three pensions now or more..buds has to be tough. My officer was very mean and has to be. And when ur done. .make good money I just had 2nd operation on my 2 hernias again took 4 months to heal. Now in am going in the hospital for a full hip replacement on January 12th and in am scared but i want. To.walk again
my captain was officer sidney bunto. On ussa indent through buds it is not hard just tell week in frezzing cold water I worked out in cold pluges in my workouts i did 50 push up.with1 hand in my training when.i worked out 50.with my other hand and the pole was not hard holding it.45 second pressing it up with all the guys water 50 degrees that was the hardest today I am paralyzed till I get my surgery on my hip I fell and the Ramada on my right hip how’s your play hockey 20 years in and out growing up play for Ohio State University IHL got hit from behind and thirty thousand pounds of concrete mixer truck that ended my NHL career you all can get by.buds just put ur mind to it I picked up cars in my days with other people in bars when they called out we need strong guys to turn a car over because they would block girls in at bars when I was a bouncer at clubs
Bob Britton.andy briton. Was by others with the navy.seals my room mates in college..v1 seals until.he killed a guy outside the.bar I never saw him again he said was the police at our.place i said yes never saw him.again he said my mom dad will be coming up to.get my stuff and I never saw him.oor talked to him.6 boxes of grenades 5 cases. Blew tip 45 guns 6 boxes of baby torpedoes..he was one mean guy…..u trust in Terry pastone he wants u to.be the best of the best..u kno the saying
Pain is acceptable puking is acceptable falling is acceptable crawling is acceptable crying is acceptable quitting is not remember that. When it’s over you will make good money. It is well worth it and don’t kill yourself you got to be tough could you go on a lot of situations that are bad when did my buddy Chris Kyle he got killed best shooter in town and his buddy got killed to I love u all take care be safe
Yeah that’s gold , so awesome!
Skip J says
The best line is “When I have my back turned that’s when I watching you most “
OORAH and thank you for making Warriors to protect and defend our Constitution. Your commitment to our Nation doesn’t go unappreciated. Spiritus Invictus and Semper Fi.
Walt Wadle says
Thabk you for your services! Keep on going men only gets easier!
Walt Wadle says
Thabk you for your services! Keep on going men only gets easier!
Great article and commentary!
William petrick says
Remember guys you are the best of the best everyone you can get through pain is acceptable puking acceptable crying is acceptable falling is acceptable crawling is acceptable quitting is not you keep up the good work I was in the Navy and Buds is tuff. They gotta be tough like you and me today I can’t walk I fell on my right hip. Have to get operated on had 2 hernia operations took4 months to heal now getting ready for a new hip to walk again .i benched in college 450.i am still.strong at 62 years old I went to Ohio State in.the navy my captain was Sidney junto.and My Racardo..i did 50 push ups on 1 hand.100 a day still lifting until I blew my hip.cant walk till fixed I did my hernias. In 2016.and again.in.2020. Very painful still on my couch hip gave out from falling and hockey.in 20 years playing all my life
U.guys can all make it no quitting
Damn! Just reading that makes me hurt!