National Navy Seal Museum

Navy Seal Museum
All photos courtesy of Samantha Kern

The National Navy Seal Museum in Fort Pierce is the only museum in the United States that is dedicated to preserving the history and heroic attributes of the Navy SEALs. Starting with their creation to what they continue to do today, there is a vast amount of information to be learned through the artifacts and exhibits here. With old uniforms, both land and sea equipment, and hanging exhibits, this is a history lesson for those who love learning about the American military. Come check out where the Navy SEALs started and what they continue to do for the country. 

Navy SEAL Museum

Florida has a lot of history around the state and if you’re a history buff, it's a great state to visit. For the military fans, I’d like to recommend the National Navy SEAL Museum that is located in Fort Pierce. Once you hit Fort Pierce, there are signs that point in the right direction of the museum, so it’s pretty simple to find. It’s also easy to spot with the large pieces of military machinery sitting outside the museum.

It’s really easy to spend a few hours here, I myself spent almost three hours just reading about all the artifacts and learning about each weapon that is described in the museum. There are short films throughout the building as well, about five minutes each, that describe certain events in a little more detail than the photos and paragraphs underneath them. At the very beginning of the tour is a descriptive film of the Navy SEALs history and while it is two hours long, guests are more than welcome to view the entire film. The employees recommend going through the museum first but you can do whatever you wish. 

Apollo

 

Back when they were attempting to send people to the moon, two replicas of Apollo were made so SEAL divers could practice saving the aircraft in case of a water landing. 

The museum itself is built on the original training grounds that the Navy SEALs once used to train all incoming members. Fort Pierce was chosen simply for its easy access to the beaches that were never crowded. They were able to train and practice in real life situations with the sandy beaches and water right there. So not only do you get to learn about this section of the military, you are walking on the grounds that once trained these heroic figures. 

Here’s an interesting fact that you might not know: A general assumption is that SEALs only deal with water missions, it’s also what they are best at. But just because the SEALs are a part of the Navy, doesn’t mean they work only in the water. All of their work requires them to stay in excellent physical condition because they use their entire body to perform a variety of tasks. And while they have those vehicles listed above, a lot of times, SEALs are on foot for a majority of their missions. 

The equipment was my favorite part. They have actual pieces of machinery that the SEALs have used for missions, smaller equipment like the guns and scopes. My favorite piece was the bell that SEALs have to ring if they quit. When others hear the sound of the bell, they know that another team member has given up. But it’s also the same bell that is rung when they graduate from training and succeed. 

Bell

 

But the bigger machinery was awesome to see, too. They have a utility terrain vehicle that sits in one room of the museum, as well as an indigenous vehicle (Toyota Hilux Vigo) and a modified dirt bike. All of these vehicles are easier to drive in a variety of landscapes, which is what makes them so perfect for the SEALs since many of their missions are all around world. For the pieces that have steps, guests are more than welcome to view the inside of the equipment and even take a seat and enjoy the films that are played inside the piece. For instance, the lifeboat is the actual piece that held Captain Richard Philips hostage by Somali pirates in 2009. Also inside the museum is the Sikorski UH-60, also known as “Black Hawk.” This four bladed helicopter was shot down on three different occasions but has been a part of quite a few missions before it was decommissioned. 

Black Hawk

 

Outside the museum are other ships that have steps for you to enter and explore, again these are actual boats that have been used in the past for Navy SEAL missions. Some of these bigger boats include the Landing Craft Personnel (Large), or LCP(L); Special Operations Craft-6, or SOC-6; and the largest piece is Special Operations Craft (SOF), also known as Mk V. 

You can take as little or as much time as you like while walking through the museum, and guests are encouraged to take as many photos as they want. There are also a few interactive activities for anyone who wants to try them. There are uniforms, including hats and gun replicas, that you can wear and carry for cool pictures and learn what SEALs have to wear on a daily basis. Even the adults were having fun with the costumes during my visit. Another activity is the Trident Challenge. After going through the modern-day portion, you can create your own mission, choosing land or sea, your equipment, and machinery. Towards the end of the tour is a rope typing challenge to see how fast you can tie three different knots. 

A rigorous obstacle course is outside for those who are up for the challenge, although you do have a sign a waiver before they allow you on the course. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart and will surely make you break a sweat.

The whole museum is a great experience, though, and it’s definitely worth a check out if you’re in the area!

Navy SEAL Museum logo