Every SEAL must finish one of the world’s toughest entrance exams, a six-month training program that typically weeds out three of every four candidates. The Navy also is creating a SEAL rating – a formal job description – that should allow candidates to more quickly begin formal SEAL training. Previously, SEALs – the name stands for Sea, Air, Land – had to attend school to learn traditional jobs held by Navy sailors. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CORONADO, Calif. – The Navy SEALs prefer to operate in the shadows, but the Pentagon’s need to increase the ranks of the elite terrorist-hunting commando force is prompting an unusually splashy recruiting effort. Navy SEAL Mitchell Hall, who won a Bronze Star in 2001 in Afghanistan, hopes to use the upcoming Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii to spread the word about the need for more recruits. The competition will make the 31-year-old chief petty officer a spokesman for the community of self-described quiet professionals and put him in front of the cameras he spent years avoiding. The change in recruiting methods comes amid the Pentagon’s increasing reliance on special operations and the call for a 15 percent increase in SEALs over the next several years. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The SEALs have a legendary reputation as an elite, highly skilled fighting force, but it is hard to find candidates with the necessary physical conditioning. Just to get a chance to try out, SEAL recruits must swim 500 yards, then breeze through a series of push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups and run 1.5 miles – all within strict time limits. This year, 500 of the 823 SEAL recruits – or 60 percent – failed the test in the first days of boot camp. “We can’t survive on that any longer,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Andy Tafelski, 51, who has a key role in the recruiting effort. “The pipeline has to become more efficient.” For the SEALs, who consider themselves the best of the best, lowering their standards is out of the question. To boost the SEALs’ ranks, the Navy is also working with recruiters to begin testing potential SEALs before they get to boot camp and making sure they have the physical skills. Mentors will work with those who qualify to prepare them for what comes next.