Navy punishes officers overseeing SEAL training after candidate’s death

The Navy has taken disciplinary motion towards three officers who oversaw Navy SEAL coaching earlier this 12 months when a candidate died simply hours after finishing the notorious “Hell Week.”

An investigation launched Wednesday discovered 24-year-old Kyle Mullen died of acute pneumonia with the contributing explanation for an enlarged coronary heart. The report particulars how a scarcity of medical statement within the hours after the grueling coaching delayed getting Mullen the care he wanted.  

The Navy has issued letters of warning to Capt. Brian Drechsler, the commanding officer of the Naval Particular Warfare Middle; Capt. Bradley Geary, the previous commanding officer of the Primary Coaching Command, and a senior medical officer. 

The investigation stated Efficiency Enhancing Medicine (PEDs) have been discovered amongst Mullen’s belongings however explicitly states they weren’t a consider his loss of life. 

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The Navy began testing SEAL candidates for PEDs every week after Mullen’s loss of life. To this point, nearly 1,250 candidates have been examined and 51 have been faraway from coaching.

The SEAL coaching program has additionally carried out adjustments to its medical processes, together with a requirement for medical personnel to watch candidates for twenty-four hours after securing “Hell Week.” 

Mullen died Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, simply hours after finishing “Hell Week,” which had begun the earlier Sunday and consisted nearly fully of continuous bodily exercise, a lot of it in chilly Pacific waters and nighttime temperatures, with solely 4 hours sleep total – what the Navy calls “excessive stress in a managed atmosphere.” 

Different recruits on Thursday noticed that Mullen was doing worse than anybody else. He had extreme swelling in his legs and was coughing and spitting up fluids. One recruit informed investigators that whereas Mullen tried to nap on Thursday, his respiration appeared like he was “gurgling water.” 

By Friday morning, instructors needed to give Mullen oxygen on two events and drive him in an ambulance from one location to a different so he might end “Hell Week.” After he stumbled out of the surf for the final time, Mullen informed different recruits how glad he was and made calls to his household however was so weak he required a wheelchair, in keeping with the investigation. 

The recruits stated that earlier than they have been allowed to sleep, they got a briefing about what they need to do for the subsequent a number of hours as they recovered. 

They stated they have been informed that if they’d a difficulty, they need to name the on-duty medical officer. “We are going to see you at any time,” learn the directions, that are included within the report.  

If it was a severe emergency, they need to name 911, however they have been cautioned towards in search of exterior assist as a result of different medical doctors may not perceive “Hell Week” and, seeing their bodily situation, might hospitalize them. 

Recruits who have been ready for their very own SEAL class to start and had no medical expertise have been assigned to observe them of their barracks, in keeping with the report. One recruit informed investigators medical personnel made one sweep of the barracks round midday to examine if everybody was accounted for however didn’t seem to examine anybody’s medical standing.   

Through the course of the afternoon, Mullen’s situation deteriorated – his pores and skin had turned blue and he was spitting and coughing up blood. 

The recruits watching Mullen and his classmates stated they known as the responsibility medical officer who informed them to name 911 if it was a severe emergency. However Mullen insisted he did not need to go to the hospital as a result of he was afraid that will get him rolled again to a different class and he must undergo “Hell Week” once more.

One of many recruits accountable for watching Mullen informed investigators he believed they need to have taken Mullen to the hospital anyway as a result of he wasn’t “in his proper thoughts.”

By the point the recruits lastly known as 911, it was too late to revive Mullen.

Wednesday’s launch shouldn’t be the final investigation into Mullen’s loss of life. A wider investigation into the circumstances surrounding his loss of life is at present underway and can look into the security measures in place, the {qualifications} of the instructors and medical suppliers, and the “prevalence” of PEDs use in Mullen’s class.



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