Kyle Mullen died during Navy SEAL training. Now, 10 people could be prosecuted for his death

Ten people, including two top Navy SEALs, have been named for possible prosecution in the wake of last year’s training deaths. Kyle Mullen A few hours after he completed the infamous “Hell Week.”

A Navy official says 10 have been identified. An investigation that concluded That “multiple systems failure” led to the death of Mullen, 24, and the hospitalization of three other members of his SEAL training class after a week of unrelenting physical exertion, much of it in the South. In the cold waters of California in February 2022. A redacted copy of the investigation with most names blacked out was released on Thursday.

The 200-page report said a medical program designed to monitor the health of SEAL candidates was “grossly inadequate” and was the most direct cause of Mullen’s death from pneumonia.

The report also cited an increase in the intensity of training that led to unusually high dropout rates, a trend that the training commander, Capt. Brad Geary, attributed to the current generation’s lack of mental toughness. . Gary and his immediate superior, Capt. Brian Drechsler, then commander of the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, Calif., have both been marked for their lack of oversight, along with the program’s senior medical officer. . All three men have since left their posts.

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58 members of Mullen’s class of SEAL candidates started Hell Week – only 21 finished. By Thursday of Hell Week, Mullen was in what one classmate called “total messed-up mode,” coughing up thick fluid but unwilling to seek medical attention for fear of being kicked off the course. will be done. Twice he was taken out of training and given oxygen in the closing hours of Hell Week. Once he had to go from one place to another in an ambulance.

After completing Hell Week, Mullen and the other trainees were physically examined and sent to their barracks to recover. Mullen was declared “fit for training” although he had to be transported to the barracks in a wheelchair.

There was no medical staff in the barracks to monitor Mullen or any of his classmates. When he and three others began having trouble breathing, the other sailors called the medical clinic and were told they could call 911 but might be off course. When someone finally called 911, it was too late to save Mullen.

An investigation by the Naval Education and Training Command described a training environment that made the already notoriously difficult course even tougher with less sleep and time for recovery. In an average class, about a third of SEAL candidates drop out within the first three weeks.

After Captain Gary took over training, the dropout rate began to climb to 50%, and civilian observers complained that SEAL instructors were more interested in weeding out weak performers than training them. According to the report, some instructors, all of whom had been through the same course earlier in their careers, felt that quality had dropped and, as a result, the training was resulting in poor operators.

When citizen complaints reached Gary, he asked them to back off and said he believed the main reason for the high dropout rate was that the current generation lacked mental toughness. The overall commander of the SEALS, now-retired Rear Admiral Hugh Wyman Howard, told the training command that as long as the standards were not lowered, it would be fine if someone didn’t make it through the course.

The findings of the investigation will now be handed over to the Navy’s legal command, although an official said it was unlikely that all 10 people included in the report would face a court-martial. The report also detailed a number of changes made to SEAL training in the wake of Mullen’s death but warned that “candidates are exposed to unnecessary medical risk.”

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