Gruelling Navy Seals course is dangerous - report

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Students from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) people  286 enactment   successful  a surf transition  grooming  workout  astatine  Naval Amphibious Base Coronado October 27, 2010Image source, US Navy via Getty Images

Image caption,

The Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal people is considered 1 of the astir hard successful the US military.

By Bernd Debusmann Jr

BBC News, Washington

A gruelling grooming programme for US Navy Seals suffers from a deficiency of oversight, cause usage and mediocre aesculapian care, according to a caller report.

The US Navy's study recovered that the programme enactment "candidates astatine important risk" of wounded and death.

The probe followed the decease of a 24-year-old sailor during the people successful February 2022.

The Navy Seals are considered 1 of the astir elite units successful the full US military.

The astir 200-page study from the Naval Education and Training Command recovered a "near-perfect storm" of problems astatine the Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal course, much commonly known arsenic BUD/S.

The 24-week people is considered highly hard to walk and has an attrition complaint of betwixt 70% and 85% per class. Candidates are subjected to constricted sleep, acold h2o and changeless carnal workout and combat training.

The astir hard portion of the course, known arsenic "Hell Week", sees trainees endure five-and-a-half days of grooming with less than 4 hours sleep.

The unit's authoritative website notes that candidates basal "interminably successful formation, soaking bedewed connected the beach, oregon up to your waist successful the water, with the acold water upwind cutting through" them.

Naval investigators recovered that aesculapian attraction astatine the people was "poorly organised, poorly integrated and poorly led", factors which it believes "likely had the astir nonstop interaction connected the wellness and good being" of candidates.

These failures, the study added, straight contributed to the decease of Kyle Mullen, a sailor who died of acute pneumonia past year.

Mr Mullen, 24, had been suffering from mediocre wellness for respective days during "Hell Week" but received nary important aesculapian assistance from instructors. On 2 abstracted occasions, a aesculapian serviceman instructed students to not telephone 911 to debar disrupting training.

Additionally, the study recovered that immoderate students turned to performance-enhancing drugs to amended their chances of completing BUD/S, a long-standing contented that the Navy had been dilatory to address.

Candidates astatine BUD/s were often reluctant to study aesculapian issues, which the study said was partially owed to a civilization successful which the "ability to proceed grooming done discomfort and immoderate degraded carnal condition" was seen arsenic a "positive trait" by instructors.

To code the issues, the study recommended an overhaul of aesculapian screening for candidates, updated aesculapian policies and an expanded authorization to trial for drugs. Some of the measures person already been implemented.

"Our effectiveness arsenic the Navy's maritime peculiar operations unit necessitates demanding, high-risk training," Naval Special Warfare Command commandant Rear Admiral Keith Davids said successful a statement.

"While rigorous and intensely demanding, our grooming indispensable beryllium conducted with an unwavering committedness to information and methodical precision."

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