Navy officials on Sunday identified a Seal candidate who died after an intense training session known as Hell Week, and promised to investigate the episode that left a second sailor in hospital.
Kyle Mullen, 24, of New Jersey, died in hospital in Coronado, カリフォルニア, on Friday night, the officials said, giving no cause of death. The other sailor is unidentified and remains in a naval hospital in San Diego in a stable condition.
The pair were among a group of recruits seeking to become members of the Navy’s elite sea, air and land team best known for killing terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Neither was engaged in active training when they were taken ill, the Navy’s statement said, adding that the incident occurred several hours after the candidates successfully completed the basic underwater demolition segment of “Hell Week” training, which it said was “part of the first phase of the Navy Seal assessment and selection pathway”.
In the missive released on Sunday, the Navy confirmed Mullen, of Manapalan, ニュージャージー, as the dead candidate.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to Seaman Mullen’s family for their loss,” rear admiral HW Howard III, commander of the naval special warfare command, 前記.
“We are extending every form of support we can to the Mullen family and Kyle’s classmates.”
Hell Week training is part of a lengthy and rigorous selection process for SEAL candidates, following an initial seven to nine-week initial boot camp, and consisting of exhaustive underwater and parachute training.
The program, according to the Seal website, “is designed to push you to your physical and mental limits”. The dropout rate is high, and only about 20% of recruits successfully complete the training that the Navy acknowledges is “brutal”. まで 250 candidates each year go on to become Seals.
According to USA Today, Mullen’s death is the first of a Seal candidate in training for six years. に 2016, Seaman James Derek Lovelace, 21, drowned in a pool training session, which was initially ruled a homicide by the San Diego medical examiner after hearing evidence that his head was repeatedly pushed under water by an instructor.
Navy investigators later ruled that no crime was committed and declined to file charges, although NBC reported at the time that three Seal candidates had died in four consecutive training classes, and that Lovelace was the fifth trainee to lose consciousness in a pool exercise in four months.
A post mortem examination later revealed that Lovelace had an enlarged heart, which contributed to his death.
The Navy’s Seals unit was formalized by President John F Kennedy in 1962 after military leaders flagged the need for a highly trained maritime force to respond quickly to escalating situations or to conduct special operations.
But elite US forces operating as Seals had a storied history before Kennedy’s administration codified the unit, taking a leading role in the D-day landings of 1944 and the invasion of Okinawa the following year.