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You are here News Military Leaders Let Problems Mount at Brutal SEAL Course, Navy Finds

Leaders Let Problems Mount at Brutal SEAL Course, Navy Finds

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Brutal Navy Seals Program Allowed to Continue

The notoriously grueling Navy SEAL selection course grew so tough in recent years that to attempt it became dangerous, even deadly. With little oversight, instructors pushed their classes to exhaustion. Students began dropping out in large numbers, or turning to illegal drugs to try to keep up.

Unprepared medical personnel often failed to step in when needed. And when the graduation rates plummeted, the commander in charge at the time blamed students, saying that the current generation was too soft.

Those are the findings of a lengthy, highly critical Navy report released on Thursday, detailing how “a near perfect storm” of problems at the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course, known as BUD/S, injured large numbers of students, sent some to the hospital and left one dead.

“The investigation revealed a degree of complacency and insufficient attentiveness to a wide range of important inputs meant to keep the students safe,” the report concludes.

The Navy ordered a review of the course in September, days after The New York Times reported that instructors kept students in frigid water for long periods, denied them sleep, hit and kicked them, and refused to allow many injured students to receive medical care unless they first quit the course, which is held on the beach at Naval Base Coronado near San Diego. Students said that medics regularly did not intervene, and sometimes participated in the abuse.


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