“CORONADO, Calif. — Kyle Mullen always had the natural drive and talent that made success look easy. Until he tried out for the Navy SEALs.
The 24-year-old arrived on the California coast in January for the SEALs’ punishing selection course in the best shape of his life — even better than when he was a state champion defensive end in high school or the captain of the football team at Yale.
But by the middle of the course’s third week — a continual gut punch of physical and mental hardship, sleep deprivation and hypothermia that the SEALs call Hell Week — the 6-foot-4-inch athlete from Manalapan, N.J., was dead-eyed with exhaustion, riddled with infection and coughing up blood from lungs that were so full of fluid that others who were there said later that he sounded like he was gargling.”
“. . . .Six hours of sleep a night are now required in all weeks but Hell Week, outside auditors have been brought in to watch instructors, and a higher percentage of sailors are now making the cut.
But on the beach, sailors say, the problems continue. A month after Seaman Mullen died, there was another close call. After late-night training in the frigid surf, one sailor — cold, wet, hungry and exhausted — started shivering violently, then became unresponsive while huddled in the arms of another sailor who was trying to keep him warm, according to two sailors who were there.
The sailors immediately called the BUD/S medical office, but once again, they said, there was no answer. They put their classmate in a hot shower, called 911 and were able to get him civilian medical help.
The next morning, the two sailors said, instructors let the class know they were not happy. To punish them for calling 911, the sailors said, the instructors made the class do long bouts of push-ups. Whenever anyone dropped from exhaustion, instructors made the man who had been treated at the hospital for hypothermia plunge again into the cold surf.” -30-
David Lindsay: This isn’t training, it is torture.
David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
This is so sick it is stomach turning. “No one can do everything the instructors ask, so you have to learn how to cheat to get through,” he said. “Everyone knows it happens. The point is to learn how to not get caught.” “Basically, you are selecting for guys who are willing to cheat,” he added. “So, no surprise, guys are going to turn to drugs.” So they are weeding out the ones with morals, and being left only with gamers and thugs. It this the kind of county we want. It smells to me of Nazi Germany. It is time to make Medical ombudsmen in charge of limiting the training at least, and drug testing through out. It is absurd. There should be no shame in refusing to die of heat exhaustion, etc. There should be an inquiry of merit. Is this how we came to have a Seal commander in Afghanistan who shot civilians for fun. David Lindsay Jr. is a military historian, and the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth Century Vietnam” and blogs about the environment at InconvenientNews.Net, and at TheTaySonRebellion.com.