10 facing possible prosecution after death of Navy SEAL candidate Kyle Mullen during ‘Hell Week’

In relation to the untimely death of Kyle Mullen, a Navy SEAL candidate who tragically passed away during the rigorous “Hell Week” training phase, ten individuals, including two high-ranking Navy SEALs, are now facing potential prosecution.

According to the Navy, Kyle Mullen, hailing from Manalapan, N.J., lost his life in Coronado, Calif. in February 2022.

The challenging “Hell Week” is conducted during the fourth week of SEAL training and subjects candidates to relentless physical strain and demanding exercises, often in cold water. As a result, approximately half of the candidates fail to complete this intense week of training.

According to CBS News, an investigation has revealed that “failures across multiple systems” contributed to the death of 24-year-old Kyle Mullen, along with the hospitalization of three other candidates, during a specific training period. The report also noted a higher dropout rate in that particular class, with only 21 out of 58 candidates successfully completing the training.

The investigation report criticized Capt. Brad Geary, the training commander, and Capt. Brian Drechsler, Geary’s immediate supervisor and former commander of the Naval Special Warfare Center, for their inadequate supervision. Additionally, the program’s senior medical officer, along with Geary and Drechsler, has since left their positions following Mullen’s death.

Towards the end of the training, Mullen exhibited symptoms such as coughing up dark fluid but refused medical care to avoid failing the program. He received oxygen twice on the final day. After completing the training, the candidates underwent physical examinations and were sent back to their barracks to recover. Mullen, despite using a wheelchair, was deemed “fit to train.”

Mullen and three other candidates experienced difficulty breathing, and fellow sailors in the barracks were told that those requiring medical attention might be expelled from the program if emergency services were called.

The cause of Mullen’s death was determined to be pneumonia.

According to the report, under Capt. Geary’s leadership, the dropout rate in the course significantly increased. Observers noted that Geary seemed more focused on eliminating struggling candidates rather than providing training and improving their performance. Geary attributed the high dropout rate to a lack of mental toughness among the candidates.

The Navy’s legal command will make the decision regarding potential charges against Geary, Drechsler, and eight other individuals who could face court-martial trials.