In light of the recent BUD/S Training Deaths is it possible it will affect future decisions regarding training?
Last week a SEAL hopeful died during Hell Week, while training to become one of the U.S. military’s most elite. Another trainee has been reported to be hospitalized, with no cause that’s yet to be released to the public.
This tragic event marks the first training-related loss of life for SEALs since 2016, when a trainee drowned. It’s also as aspect that leads to much public spotlight, which brings the question of, “What next?”
Will there be actions taken place or new legislation that lessen the threat of training? (And perhaps undermining it in the process.) Here’s the thing: training is dangerous, and always has been. Losing a service member under any circumstances is heartbreaking.
However, this is a reminder that training exercises are not made simple. Solders, seamen, and airmen alike go through rigorous training routines every day. Dealing with an injury, or worse, is a constant threat. How else would they train for real life situations? When exercises are too watered down, they simply don’t hold the same effects.
It’s worth noting that there is set protocol after an accident or death; Navy members and government officials will investigate what took place. (In the event of the 2016 drowning, the event was ruled a homicide, as the trainee was dunked repeatedly.)
Naval Special Warfare command has noted that the most recent death is under investigation, as well as the additional injured trainee. While the potential SEALs were not actively training at the time they reported their symptoms, it is not yet publicly known what took place or how they were hurt.
What is Hell Week?
This period of training is known for being the most grueling section of training – hence its name of “Hell Week.” In fact, it consists of five straight days where trainees are wet, cold, sleep deprived, and receive little food – all in addition to incredibly strict training requirements.
Hell Week is the first round of training the potential SEALs take on in the process to join special forces. It’s meant to weed out weak candidates, and strengthen others for what’s ahead. In fact, as much as 60% of trainees don’t make it past Hell Week on average. Many SEALs don’t make it through on their first shot, or opt to stay in the Navy after Hell Week Training. Those are tough odds to beat all on their own, on top of the conditions themselves.
What’s Next After the Reported SEAL Death?
For the Navy or any military branch, it’s important to remember that trainees aren’t playing GI Joes. They’re performing real tasks, working in difficult standards, and training for real missions. Doing so is the only way to prepare for real-life scenarios in the future. It’s how they have become one of the most successful special forces branches to-date.
Let this tragic event serve as a heavy reminder as to the dangers these soldiers face, even during training events.
To learn more about Hell Week and ongoing announcements, stay tuned to NavySeal.com.