After a Navy SEAL Candidate’s Death at Selection, 40 Trainees Tested Positive for Steroids | VET Tv (2023)

Blog / Military News

Brian “BK” Kimber


May 9, 2022

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The longtime rumors of performance-enhancing drug (PED) abuse among American military special operations forces has burst into the limelight this week with the New York Times expose on the fallout caused by the death of a SEAL trainee, Kyle Mullen. Not only was his death preventable, the US Navy is now being called out publicly for turning a blind eye to the problem of drug abuse that has been prevalent at the Navy SEAL selection course, known as Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUDS.) In all likelihood, this abuse would have continued if not for the untimely death of Mullen, and the consequences for the Navy will be enormous. Additionally, this episode sparked a debate that has long lingered: Should the US military be in the business of providing PEDs to their most elite operators? But before that discussion, a bit of background on what happened with Kyle Mullen.

Mullen would have seemed to be the ideal candidate. A 6’4 former Yale college football player, he told his mother, Regina, that he would rather die trying than give up his dream of becoming a SEAL. He first attempted BUDS in August of 2021, but developed heat stroke and was forced to withdraw from the course. According to Regina, while in recovery, he discovered that other candidates who had not passed the first time had started taking various PEDs, everything from testosterone replacement to human growth hormone. It was then that he decided he need that extra edge, and told Regina he was considering using PEDs himself. (It is unclear whether Mullen himself tested positive or used the drugs, but a search of his belongings after his death turned up syringes and PEDs so… )

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The candidates knew the barracks were inspected periodically, so Mullen purchased a used car to hide the stash. And for a while, it seemed like it had paid off. This time, Mullen made it through the end of the third week, known as “Hell Week,” commonly seen as the first major hurdle in becoming a SEAL. But all was not right with Mullen. He was coughing up so much blood he soon filled a 32 ounce Nalgene bottle with bloody spit as he recovered in his barracks. Soon after, he was found on the floor unresponsive by some of the other candidates. Unbelievably (and I could write an entire separate column on the incompetence of the Navy medical staff monitoring,) the Navy medical staff had gone home for the weekend so the candidates had to call civilian 911. But it was too late: Kyle Mullen was dead.

Mullen’s death was a tragedy. The Navy has yet to release the full results of their investigation (the official cause of death is “bacterial pneumonia,”) but details about the lack of medical care and proper supervision have slowly been trickling out, in part due to his mother’s determination to see changes made. I encourage you to go read the linked New York Times and New York Post articles which covers the errors made in greater detail.

After a Navy SEAL Candidate’s Death at Selection, 40 Trainees Tested Positive for Steroids | VET Tv (2)

Dying in training for special operations forces is nothing new. When you are searching for the type of men who will push themselves to their breaking point, deaths can and do happen. It happens in BUDS. It happens in Army Special Forces training. It happens at Air Force Pararescue selection.It is practically an article of faith that, in order to get the best, hardest men to do some of the toughest military jobs in the world, the candidates must be driven to the point where they actually fear dying. This viewpoint has many advocates, who point out that, when real-world life and death combat situations arise, you have to have men who have faced the very worst adversity possible and risen beyond it. That thisis the grueling rite of passage; the type of brutal training and high physical standards that takes candidates right to the edge of death. That it is necessary to produce the kind of men capable of carrying out America’s most dangerous missions. That there is a long track record of success that has resulted in the most lethal special operators in the world. And this author agrees with that assessment.

But something seems to have gone terribly awry, specifically in BUDS. The New York Times article had this incredible statistic:

The Navy has made hundreds of changes over the years meant to improve safety and increase graduation rates. At the same time, the SEALs who run the course have quietly resisted anything they see as lowering standards. So no matter how much the Navy has tried to make BUD/S easier, it seems to only get harder.

In the 1980s, about 40 percent of candidates graduated. Over the past 25 years, the average has dropped to 26 percent. In 2021, it was just 14 percent, and in Seaman Mullen’s class this year, less than 10 percent.

That is astounding. Either the course had become MUCH more difficult, or the pool of candidates has become much less capable. I talked to one former SEAL who mused that perhaps this is the GWOT generation of SEALs returning to training and making the course more brutal; another SEAL who believes the candidates aren’t as good. This can be debated endlessly, but I will tell you, anecdotally, that in discussions with active duty USAF Special Warfare training cadre (responsible for selecting PJs and Combat Controllers,) there are complaints that they are getting far fewer natural athletes and just a general lack of toughness. One of the most respected SOF candidate training programs in the country is the Team Eagle One program.In April of 2022, their lead instructor, John Maclaren, himself a former SEAL, wrote a long article where he expressed his dismay at the increasing unpreparedness of the kids he was mentoring. For what he believes has gone wrong, go read the whole thing. In the meanwhile, John writes about some of his issues:

  • I began to see a dramatic drop in the intensity of training regimens in high school and university athletes. In one year, perceived effort and biomechanical awareness was down 30-40% in candidates! Perceived effort is measured in several ways. Too much to list here.

  • Shorter, less effective exercise routines had replaced longer, better equipped, and more beneficial gym workouts in high school coaching, university sports, and local fitness studios. Injuries sky rocketed as performance decreased.

  • Candidates frequented gyms that had systematically replaced biomechanically proper training with a handful of exercises in a high injury CrossFit type environment or, worse, a powerlifting regimen with sets of 3-5 reps. (Nothing wrong with either type of workouts. Just not as primary trainning methods for BUD/S success. Please write me for more info. if you wish to graduate)

  • A candidate’s general perception of a “long-run” cut by more than 50%! The ten to twelve mile minimum distance previously considered a “long-run” by incoming candidates was now four to five miles.

There is no doubt something to his opinion. It is hardly a secret that mandatory physical education requirements have declined in the United States, resulting in the well-documented rise in child obesity... you can read endless studies about it. And, in general, basic training and special operations selection courses usually tend to trend easier, not harder, as times and social mores change. For example, US Marine drill instructors would regularly physically strike trainees back in the day of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman; a practice that is now obviously forbidden. Again, the causes of the lack of prepared candidates can be discussed at length. Naturally, special operations candidates who may feel unprepared will look for an edge, and if the tragic death of Mullen is any indication, that edge may take the form of these performance enhancing drugs.

Unofficially, PEDs are commonly found in Special Operations units. And to make it clear, this information comes purely from conversations from various members of SOF units in all branches; I have nothing on paper to back up what I’m saying here, nor would I share it if I did. (BK DON’T SNITCH.) But talk to any member of an elite unit off the record, and they’ll tell you the same. Of course, this is mostly done the “right” way: That is, a team member goes to the unit doc, says something like, “Hey, I’m 15 years in and the multiple deployments and TBIs and stress have taken their toll on my energy and drive.” The doc will check his T levels (or not) and, if it’s even on the low end of the spectrum, the team member can get a legal prescription for a testosterone supplement and boom; instant LEGAL energy.

And why shouldn’t they? It’s no secret that military leaders fear that peer adversaries like Russia and China are doping their soldiers up and are frantically studying what they can do to keep up. A couple of years ago, a British general had this to say:

Lt Gen Tickell, the deputy Chief of the General Staff (DCGS), said of supplying troops with performance-enhancing drugs: ‘You cannot rule it out, because it is arguably unethical to send [UK] soldiers into battle against an enemy that is using such substances thereby putting them at a disadvantage.’

The United States is studying it as well. See this paper, “The Future of Steroids For Performance Enhancement of the US Military.” Or this one, “Net Benefit of Performance-Enhancing Drugs Within US Army Special Forces.” And it’s obvious why: Testosterone supplementation, HGH, and anabolic steroids make you stronger, faster, less prone to injury, and speed recovery.

After a Navy SEAL Candidate’s Death at Selection, 40 Trainees Tested Positive for Steroids | VET Tv (3)

What’s not to love, right? Well, mostly the problems lie with people taking PEDs without proper medical supervision. And, since a healthy 25 year old special operator is unlikely to come up with a blood test showing he has abnormally low testosterone, the PEDs are then taken on the down low. Let’s go back to Mullen and the New York Times:

When the Navy gathered Seaman Mullen’s belongings, they discovered syringes and performance enhancing drugs in his car. The captain in charge of BUD/S immediately ordered an investigation, and soon about 40 candidates had either tested positive or had admitted using steroids or other drugs in violation of Navy regulations.

The Department of Defense has adopted the World Anti-doping list of banned drugs, so clearly, the unlawful use of any of these substances is prohibited by policy. And I should point out that there is no evidence at the time of this writing that PEDs contributed to Mullen’s death; the full report will not be available until later this year:

The Navy has not tied the sailor’s death to drugs. The service is expected to release reports on the training death and the drug use in the fall. A Navy spokesman declined to comment on Seaman Mullen’s death or on allegations of widespread drug use, saying it would be inappropriate to do so before the reports are released and Seaman Mullen’s family is briefed on their findings.

So we really don’t know if the PEDs were a contributor. But PEDs are not a benign substance, especially when used without the oversight and monitoring of a qualified physician. Steroids have well-known side effects, including liver damage, mood changes, acne, heart disease, decrease in testicle size, cessation of sperm production, and high blood pressure. Unregulated testosterone use can result in difficulty sleeping, along with the aforementioned mood swings and acne. Further, Testosterone Replacement Theory (TRT) is, in essence, a life-long treatment. Because it is a relatively new treatment, long-term studies are unclear. Some doctors believe that, once begun, withdrawal from TRT can result in a body’s permanent inability to produce its own testosterone, as well as unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and depression. (This is highly debated.)

The facts have been laid out. Now, dear reader, you are undoubtedly asking yourself, “Well SHIT, BK, so what do you think? Should we start juicing the troops???” And this is a question I’m quite familiar with! You long time podcast listeners will no doubt recall me musing (several times) on this very topic. It makes sense, because, if the Pentagon has now decided that hormone therapy is no big deal, and that transgender service members should be availed all the hormone therapy/gender reassignment surgery that they want, then why would we NOT start putting our most elite soldiers on hormones and other PEDs? It’s a valid question. (Side note: there have been 243 gender-reassignment surgeries on military members from 2016 through January 2020, which only supports giving our special operators the same hormone therapy.)

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I would cautiously say that I’m not really opposed to providing performance-enhancing drugs to active-duty SOF members with the close oversight of a qualified physician (which is far safer than the members taking them on their own on the DL.) Especially knowing as previously noted that our enemies are undoubtedly doing the same. BUT: absolutely not for SOF selection candidates. That, to me, is cheating. You’re there to be measured and assessed on how you deal with adversity and being pushed to your physical limit. If the guy next to you is taking a PED and you’re not, CLEARLY that gives him an unfair advantage over you when it comes to recovery and energy. Plus, at that point, you haven’t earned shit. It’s one thing for the Ranger with ten combat deployments who wants to finish his 20 years to get a little help, it’s quite another for an 18 year old on day two of pushups to get a little help. It violates the spirit of what a selection course means, it’s an integrity violation, and at least for me, it’s a giant no-go.

After a Navy SEAL Candidate’s Death at Selection, 40 Trainees Tested Positive for Steroids | VET Tv (4)

When I started writing this, I tried hard to think about my own selection experience; 18 friggin years ago and rapidly vanishing into the mists of time. Our class started with about a hundred guys and graduated 17; about the average. Some other PJ selection courses graduated 2, even 1. Famously, there was a class where NOBODY graduated; the instructors made a plaque called “The Class That Never Was.” And me, being a total idiot about training at the time, never even thought about PEDs. Partly because this was a while back (pre-social media) and things like TRT and HGH weren’t really discussed in my world or even something I knew existed. I knew what steroids were, but assumed they wouldn’t really help. I didn’t even take protein supplements; just ate a TON of food. I do recall during the pre-selection course that a cadre member mentioned supplementation. He only really said that it wouldn’t do anything to aid us because they would mess with our hydration and the cadre were going to find ways to break us off anyway. And they did. The guy who was a champion high school track star who ran 6 miles in just over 30 minutes? Didn’t graduate. The polo player from Hawaii who was a beast in the water? Didn’t graduate. It sounds so cliche, but it really does come down to what you got inside. That, and proper physical preparation, will take you a long way.

And hey, if you want a tip: My SEAL bro who got through BUDS first try and whose father was also a SEAL told me he bought the book from the granddaddy of all SOF trainers, Stew Smith, followed the workouts exactly, and sailed right through. So there ya go. Now drop and do pushups until I get tired.

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What did the Navy report about SEAL trainees death? ›

SEAL candidate Kyle Mullen died of acute pneumonia, compounded by an enlarged heart, according to a Navy investigation into his death after completing Hell Week reviewed by USNI News.

What happened to the Navy SEAL who just died? ›

Michael Ernst. A Navy SEAL died over the weekend after taking part in a free-fall parachute training, according to a statement from Naval Special Warfare Command. Chief Special Warfare Operator Michael Ernst was participating in the training on Sunday in Arizona when the accident occurred.

How many SEAL trainees have died? ›

There have been 10 Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) (the formal name for the program) training related deaths since 1953, according to the Navy.

What was the cause of death of the Navy SEAL candidate? ›

The Navy SEAL trainee who died just hours after completing “Hell Week” succumbed to acute pneumonia and cardiac arrest, officials announced.

How much do SEAL Team 6 members get paid? ›

The salaries of Navy Seals in the US range from $15,929 to $424,998 , with a median salary of $76,394 . The middle 57% of Navy Seals makes between $76,394 and $192,310, with the top 86% making $424,998.

What is the average life expectancy of a Navy SEAL? ›

The life expectancy of a Navy SEAL is 45-50 years old. This is based on a study of the active-duty SEAL population.

What is the largest Navy SEAL death? ›

The Chinook was shot down in the early morning hours of August 6, 2011, at approximately 0239 AM local time, and was the largest single loss of American life in the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs.

What do SEALs get paid? ›

How much does a Navy Seal make? As of May 8, 2023, the average annual pay for a Navy Seal in the United States is $43,685 a year.

What do Navy SEALs call themselves? ›

All active SEALs are members of the U.S. Navy. The CIA's highly secretive and elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from SEAL Teams, with joint operations going back to the MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War.
United States Navy SEALs
Nickname(s)"Frogmen", "The Teams", "The Men with Green Faces"
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Are there any female Navy SEALs? ›

Despite attempts by eight women to participate in the SEAL office assessment and selection process, there hasn't been any success in there being women Navy SEALs.

Has there ever been a female Navy SEAL? ›

Eight women have participated in the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection process in the past seven years.

How much do SEAL trainees get paid? ›

Basic Pay Scale for Navy SEALS

Enlisted sailors entering the service at the lowest rank, E-1 (Seaman Recruit), receive $1,514 per month for the first four months of service and thereafter $1,638 per month.

Why do most people fail Navy SEAL training? ›

However, most failures are not so unique and can be attributed to preparation, or lack thereof. The common denominator simply comes down to being ill-prepared for the course of instruction. That lack of preparation can cover many areas, including physical, mental, resilience, emotional and even academic issues.

What is the oldest Navy SEAL candidate? ›

Other Requirements

Applicants must be from 17 to 28 years old. Waivers for men ages 29 and 30 are available for highly qualified candidates. Men with prior enlisted service as SEALs who are seeking to become SEAL Officers can request waivers to age 33. Vision must be correctable to 20/25.

What rank is a Navy SEAL commander? ›

The Commander of all Navy SEAL forces (Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command) is a two-star Admiral (O-8). The highest-ranking SEAL in the U.S. Navy is a four-star Admiral (O-10) Eric T. Olson who recently assumed duties as Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

How much do Navy SEALs get paid for retirement? ›

After 20 years of service, Navy SEALS are eligible for 50% of their average base salary for retirement. For each year spent in service between 20 and 30 years, the percentage increases by 2.5% resulting in a 75% benefit for those members completing 30 years of service.

Who is the highest paid SEAL? ›

The highest ranking SEAL in the U.S. Navy (there is only one) is a four-star Admiral (O-10), the Navy's highest rank, who earns $15,583 a month.

How much do Navy SEALs get paid at retirement? ›

Any Navy SEAL is eligible for retirement after serving at least 20 years and getting honorably discharged. SEALs with 20 years of experience are eligible for 50% of their average base salary. If you make it to 30 years or more, you can receive up to 75% of your average base pay in yearly increments.

At what age does a Navy SEAL retire? ›

Drill pay (SELRES) members who have completed 15 or more years of qualifying service and are no longer physically qualified for Navy service also are eligible to receive retired pay at age 60. Note: If otherwise eligible, members may remain in an active status until age 62.

What is the Navy SEAL age limit? ›

Applicants must be at least 19 years of age and commissioned before their 42nd birthday at time of commissioning.

How old is the average SEAL team member? ›

Navy Seal Age Breakdown

Interestingly enough, the average age of navy seals is 30-40 years old, which represents 41% of the population.

Who is the most feared Navy SEAL? ›

Appears In. Known as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, Navy Seal Chris Kyle, who served during the Iraq War, has become renowned as the American Sniper. Chris Kyle was born in 1974 in Odessa, Texas.

Who is the hardest Navy SEAL ever? ›

David Goggins' military background reads like a case of bad “stolen valor” — the retired Navy SEAL chief is believed to be the only member of the armed forces to complete the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/s) course (including going through Hell Week three times), U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as ...

Who is the toughest Navy SEAL? ›

David Goggins is the toughest man alive. There's no doubt about it. Goggins is the only member of the US Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, US Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.

Do Navy SEALs pay taxes? ›

30 days vacation per year. Medical and dental benefits. Retirement after 20 years. Tax free pay in combat zones.

Do Navy SEALs have life insurance? ›

In addition to SEAL leadership traits, SEALs receive a salary, medical and life insurance, education funding, travel and supply discounts, and more.

How much does a Navy SEAL cost? ›

Harassing Navy SEALs is Vindictive and Punitive

Plus, it costs millions of taxpayer dollars in training—approximately $2 million per Navy SEAL—to prepare the most elite fighting force on the face of the earth.

What does bullfrog mean in the Navy? ›

The title “Bullfrog” is given to the Navy SEAL who has served the longest on active duty. Admiral McRaven was honored to receive this honor in 2011 when he took charge of the United States Special Operations Command.

What word do SEALs yell when they throw a grenade? ›

Hooah, Sarge.”

What does frog mean in Navy SEALs? ›

December 6, 2021Matt Fratus. The bone frog symbol is associated with US Navy SEALs and is often displayed as a sign in work offices of retired frogmen, on patches of SEALs deploying overseas, in memory of fallen teammates, and even inked as tattoos into these operators' skins.

Has a woman been on SEAL Team 6? ›

Has there ever been a female Navy SEAL? While the U.S. Navy has yet to have a female join their ranks as a Navy SEAL, they did recently have the first female to ever pass the grueling and demanding U.S. Navy SEAL officer training course.

What are the physical requirements to be a Navy SEAL? ›

Navy SEAL PST Standards
PST EventMinimum StandardsCompetitive Standards
1.5-mile timed run10:309-10 minutes
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Has a woman made it through buds? ›

While the military formally opened SEAL billets -- and all other previously closed jobs -- to women in 2016, no woman has yet made it to the infamous 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training to date.

What is a female SEAL called? ›

A large group of seals during breeding is called a harem. Adult males are called bulls and females are called cows, while a young seal is a pup.

Why are Navy SEALs so special? ›

The most important trait that distinguishes Navy SEALs from other military forces is that SEALs are maritime special forces, as they strike from and return to the sea. SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) take their name from the elements in and from which they operate.

What does the E in Navy SEAL stand for? ›

Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Henderson/U.S. Navy) Loading your audio article. Navy SEALs are named after the environment in which they operate, the Sea, Air and Land, and are the foundation of Naval Special Warfare combat forces.

What is the highest paying job in the military? ›

What are some of the highest paid military jobs?
  • Captain. ...
  • First officer. ...
  • Intelligence specialist. ...
  • Aircraft mechanic. ...
  • Army IT professional. ...
  • Contract recruiter. ...
  • Information security analyst. National average salary: $93,353 per year. ...
  • Flight instructor. National average salary: $95,114 per year.
Mar 10, 2023

What is the failure rate of becoming a Navy SEAL? ›

SEAL basic training has earned a grueling reputation, in part because of a notoriously high failure rate. Nearly 70% of enlisted SEALs fail, mostly by hell week. But Naval Academy officers have an 89% success rate, mainly because they go through years of training and evaluation before they arrive.

What training is harder than Navy SEALs? ›

There's a great argument that the Marine Corps has the hardest military training of anyone, and here's why. Of course, when you reach the top, you can find them becoming SEALs or a part of the Marine Raider Regiment (MRR), but the training of any Marine is some of the hardest military training in the world.

How many people quit during Navy SEAL training? ›

Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training is a six-month selection process and the gateway into the Navy's SEAL Teams. Broken into three phases (First Phase, Second Phase, Third Phase), BUD/S has an attrition rate of between 70% and 85%.

Who was the youngest Navy SEAL ever? ›

Scott Helvenston was born in 1965 in Ocala, Florida and raised in Leesburg, Florida. In 1982, he received special permission to join the U.S. Navy and, at 17, he became the youngest Navy SEAL in U.S. history.

Who is the only person to complete SEAL training? ›

David Goggins is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete Navy SEAL training, the U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force tactical air controller training. Having completed multiple ultra-marathons, triathlons, ultra-triathlons, and more, he is considered one of the world's greatest endurance athletes.

Who is the youngest person to pass Navy SEAL training? ›

Helveston joined the Navy at 17 and received orders to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. He became the youngest person to complete Navy SEAL training.
Scott Helvenston.
Stephen "Scott" Helvenston
Personal details
RankQuartermaster, First class
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What rank was Chris Kyle? ›

Chris Kyle
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1999–2009
RankChief Petty Officer (Rating: Special Warfare Operator, formerly Intelligence Specialist)
UnitSEAL Team 3
12 more rows

Does a Navy commander outrank an Army captain? ›

A commander is the third-highest rank in the force, above the rank of captain and below deputy chief.

Who is the current Navy SEAL bullfrog? ›

Eric T. Olson
Admiral Eric Thor Olson
Admiral Eric T. Olson, USN Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
BornJanuary 24, 1952 Tacoma, Washington
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
5 more rows

Did the Navy punish officers overseeing seal training after candidate's death? ›

The Navy has taken disciplinary action against three officers who oversaw Navy SEAL training earlier this year when a candidate died just hours after completing the infamous "Hell Week."

Were three Navy officers reprimanded in death of SEAL trainee? ›

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy's Special Warfare Command has reprimanded three officers in connection with the February death of a SEAL candidate who collapsed and died of acute pneumonia just hours after completing the grueling Hell Week test, according to Navy officials and a new report.

Who was the Navy SEAL that lied about Goggins? ›

Don Shipley (Navy SEAL)

Was the Navy SEAL Team 1 commander found dead? ›

The commanding officer of SEAL Team 1 was found dead in his San Diego County home Monday, Navy officials announced Wednesday. Cmdr. Robert Ramirez III was 47. Foul play is not suspect in his death, which is under invesigation, Naval Special Warfare officials said.

What is the failure rate of Navy SEAL officers? ›

SEAL basic training has earned a grueling reputation, in part because of a notoriously high failure rate. Nearly 70% of enlisted SEALs fail, mostly by hell week. But Naval Academy officers have an 89% success rate, mainly because they go through years of training and evaluation before they arrive.

How much do SEAL officers make? ›

Total Pay Estimate & Range

The estimated total pay for a SEAL Officer at US Navy is $9,179 per month. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $8,559 per month.

Do Navy SEALs ever regret becoming a Navy SEAL? ›

Regret is an emotion. Regret is a feeling of disappointment or sadness. If we think of regret in terms of disappointment, then I think the answer yes. There have been Navy SEALs that regret (or who are ultimately disappointed) with their decision to become a SEAL.

What is the biggest Navy SEAL casualties? ›

The Chinook was shot down in the early morning hours of August 6, 2011, at approximately 0239 AM local time, and was the largest single loss of American life in the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs.

What rank leads a SEAL squad? ›

A SEAL Team is commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5) and is composed of a HQS element and eight operational 16-man SEAL Platoons. These platoons rotate in a continuous and rigorous planned cycle of training and overseas deployments.

Who was the baddest Navy SEAL? ›

Who is the most famous Navy SEAL sniper? Chris Kyle is widely regarded as being the most famous Navy SEAL sniper.

Was there ever a girl Navy SEAL? ›

Eight women have participated in the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection process in the past seven years. Two completed assessment and selection, although they did not receive SEAL contracts, according to the Navy.

Was anyone on SEAL Team a real Navy SEAL? ›

Not only does the series have former Navy SEALs, like Mark Semos and Kenny Sheard in the writer's room, but over 70% of its crew are veterans, and almost the entire stunt team are former special operators. Tyler Gray who plays Trent is a former Delta Force operator.

Which actor on SEAL Team is a real Navy SEAL? ›

Scott Foxx is an American Actor, Consulter and former Navy SEAL who portrays Scott Carter / Full Metal on the SEAL Team.

What happens to retired SEALs? ›

Navy SEALs work hard yet after a couple of decades of service may retire early and transition into civilian life. You'll continue to receive payments from the federal government for the rest of your life as well as financial aid for returning to school.

Who was the SEAL commander found dead at home? ›

Commander Robert "Bobby" Ramirez III, a highly-decorated naval officer, was found dead at his home in San Diego County Monday. At the time of his death, Ramirez was serving as commanding officer of SEAL Team 1, part of Naval Special Warfare Group One based on Naval Base Coronado.

Were the bodies of SEAL Team 10 recovered? ›

The operation then became known as Red Wings II and lasted approximately three more weeks, during which time the bodies of the killed SEALs and Army Special Operations aviators were recovered and the only surviving member of the initial SEAL team, Marcus Luttrell, was rescued.


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