Sailor died during 'Hell Week' at BUD/S
U.S. Navy Seaman Kyle Mullen, 24 years old, and another unnamed candidate, became sick from an unknown illness, after completing Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL training. Mullen died of his injuries. The cause of Mullen’s death was not immediately known and is under investigation. According to the Navy, either candidate experienced an accident or unusual incident while training. Mullen passed away at 5:42 p.m. at Sharp Coronado Hospital in San Diego on Friday, February 4, 2022.
Kyle was a standout athlete (six-time letter winner in football and basketball) at Manalapan High School in New Jersey he also went on to play football (linebacker and tight end) at Yale and Monmouth universities.
Seaman Mullen joined the Navy in March 2021 and reported to Coronado for SEAL training in July of that same year.
According to the sources Mullen’s had successfully completed ‘Hell Week’. Those sources also state that Mullen was not actively training at the time of his death.
‘Hell Week’ is a five-and-a-half-day week, which involves basic underwater demolition, survival, and other combat tactics. It comes in the fourth week as SEAL candidates are being assessed and hoping to be selected for training within the Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command.
During Hell Week, candidates get only about four hours of sleep in five and a half days while they do everything from carrying logs and rubber boats over their heads to rock portage on the beach to lie in frigid ocean water.
The SEAL program tests physical and psychological strength along with water competency and leadership skills. The program is so grueling that at least 50% to 60% don’t make it through Hell Week when candidates are pushed to the limit.
‘Hell Week’ ends the first phase of assessment and selection for the BUD/S class.
“He was a great kid with a big smile on his face. He was funny, very smart, very talented, able to accomplish everything he wanted to,” said Mike Hammer, who was his travel soccer league coach. “He was just an awesome kid.”
The last SEAL candidate to die during BUD/S was in 2016 when 21-year-old Seaman James Derek Lovelace struggled to tread water in full gear in a giant pool, he lost consciousness and died. After his drowning, the Navy instituted additional safety protocols to the swimming program.
The last Navy SEAL to die in training was when Commander Brian Bourgeois, 43, died while fast-roping down from a helicopter, dying several days later from his injuries. That incident took place on December 7, 2021.