A Navy investigation into the death of a SEAL candidate found that recruits are not given adequate care in a culture where seeking help in emergency situations is discouraged, Military.com reported.
Seaman Kyle Mullen died at a San Diego area hospital on Feb. 4 after he and another SEAL trainee reported experiencing symptoms of an unknown illness, the Navy said.
The Navy determined that Mullen died, in the line of duty, of pneumonia that was aggravated by an enlarged heart, Military.com reported Wednesday.
Mullen's mother, Regina, had claimed the Navy's medical "negligence" resulted in her son's death after he completed "hell week."
Military.com reported that a broader investigation also was ordered into the training program amid reports of drug use, cheating and abuse.
Cmdr. Ben Tisdale, spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command, said that "administrative actions" have been taken against the commanders of the special warfare center and training program, as well as senior medical staff under their command.
The initial investigation indicated Mullen struggled with symptoms for days but was not afforded care.
The probe also made clear that the program's recruits hide symptoms and suffering either out of a desire to complete the training, a fear of being made to start over or fear of being dropped from the program, Military.com reported.
A program medical professional told investigators that he "'takes it with a grain of salt" when students say they want to continue.
A sailor said, "The kids don't want to quit, so even if a student had a significant medical complaint, they would be unlikely to disclose it."
Also, the report highlighted that recruits were told by leadership that calling outside doctors can only lead to trouble.
A post-hell week flier given to the recruits, Military.com reported, explicitly said "DO NOT go and see other/outside medical providers" before explaining, in capital letters, that "if you go and see other medical personnel who do not understand Hell Week, they may admit you to the hospital or give you medicines that are not compatible with training."
A sailor told investigators that "he and the other students were instructed not to call 911 and not to go to the emergency room."
Several Navy officials interviewed said medical conditions like Mullen's are routine during the training course.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.