The US Navy SEALs and their supporting boat crews will now be subjected to random testing for performance-enhancing substances, including steroids and human growth hormone. This new testing program comes after the death of a recruit last year who was suspected of using such substances during the rigorous “Hell Week” training. The Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command announced the implementation of this new mandate, which will commence on November 1. The program will build upon the existing urinalysis testing that is already conducted to detect illicit drugs like opiates and methamphetamines.
Rear Admiral Keith Davids, the NSW commander, expressed his intention to ensure that every teammate within the NSW community operates at their highest potential while upholding the distinguished standards of excellence that define Navy SEALs. To achieve this, at least 15% of service members in each unit will undergo testing on a monthly basis. Furthermore, commanders have the authority to order unannounced testing sweeps for all their troops simultaneously.
Those found to be using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) may face discharge from the Navy. The NSW Command comprises approximately 9,000 service members, including all Navy SEALs. This latest announcement indicates the ongoing efforts by naval special forces to implement reforms following the death of recruit Kyle Mullen in February 2022. Mullen went into cardiac arrest after completing the most grueling part of the SEAL qualifying course. The subsequent investigation revealed that he and other recruits were using PEDs such as testosterone and human growth hormone. Mullen’s heart was discovered to be twice the weight of an average male heart.
Admiral Davids referred to the new testing initiative as a steadfast commitment to the health, safety, and operational readiness of every member of the NSW community. He emphasized that without proper medical supervision, the use of illicit PEDs can lead to injuries, long-term health issues, or even death.
The testing will not only be mandatory for SEALs and candidates in training but for all members of the naval special forces. According to reports, many sailors have resorted to using PEDs to gain an advantage in the highly demanding SEAL selection course. Unfortunately, the use of performance-enhancing drugs remains prevalent even after successful candidates join their SEAL teams.
In conclusion, the US Navy SEALs and their support crews will now be subjected to random testing for performance-enhancing substances as part of a new program designed to ensure the health, safety, and operational readiness of all team members. This initiative comes after the death of a recruit last year who was believed to have used such substances during training. The NSW Command is committed to maintaining the distinguished standards of excellence that define Navy SEALs and to eradicate the use of illicit PEDs within the community. Failure to comply with the new testing requirements may result in discharge from the Navy.