The Navy SEALs are battling a problem with not only with combatting terrorists in faraway lands but from within. The stress of continuous combat operations and deployments is resulting in a large number of operators being kicked out of the teams due to drug use.
CBS News on Tuesday ran a report that drug use amongst the SEAL teams was rampant and much higher than the rest of the fleet. They interviewed three SEALs, one active duty and two retired and they all stated the problem is growing and the chain of command is working to stop it.
“People that we know of, that we hear about have tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy,” said a SEAL. “That’s a problem.”
How prevalent is drug abuse in the SEAL teams?
“It’s growing,” said one SEAL. “The drug use, it’s growing.”
Last December, as an e-mail shows, the SEALs halted all training and ordered a safety stand-down because of the drug problem.
“I feel like I’m watching our foundation, our culture erode in front of our eyes,” said Capt. Jamie Sands, the commander of 900 SEALs based on the East Coast.
Sands had been on the job for just three months and already five SEALs had been kicked off the teams for using drugs.
“I feel betrayed,” Sands said. “How do you do that to us? How do you decide that it’s OK for you to do drugs?”
Every SEAL under his command was required to attend this meeting or else watch it online. In response to our request, the Navy released an edited version of the video.
The Navy has said that it will begin urinalysis testing while the teams are deployed, something that they haven’t done before in an effort to curb illegal drug use. However, some SEALs speaking to CBS stated that they hadn’t been drug tested in years.
To read the entire article from CBS News click here:
Photo courtesy DOD