A few Navy SEALs -one still serving, two retired- have come forward to blow the whistle on what they believe is a growing drug problem within the elite Navy SEALs.
They made an agreement to speak to the media about what they have witnessed under the condition that their identities remained anonymous.
“I’m sitting in this chair because I’m not proud anymore to be in the community because of the direction that it’s going,” said one of the Navy SEALs to CBS News.
When asked how prevalent drug usage is among the SEALs, one SEAL said, “The drug use, it’s growing.”
“People that we know of, that we hear about have tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy,” said a SEAL.
Their allegations have seem to be in line with statements made by on the SEALs’ newest commanders, Captain Milton “Jamie” Sands, commander of Navy Special Warfare Group 2 -the group that was punished last month for flying a Trump flag on their convoy. During the last three months, five SEALs have been kicked off the teams for drug usage.
“I feel like I’m watching our foundation, our culture erode in front of our eyes,” said Sands to a group of SEALs during a video -obtained by CBS– of a safety stand down briefing.
“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?
During the video, Sands explains why he believes that some SEALs are using illegal drugs.
“They think it was OK because they’ve seen other people do it,” Sands said in the video. “They think their teammates won’t turn them in. They think it’s kind of the cool thing to do, but they think it’s OK.”
The entire military is subjected to random urinalysis drug screening but due to the nature of the SEALs jobs they are usually away from their home bases where the screenings are conducted. Three active-duty SEALs told CBS they had not been tested in years. According to Sands statements in the video, that is all going to change.
“We’re going to test on deployment. If you do drugs, if you decide to be that selfish individual, which I don’t think anyone’s going to do after today. I believe that. Then you will be caught.”
Despite Navy Special Warfare Group Two commander’s drug problem assertion, Naval Special Warfare Command public affairs does not believe the problem is a widespread as CBS’s reporting cliams.
“I stand against their assertion that our incidence of drug use is higher than the Navy average,” Naval Special Warfare Command spokesman Capt. Jason Salata told Task and Purpose. “We test 15% of our force every month, and based on recent urinalysis testing, we’re well below.”
Salata claims CBS failed to use any of the drug usage data that was provided to them for their report. According to the data Salata provided -based on urinalysis conducted from August 2014 to February 2017 -the Navy only has a 0.2% drug test failure.
“I think [CBS News] missed some key elements, and not just our leadership’s firm intolerance for drug use,” he said.
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