Amid new report on Navy SEAL training death, NJ mom seeks charges filed
🔹 A Manalapan man died shortly after rigorous U.S. Navy SEAL training
🔹 Kyle Mullen died of acute pneumonia, the same day he finished “Hell Week” in 2022
🔹 Up to 10 Navy officials could now be prosecuted for the preventable death
If you ask one grieving mother in Monmouth County — justice has been moving at a glacial pace since the loss of Kyle Mullen. The 24-year-old Manalapan native died of acute pneumonia in February 2022, the same day he finished the infamous Hell Week of Navy SEAL training.
Regina Mullen, a nurse, has been seeking accountability among those in charge, well before a military report in October confirmed that her son’s death was in the line of duty, through no fault of his own.
In May, an intensive report from the Naval Education and Training Command found that up to 10 individuals, including two senior Navy SEALs, could face prosecution stemming from the "failures across multiple systems" that led to Mullen’s death and hospitalization of three fellow SEAL trainees.
Regina Mullen was briefed on the report heading into the weekend of Memorial Day — and days before what would have been Kyle Mullen’s 26th birthday on Saturday.
🔹 Mother of Kyle Mullen says ‘evident what happened’ with son’s training death
While most Navy officials’ names have been redacted in the public release of the report — Regina Mullen has them committed to memory.
At least three of the officers who were in charge of the Navy SEAL training program at the time of Mullen’s fatal Hell Week have been reassigned or allowed to retire — which his mother has stressed is far from real accountability.
The recent report pinned a lack of oversight on both Capt. Brad Geary and Capt. Brian Drechsler, as reported by CBS News.
“It’s evident what happened,” Regina Mullen said in an interview with New Jersey 101.5.
She said that Rear Adm. H.W. Howard “covered it up for six months, he knew what happened. He gave a letter of censure to Commander Geary the night before he retired.”
An increase in the intensity of training happened under Geary’s command, leading to even more trainees dropping out at quicker pace — which Geary blamed on the candidate’s mental toughness, according to the same CBS report.
Deschsler was commander of the Naval Special Warfare Center at the site where Kyle Mullen and his fellow trainees underwent Hell Week.
Regina Mullen wants to see commanders allowed to retire “pulled out of retirement and charged, now.”
🔹 ‘Wholly inadequate’ medical monitoring among factors in Kyle Mullen’s death, report finds
Kyle Mullen had been cleared multiple times by attending personnel to return to the strenuous tasks of training during that grueling week in California — and once finished, was left with ‘wholly inadequate’ medical monitoring as his symptoms worsened.
By the time an emergency call was placed and Mullen was finally rushed to a nearby hospital - he was gone.
At the time of Mullen’s death, Manalapan was still part of the 4th Congressional district, represented by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith.
Smith, a Republican, was with Regina Mullen during the three-hour briefing by a Navy admiral and captain on the report that could leave several personnel open to prosecution.
“When I first met Regina, she made it clear that no other parent should ever have to endure her pain,” the Congressman said in a written release.
“The Navy’s investigation has exposed a culture that needs radical change, and the Navy has given every indication that they will implement serious changes to address the egregiously flawed command structure and failure after failure that led to Kyle’s death,” Smith continued.
As of this year, Manalapan was now part of the 3rd Congressional district — which is represented by U.S. Rep. Andy Kim.
🔹 Current Navy officials: Learning from the tragedy of Mullen's death a 'top priority'
Following the released of the Naval Education and Training Command report on May 25, the current commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command said learning from "this tragedy" remained a top priority for the Navy.
"While rigorous and intensely demanding, our training must be conducted with an unwavering commitment to safety and methodical precision," according to Rear Adm. Keith Davids in a written statement.
He continued “We will honor Seaman Mullen's memory by ensuring that the legacy of our fallen teammate guides us towards the best training program possible for our future Navy SEALs.”