Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by rjb, May 4, 2018.
If this turns out to be true, very sad, indeed. On the flip side of the coin, what type of drug testing was being done? There are known problems with some of the test kits for false positives, especially if you are using any vitamin supplements, etc which may have similar substances that could test positive in a 'pee-cup' test. There are also some types of tea that will show positive, as well.
However, if it is true, and there is this spike in substance abuse among elite service members- then you'd think the Navy should take pause and look at what issues are contributing to it. While I don't condone any drug usage, I do understand the nature of 'self medicating' by some to compensate for untreated (and 'in denial') mental health issues.
One big OOF...
I'll answer from my own experience in the air force; I'm not a physician and I'm not a lawyer. But I did sit on over a dozen court martials; many for drug offenses.
The military "random drug test" is done by lottery. If you're called, you go to the clinic or wherever they are doing the draw, and you check in, they verify who you are, there's some paperwork, then you're handed a cup and sent to the restroom. There will be a military member there to observe you...yes, watch the entire process. They do this to ensure its you, not a stored sample, etc. That person will sign a tag stipulating they observed you. Then you take the cup back and deliver it. It is then checked and sealed with the flimsiest tape I've ever seen; usually in an "X" pattern. Then a label with your ID information is put on it. You verify that the tape seals are intact, sign the form, and that's it.
All the samples will be collected and packaged very securely by witnesses; they use the "two person" concept: two people must always be in possession of the samples and they sign a document every step of the way. It'll be shipped to the air force lab doing the testing. The lab will receive the package; two people, they'll take the package into a room and open it. They must both verify that there are exactly the same number of bottles in the box as the paperwork says were shipped. IF there's a discrepancy, the entire package is destroyed. They then, one at a time, examine each container, checking the seals, documentation, etc. If the seals are broken, or the paperwork has a discrepancy, ALL the samples in the box, not just this one, are destroyed. IF all the samples are good, then they go to the testing area.
The first test is basically the dip stick test. Dip the sample; if the stick comes up with a "potential positive" then it's set aside for further testing. If it comes up negative, that's it; it's destroyed and you're clear. If it came up possible, then it goes to the test that during a court martial, the PhD explaining it will put you to sleep: GCMS or the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Here's we're going to do the electron microscope type thing. The sample will be tested using this beast and this is where, if you're guilty, they're going to prove it. This thing will look at the atomic level of metabolites in your body. I don't remember all the numbers so forgive me but if memory serves, the AF had a level to show violation of something like 150ng/ml for cocaine and about 50ng/ml for THC (marijuana). The first test could say "POSITIVE! YOU'VE GOT THIS PERSON!!!" BUT...if the GCMS came back with 49.99999ng/ml of THC, that sample was destroyed and there was no finding since it didn't meet the 50ng/ml level. Yes, really; they would know the person had done the drugs but...they didn't reach the "hang'em" level.
Many folks liked to try to fight the GCMS results claiming "I eat a lot of poppy seed bagels, etc...etc..." but, alas, the metabolite of THC only forms in the tissues if you've ingested the illegal item. In my career I never saw or heard of a "false positive" with the GCMS, but I did with the preliminary testing. Again though, I'm not the expert so I could have missed it.
Bottom line: if these guys were tested like I remember, the odds are VERY high that they're guilty.
Thank you for the detailed information. As I said earlier, if true for such a large number from an elite branch, maybe this is where someone should be looking into the 'whys' of it for that group. It's sad on all ends for those service members who had to go above and beyond to achieve that status and throw it away.
On a happier note, 35 SEALs will graduate from USNA today.
I think you mean that 35 newly-minted Ensigns will report as candidates for BUDS, don't you?
You're probably right. I was listening to a news story while doing something else. Thirty five does seem like a large number of SEALs to be in one class. Thanks
Yeah. The attrition rate is around 94% at BUD/S. Most class sizes start at 150 to 175 and graduate around 20.
That is true on attrition rates for overall rates. The attrition rate of USNA grads is much much lower than that. It is higher than it was 15+ years ago, but that is because they commission double the amount that attend BUDS than they did years ago. The number used to be around 15-16 a year who were selected and the norm for a very long time was for 0-2 grads to not make it. USNA has the largest group officers selected for training and also the highest success rates at BUDS.
I imagine it is being looked at closely.
I agree with mom3x the reasons seem fairly obvious; high stress coupled with PTSD. That and the pervasive drug culture that exists today.
These guys are routinely using prescribed (or at least dispensed) pharmaceuticals ("Go Pills", etc) in the course of missions, why wouldn't a small percentage continue the practice and self medicating in their daily lives?
An acquired addiction for these guys is a wound like any other and requires treatment. They are owed more than just being tossed out entirely.
I thought I heard the news guy say 35 SEALs were graduating today but I should have heard 35 graduates were selected to attend BUD/S. I should leave this alone as I have stuff to do but, if only 20 enlisted graduate BUDs and if 33 or so Annapolis grads pass, at some point, there will be nobody for the officers to lead. New gains are the life blood of the organization. I'm not a math major so my arithmetic is probably wrong.
35 SEALs did not graduate. 35 USNA grads from the class of 2018 were selected as Spec War officers and will attend BUDS. They won’t all go at the same time, but probably broken up over 3-4 classes. The last trident wearing SEAL to graduate from USNA was in 2003.
All I know about those Trident-wearing rock stars is that the few that I have met were really nice guys.
Very unassuming, and just nice. I think it just comes from knowing that they have nothing to prove.
It is such a sad day when this many of them screw up like this.
I now know that. Based on two previous posts, enlisted have a 94 percent washout rate and about 33/35 Academy grads will graduate BUDS according to statistics. The 35 going to BUDS over 3-4 classes makes sense but the last trident wearer from USNA is from 2003 is different from the numbers posted above.
Yeah... when I heard news sources mentioning 35 fully trained Seals I was scratching my head, because that couldn't possibly be correct. Oh well, civilians just don't understand the military.
How can this be true? I know an 05 SEAL and I'm sure there are others since then.
Prior enlisted SEALs are entitled to wear all ribbons and warfare devices earned, including silver SEAL warfare pin, on midshipmen uniforms.
A few reasons... the SEAL training pipeline is close to 2 years. So by the time they do that and then hit the fleet and apply they are usually 21 at the youngest. Many are older than that. Then ask a young man who has done all that to go be a Plebe... well not tons of volunteers. Plus the number of enlisted SEALs with a degree or a decent chunk of college is pretty high. With the op tempo the last decade plus, most joined to do that. As officers move up there are less knocking down door billets, so many enlist or don’t pursue commissions because of that. They don’t have to go back to BUDS when they graduate. Class of 98 and 03 were the last two classes who had Trident wearing SEALs in them. The 03 grad I believe gave the pep talk to class of 2021 prior to Sea Trials last week.
Is that a USNA only thing. I was pretty sure the SEAL warfare device was gold only.
Separate names with a comma.