Report: 10 Navy SEALs Face Separation For Drug Abuse Amid New Investigation

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U.S. Navy Seals rush toward a CH-47 Chinook after assaulting an objective during Sarisa 16, an annual Greek exercise near Thessaloniki, Greece, Sept. 21, 2016.
U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Marcus Fichtl

Naval Special Warfare Command is in the process of administratively discharging 10 enlisted Navy SEALs and another sailor assigned to East Coast Naval Special Warfare unit for failing mandatory drug tests administered by the command, the U.S. Naval Institute first reported on May 3.


  • The SEALs and sailor reportedly tested positive for cocaine and assorted methamphetamines during drug tests conducted between March and April, results that reportedly triggered a new investigation by NSWC "into the circumstances around the failures," USNI News reports.
  • "We have a zero-tolerance policy for the use of illicit drugs and as such these individuals will be held accountable for their actions," Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence said in a statement. "We are confident in our drug testing procedures and will continue to impress on all members of the command that illicit drugs are incompatible with the SEAL ethos and Naval service.”
  • News of the separations comes just over a year after CBS News aired an investigative report detailing a growing drug-abuse problem within the U.S. special operations community, citing mostly anecdotal reports and testimonials from former SEALs.
  • According to data provided by Naval Special Warfare to Task & Purpose at the time, the Navy collected 71,436 urinalysis samples force-wide for testing between August 2014 and February 2017. Of those samples, drug laboratories found 186 samples that tested positive for drugs — a 0.2% rate that mostly included cocaine and marijuana.

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