Major Concerns in Military Arise

Military training in the United States is becoming subject to more scrutiny following a string of deaths that have occurred in diving and combat swimming training.  On Tuesday, July 27th a soldier of the 10th Special Forces Group tragically drowned at Naval Air Station Key West in Florida where the soldier was participating in diving training. The Staff Sergeant, who has yet to be publicly identified pending notification of their family was training with the Army Combat Readiness Center and the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, commonly known as SWCS. This recent tragedy is just the latest in a string of deaths related to waterborne training across the U.S. Army, Airforce, Navy, and Marine Corps leading to increased training concerns.

According to a Press Release given to the Army Times,

“The Staff Sergeant was a student in the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course, and was participating in a conditioning exercise in the pool, which stresses the students’ cardio, respiratory and muscular endurance,”

“During the training event, the Soldier submerged and did not resurface. The cadre immediately entered the pool and found him unresponsive,” read the release. “The Dive Medical Officer attempted to resuscitate him, and he was transported to the Lower Keys Medical Center Emergency Room where he was pronounced dead following full medical intervention.”

The Army Times reported that Army CRC  safety investigation team spokesman Michael Negard specified that the cause of death was drowning.

Emerging Pattern of Deaths Raises Concerns- Is ‘Woke-ness’ Costing Lives?

Concerns have mounted in recent months, made public in a study by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton and Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Jim Banks, Mike Gallagher and prepared by Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, both retired,  that ‘woke-ness’ and a hyper focus on “diversity training”.

According to the report, one lieutenant currently on active duty said,

“Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,”

“It’s criminal. They think my only value is as a black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color.”

This latest string of deaths during training casts a whole new concern: is our military so focused on being ‘woke’ and politically correct, that training in other far more crucial areas is suffering to a fatal extent?

“A recently retired senior enlisted leader suggested that this dynamic was more a lack of proper  prioritization. “I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training.
I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship handling training.”

What about swimming, diving, and waterborne combat training? American Military News gave some disturbing examples:

  • “ reported a 2nd Infantry Division soldier died in June, 10 days after what officials described as a medical incident during combat water survival training in South Korea.”
  • “A sailor died in April after a high-risk pool training event at the Aviation Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola, Florida.”
  • “Another soldier died in March of this year during a still unspecified training event at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, while participating in the “Swamp Phase” of the Army’s Ranger school. The “Swamp Phase” of Ranger School includes in training coastal swamp environments, including waterborne and small boat operations and instruction on how to navigate water obstacles and maneuver through swamps.”
  • “Air Force Times reported an airman assigned to the Special Tactics Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida drowned during a 2,000-yard training swim in March of 2020. An investigative team found that, in that incident, the typical buddy system was not followed.”
  • A ‘Tragic Mishap Was Preventable’: How the Marines Failed 9 Troops Whose 35-Year-Old AAV Sank in the Pacific was reported by in May. “A mix of mechanical problems, leadership failures and training gaps cost eight Marines and a sailor their lives — all of whom drowned after the decades-old amphibious vehicle filled with water, tipped and sank 385 feet beneath the ocean’s surface.”

The report released by the GOP lawmakers was focused on the U.S. Navy and in particular on the surface fleet, but the training deaths we’re seeing are across four different branches of the military, and should similar studies be commissioned by Congress it is likely they will find the same concerns of cultural, structural and training deficiencies across our entire military. That places America and the world in enormous long-term peril, and furthermore could be placing our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen into life-threatening situations… far from the battlefield.


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