Special Operations: June 28, 2004


Two U.S. Navy SEAL platoons were returned to the United States early, after five of the 32 SEALs, in Thailand for a training exercise, tested positive for drugs. Two other SEAL platoons were flown in from the United States to replace those sent home. All this began when a navy commander got reports that some off duty SEALs were seen using drugs at a Thai beach resort, so drug tests for 3,300 naval personnel were ordered. Five SEALs and nine sailors tested positive, and were immediately sent back to the United States. Normally, the navy discharges anyone caught testing positive on a drug test. That may not be the case with the SEALs, who require years of training before they are useful. The navy is trying to expand the SEAL force, and will want to know why the normally highly disciplined SEALs got into illegal drugs. Out of some 4,600 personnel in Navy Special Warfare, 21 were dismissed from the service in 2003 for drug use, while 32 were dismissed in 2002 for failing drug tests.


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