Hometown School District Honors Kyle Mullen, Navy SEAL Candidate Who Died After Training

by Matthew Memrick

Kyle Mullen’s hometown school district in New Jersey honored him after he died on Friday during training to become a Navy SEAL.

Manalapan High School officials released a statement after the Navy confirmed the 24-year-old man’s death. Mullen had just completed his “Hell Week” training in California. He died in a San Diego-area hospital, but Navy officials said he was “not actively training at the time of his death.” 

Fox News reported that the school had a moment of silence on Monday for the Navy SEAL candidate. Officials launched an investigation into the Navy SEAL’s death.

School Mourns Death of Navy SEAL Candidate

Superintendent Dr. Charles Sampson told Fox News that the school was “heartbroken to hear of Kyle’s passing.”

Sampson called the SEAL candidate “an outstanding young man whose dedication to serving our country was commendable.”

The superintendent closed his statement by offering thoughts and prayers to the man’s family and friends as they mourn. The school also offered professional counseling to students and staff. 

A school district spokeswoman said Mullen would be honored at a future football banquet. The team plans to wear “44” number stickers on their helmets. The school will also retire the man’s jersey as Mullen wore that number on the team.

According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Mullen played linebacker and tight end on the team. The Navy SEAL candidate was part of a 2014 state title run in the Central Jersey Group V division, winning the team’s most valuable player honors. The paper recorded that he caught a touchdown and had a sack in a 21-7 victory.

The honor roll student and Honor Society member also played on the school’s basketball team. The newspaper said the forward scored 266 points in his senior season. 

SEAL Candidate Died Friday, Another Man In Hospital

Kyle Mullen died at Sharp Coronado Hospital after experiencing symptoms from an unknown illness. Another SEAL trainee is in the hospital but in stable condition.

Fox News reported that both men got sick after finishing the test that ended the first phase. That testing is part of the assessment and selection for the elite Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) class.

The Navy reported that both SEAL candidates did not experience any accidents during the five-and-a-half-day Hell Week. According to the Navy, this program is so intense that 50 to 60 percent don’t reach the program’s conclusion.

In July, the San Diego Union-Tribune said the Navy SEAL candidate entered the armed forces in March 2021 and reported to SEAL training in Coronado.

Before that, the 24-year-old man played football at Yale and Monmouth universities. Monmouth coaches and staff remembered the future Navy SEAL candidate’s time while on the school’s championship-winning team in 2019.