For anybody with basic US military knowledge, you know that Navy SEAL training is some of the most intense, and at times borderline dangerous, training on the planet.
Of course, the military is training these guys to take on the toughest operations imaginable in order to protect our safety over here in the states, so these guys have to be prepared for absolutely everything.
However, the SEALs have been under fire here recently, after a video of California SEAL trainees getting gassed with CS gas while singing the “Happy Birthday” song went viral. And of course, the media couldn’t wait to run a story about “hazing” in the military.
With that being said, former SEALs Andy Stump and Mike Sarraile joined Joe Rogan’s podcast to talk about the footage, and discuss their own experiences training and the public perception of it all.
Stump shed some light on the video of trainees being gassed:
“The most recent thing that came out, I’m sure you saw this, Mike, was there’s a video of training that occurred and I’m pretty sure it was on San Clemente Island because that’s where the CS gassed us. And there’s guys that are outside and they’re getting exposure to CS gas.
Which I remember before I joined the military, if you look at any movie up to and probably including ‘Full Metal Jacket’ or if you even went into a recruiting office, exposure to CS gas is something that you do in Basic Training. Except I don’t know if the Air Force does it… Let’s assume that they do, probably they don’t, but let’s assume that they do.
It was completely standard and normal to see. And that room sucks… you go into a room and have a gas mask on and they make you take it off and they make you either do something or say something or talk so you can’t hold your breath. That’s the point of all that.
So this video comes out of students that are outside, which one, is actually a huge advantage because it dissipates quickly, especially if there’s any kind of wind.
And they’re getting gassed and there’s already issues with the story that I’m telling because one, who the f*ck is filming this? Just the fact that there was somebody there filming this thing and it made it onto the Internet in any way, shape, and form is a mistake in and of itself.”
Stump also assured that it had to have been an instructor who filmed and leaked the video, because they wouldn’t have let anybody else into the room:
“It had to have been an instructor…
The students, the last 4 weeks of training, go out to San Clemente Island. It’s called Third Phase. And you get a very basic indoctrination into Small Unit Tactics, rifle weaponry, explosives, you throw some grenades, you do some underwater demo, but you’re out there for the last tight four weeks of training.
I don’t even remember having a cellphone when I went through in ’97, but I’d be shocked if they’re are allowed to have cellphones out there so it had to have been an instructor. But they’re getting gassed and being made to sing ‘Happy Birthday,’ again so they can’t hold their breath. And it looks horrible… because IT IS horrible.
And the point of that training is… it’s supposed to suck. It’s supposed to be difficult. You’re supposed to be exposed to that in a controlled training environment.
People were like ‘well this one person looked like they were passing out and there’s mucus coming out of their face’ … Yeah, it’s CS gas. It sucks. But the first time you experience that shouldn’t be in a combat zone.
It’s a volunteer-only program. You can leave this particular training block if you want to at any given time. And oh, by the way, every branch of the Military exposes their people to this.”
Rogan then asked the two about the brutality of the training, Sarraile responded:
“I’ve got to say this, I remember going through this in the Marine Corps and I cannot recall that evolution on San Clemente Island and I asked a buddy and they’re like ‘oh yeah, it happened.’ I can’t remember it.”
Stump continued on, saying that most of the criticism has been reignited after the recent death of a SEAL in training.
“I would say the reason this was probably a bigger issue is there was a high-profile death in SEAL training not too long ago, with a student who had just completed Hell Week and died in the hospital shortly thereafter.
The young man’s mother is a nurse and she’s very vocal about what has happened and there was an investigation involving that.
So it seems like there… and it’s horrendous to lose your son in any way, shape, or form, I don’t want to take anything away from that, but from that incident, this is another layer on top of the onion on something that people were already talking about.…
For one, I just wish SEALs could get the f*ck out of the news. In general. But since it starts, they’re layering on top of each other it can seem to be a bigger deal than it is.”
You can check out the full conversation below: