House Passes Rep. Smith Amendment Following Death of Navy SEAL From NJ

The House of Representatives last week passed an amendment offered by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) aimed at improving medical care and oversight for high-stress military training programs in response to the tragic death of Manalapan Navy SEAL candidate Kyle Mullen, who passed away in February after completing the Navy’s rigorous “Hell Week” training.

Named for Kyle—“Kyle Mullen Naval Safety Enhancements”—the amendment directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct an appraisal of current standards and provide recommendations for improved medical care and oversight of individuals in the Navy engaged in high-stress trainings, like the Navy SEALs, to better ensure sailor safety and prevent long-term injury, illness, and death.

“Kyle’s mother Regina, a nurse, told me in a heartbreaking conversation in her home that Kyle’s death could have been prevented had her son received timely medical attention,” said Smith, whose amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 passed with broad bipartisan support.

“Regina has many questions that demand answers,” Smith said. “Meanwhile, this grieving mom has made it clear and with great urgency and resolve that Congress and the Department of Defense must insist that medical care, aggressive monitoring, and oversight be provided now—without delay—to every Navy Seal candidate during high-stress training.”

A world class athlete and basketball standout, Kyle was captain of both Manalapan High School and Yale University Football teams before joining the Navy.

“Kyle was an extraordinary talented and gifted young man—a true leader who selflessly enlisted in the Navy to serve our nation and protect our freedom,” said Smith, who vowed to continue helping Regina Mullen as she seeks to ensure proper medical support is available for Navy SEAL candidates.

Adopted and passed by the House as part of the NDAA, Smith’s amendment now moves to the Senate for their consideration.

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