One SEAL told Navy investigators that people would give him cocaine when he went out to local bars. “Random people would offer me cocaine and I would go with them to use drugs,” he said.
Another member of the team said that he used cocaine while stationed in Colombia and at home in Virginia Beach, where he would put the drug into his drink at a local bar.
“My normal process was to quickly consume the drink with the cocaine in it, then sip from the other drink so I didn’t have to carry two drinks around,” he told investigators. “If there was any ice or anything left in the cup from the Orange Crush with the cocaine, I poured the remainder into the other untouched Orange Crush and sipped from that one until the next round.”
None of the SEALs who were caught using cocaine faced a court-martial. Four separated from the Navy, while one was offered to remain in the service with a lower rank, an offer that he declined. A fifth man who was found to have been using cocaine died by suicide after doing so, the report found.
“I will not speculate as to the reasons why these service members made the poor decisions that they did, but I will say that the actions of a few are not reflective of the SEAL code or culture,” Naval Special Warfare Command spokeswoman Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence said. “We have tightened our processes, we are focused on performance and we are proud of our progress.”
One of the reasons that the SEALs were so comfortable using cocaine was that they knew they could beat urine testing, if they even had to undergo it at all.
“I never once got piss-tested on deployment or on the road, where I was using most often,” one man told investigators.
The report author pointed out that SEALs are meant to be tested regularly, even when they are deployed.
“On deployment, no location should be treated as too remote for testing,” the report reads. “No distance or cost should, by its inconvenience, implicitly sanction unlawful drug use or insulate service members from rigid adherence to Navy standards.”
However, even when testing did occur, the SEALs were comfortable swapping their own urine for a clean sample. Investigators even found that SEALs would keep clean urine samples with the equipment in case of testing.