SEAL Team 8 Tragically Loses CO in Training Incident

December 10, 2021

SEAL Team 8 Tragically Loses CO in Training Incident

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SAN DIEGO – Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, 43, commanding officer of SEAL Team 8, died on Dec. 7 at Norfolk Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, after sustaining injuries during training on Dec. 4 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Naval Special Warfare is committed to supporting Bourgeois’ family and Sailors who lost a teammate during this difficult time. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bourgeois family – and we will ensure our community remains in support of and in relationship with Brian’s family and his children, for life,” said Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. “Brian was one of our very best leaders, who possessed all the attributes that make our force effective.  We will miss his charismatic leadership and faithful stewardship of our standard.  His legacy carries on in teammates he served with, led, and mentored.” 

The SEAL Team 8 executive officer has temporarily assumed command.  

The details of the tragic accident are currently under investigation and findings will be made available at the appropriate time. Initial indications show that the tragedy occurred during a fast-rope training evolution. 

“We are working with SEAL Team 8 to provide every form of support we possibly can to Brian’s family and teammates,” said Capt. Donald G. Wetherbee, commodore, Naval Special Warfare Group 2. “An incident like this weighs heavily on us all. Brian was as tough as they come, an outstanding leader, and a committed father, husband and friend. This is a great loss to everyone who knew him. He will be greatly missed.”  

Bourgeois received his commission from the United States Naval Academy in May 2001 and humbly served the Navy and Naval Special Warfare community for over 20 years.  

Media queries can be directed to Naval Special Warfare Command’s media officer at [email protected], 619-537-1351.