Home Americas US Navy SEAL Team 8 commander dies in training accident in Virginia

US Navy SEAL Team 8 commander dies in training accident in Virginia

SEAL Team 8 commander dies in fast roping accident
US Navy file photo of Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, commanding officer of SEAL Team 8.

The commanding officer of one the US Navy’s most elite special operations units, SEAL Team 8, died on December 7 from injuries sustained during a training incident.

Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, 43, commanding officer of SEAL Team 8, died after he was injured on December 4 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

While the details of the accident are currently under investigation, the navy said that initial indications show that the tragedy occurred during a fast-rope training evolution.

“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 navy said.

“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 served the navy and naval special warfare community for over 20 years.