The commander of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL 8 team died Tuesday of injuries sustained in a training accident in Virginia Beach over the weekend, the Navy said.
Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, 43, died Tuesday at Norfolk Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk, Va., The Navy said in a statement on Wednesday.
The incident is under investigation, but early indications are that the crash occurred during a fast rope training exercise on Saturday, according to the Navy. The training involves troops practicing quickly descending a rope from, for example, a helicopter.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bourgeois family – and we will ensure that our community sustains and nurtures a relationship with Brian’s family and his children, for life,” said Rear Admiral HW Howard III, Commanding Officer of the Naval Special Warfare. Command, said in a statement.
âBrian was one of our best leaders, who possessed all of the attributes that make our force effective. His charismatic leadership and steadfast management of our standard will be missed. His legacy lives on in the teammates with whom he served, led and framed. “
The conclusions of the accident investigation will be made available “at the appropriate time,” the Navy said.
Bourgeois received his commission from the US Naval Academy in May 2001.
During his military career of more than 20 years, Bourgeois received the Bronze Star, among other decorations and prizes.
“Brian was as tough as them, an exceptional leader and a devoted father, husband and friend. He is a great loss to all who knew him. He will be sorely missed,” said Captain Donald G Wetherbee, Commodore, Naval Special Warfare Group 2.
Bourgeois is survived by his wife and their five children.