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Ex-Navy football player Brian Bourgeois killed in SEAL training accident; officer to be honored during Army-Navy game

Former Navy football player Brian Bourgeois, a three-year letterman as a safety, died Dec. 4 during Navy SEAL training out of Virginia Beach.
Former Navy football player Brian Bourgeois, a three-year letterman as a safety, died Dec. 4 during Navy SEAL training out of Virginia Beach. (Courtesy Photo)

Commander Brian Bourgeois, commanding officer of SEAL Team 8 and Naval Academy graduate, died Tuesday at Norfolk Sentara General Hospital after sustaining injuries during training on Saturday in Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to a news release.

Details of the accident are currently under investigation and findings will be made available at the appropriate time, according to a news release from U.S. Navy SEAL Team 8. Initial indications show the tragedy occurred during a fast-rope training evolution.

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“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,” said Rear Admiral H.W. Howard III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command in the news release. “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.”

Bourgeois, 43, received his commission from the United States Naval Academy in May 2001 and served the Navy and Naval Special Warfare community for more than 20 years. He was a four-year member of the Navy football team and earned three varsity letters as a safety.

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“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.”

The Navy football team will honor Bourgeois during Saturday’s Army-Navy game in several ways. The team will run out with a SEAL Team 8 flag along with the traditional American, Navy and Marine Corps flags.

There will be a No. 13 home blue jersey adorned with two SEAL Team 8 patches placed prominently on the Navy sideline, while senior wide receiver Michael Salisbury and sophomore wide receiver Jayden Umbarger will wear SEAL Team 8 patches on their uniforms.

The patches were given to Navy wide receivers coach Mick Yokitis, a 2006 Naval Academy graduate, by Bourgeois earlier this year.

Former Navy football player Brian Bourgeois, poses for a photo with his parents at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. Bourgeois died during Navy SEAL training.
Former Navy football player Brian Bourgeois, poses for a photo with his parents at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. Bourgeois died during Navy SEAL training. (Courtesy Photo)
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