Navy Identifies Special Warfare Sailor Who Died After Training Incident

Ryan DeKorte

Electronics Technician 1st Class Ryan DeKorte died Monday, May 9, 2022, from injuries sustained in a training incident several days prior. US Navy photo.

The Navy has identified the Naval Special Warfare sailor who died following a training incident at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia.

Electronics Technician 1st Class Ryan DeKorte, 35, died Monday, May 9, several days after he was injured in a helicopter landing incident on May 5, according to a Navy press release.

“Ryan was one of our premiere combat support technicians, who possessed all the attributes that make our force combat ready for highly complex and high-risk missions in the Nation’s defense,” Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, said in the release. “His humility, stewardship and commitment to Naval Special Warfare made an indelible mark on his teammates and our community.”

Navy officials have released few details about the training incident other than to say that it remains under investigation.

DeKorte is from Lubbock, Texas, and joined the Navy in 2014. He served aboard the USS Jason Dunham before being assigned to Naval Special Warfare in 2020, according to the Navy.

naval special warfare sailor

From left: Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois of SEAL Team 8 died in December 2021. Kyle Mullen died just after completing the so-called “Hell Week” in Navy SEAL selection training in February 2022. Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler died during explosive ordnance training in April 2022. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

A Naval Special Warfare sailor died May 9, 2022, from injuries sustained several days earlier during training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia. The sailor has not yet been identified, but is the fourth Navy service member to die during training in recent months. From left: Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois of SEAL Team 8 died in December 2021. Kyle Mullen died just after completing the so-called “Hell Week” in Navy SEAL selection training in February 2022. Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler died during explosive ordnance training in April. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

DeKorte is the fourth Navy member to die in training in recent months.

Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, the commanding officer of SEAL Team 8, died following a fast-roping exercise in December 2021. Two months later, sailor Kyle Mullen died in the immediate aftermath of “Hell Week,” the five-day training event required of sailors aspiring to become Navy SEALs. In April, Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler died during an explosive ordnance training evolution he was completing alongside Marines in Hawaii.

Few details have been released about any of the deaths.

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Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear-gassed during the 2020-21 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.
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