Special Operator 2nd Class Ronald Tyler Woodle, age 26, a US Navy SEAL, passed away on a training incident near Key West, Florida. He was one of the members of a small group of Navy SEALs who were engaged in dive training in the waters near Key West.

Tyler was born in Asheville, North Carolina and was home schooled until high school and was a star soccer player at Asheville Christian Academy. He received a soccer scholarship for two years while attending Mars Hill College and also worked in construction. Tyler enlisted in the US Navy in 2007 with the intention of joining the Navy SEALs. Because of his dedication, passion, and incredible work ethic, he became part of a SEAL team based on the East Coast in October 2009. He was undergoing intensive training in preparation of deployment overseas. He was a member of Rehoboth Baptist Church.


Ronald Woodle was born on October 7, 1983, in Asheville, North Carolina. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 25, 2007, and completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in August 2007. He completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, Jump School, and SEAL Qualification training in October 2009, and then served with SEAL Team TWO at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, until he drown in a training accident in Key West, Florida, on February 18, 2010. Ronald Woodle was buried at the Green Hill Cemetery in Waynesville, North Carolina.


“My name is Rob and I was one of Tyler’s instructors during SEAL training. I put him through the First Phase of training to include Hell Week. I found out about the accident while in a different course of instruction and was shocked at the news when it was delivered in the morning meeting. Every one of the instructors was in complete silence when the question was asked, “Did you know him…?” We all did. I see hundreds of candidates every class that show up to try their luck at the program and it is fairly rare that an instructor gets to know a student as well as I got to know Tyler. From day 1, I took an interest in him and in a way took him under my wing. He was a bit older than the other students and had a better handle on what we were doing in regard to forging warriors and forming certain attitudes. He was always known as the guy that would go out of his way to help other students when they needed it.

Tyler was a complete animal in Hell Week and did very well. One funny story about him in Hell Week was that he was always falling asleep when it was time to eat. It was our job to keep them awake during our shift (Midnight-0800) and we had many ways of doing this. I remember grabbing a large apple from the food line and having Tyler and another sleepy student bite into the apple at the same time and hold it there without taking a full bite. He had the whole class rolling over with laughter when he would doze off and drag the other student around with his nodding off. The funniest part was that he was chuckling in his sleep when he was dozing to the floor with the apple in his mouth. Almost completely mad with lack of sleep and he was still laughing! Amazing!

I made it a point to attend his graduation and witness him getting his Trident. I believe his folks were there and I’m sure that I met them. To be honest, I was dissapointed to find that he was going to the East Coast teams because that meant I would not have the chance to work with him in the future.

I have lost many friends during my time in the SEAL Teams and Tyler ranks with the best of them. I am deeply sorry for the Woddle family and those who were close to Tyler. If the family has set up a memorial fund other than the NSW Foundation ( I have donated to this one already) that is taking funds, I would be honored to contribute. If there is anything that I may do for the family please do not hesitate to ask.

Tyler will be missed by this SEAL and countless others.

a note from Kathi…

This man represents what a Navy SEAL is! Strong, kind and compassionate! Thank you so much for the gift of this testimony about our Tyler! HOOYAH!”


For more info on Tyler Woodle: