T Nation

The Most Brutal Training System?

I was wondering, which group,army unit or sport,have the most brutal training system (overall)? Navy seals,french foreign legion,SAS, someone else? I don’t plan to join,but I’d like to know.

You asked the wrong question. :wink: It is not the training that is brutal(it is tough, demanding and uncompromising), with the exception of Army Ranger School (five+ weeks on little or no sleep and just over 1,000 calories a day to keep youo going). Most of what you have hear about are selection processes. Each selection process is designed to exhaust the man physically and test his resolve. The bristish in they typical public school humor have even added “sickeners” to the process. At the end of a 35 mile cross county hike you are told to hike another two miles (which may or may not be the case). Then when you arrive at the end point you are asked to crawl through a pit of warm sheeps guts.
Hope this helps with your question.
Best of Luck

Mistake in my last posting: Ranger school is nine plus weeks in length. The average weight loss amoung students is 30 pounds. The pass rate is around 20%. Check out their website.
Best of Luck.

On Special Forces officer from the former Sovietunion claimed that they did there NBC-training with real nervegas, thats pretty hard training in my eyes.
Today I think that the hardest training is in one of the countries that has a goverment who doesn´t care that much about it´s citicent, so that a few deaths isn´t that important.
North Korea and China is countries pops up when I think in these terms.
My guess is that some special forces from China should have the honor of the hardest trained soliders in the world.

Popular sport “Import the bike to Croatia” covers all the bases.

Yes,I guess the question was wrong, but I think everybody will understand it. You knew exactly what I ment. Thanks for the reply.

Ranger school pass rate is more along the lines of 50%. The calorie total is now 2000kcal. The weight loss is about 30#, though.

I guess that is the new an gentler army or the prep programs are really good. I went through in the early seventies (no prep program for me), lots of Vietam vets as RIs, several Medal of Honor winners and this dam malor who was missing a leg, but would do every run with some kind of rocker pad and shock absorber attachment(you did not want to fall out on one of his runs).
Now that I have had a little time to think on it, the most demanding selection program I can remember was that of the Rhodesian (sp?) Scouts. They not only had the physical demands of the selection, but the animals as well. A copy of it is available in a way back issue of soldier of fortune magazine.

The SAS (British) training is probably one of the toughest in the world (probably even more so than that of the Royal Marines), numerous texts have supported this as well as recruits from other military services doing exchange with the SAS. Also, it’s not just a physical thing it’s psychological as well, they try to break you down no matter what.

The pipline for AFSOC ( air force special operations command) is one of the toughest and longest. To be a PJ ( pararescue) or cct (combat control technician) you have to go through 2 years of training plus 6 months just to qualify. United States Marines I know have some of
the most grueling indocs known in the military ( starting of with regular boot camp,
and SOI, then and the 6 months training to go the MEU) Force Recon indoc is hard as well. I had a buddy who went to ranger school and lost 45 lbs, he said it was the most painful and enjoyous thing he ever went through.

My uncle was in the army british army about 25 years ago now, and was supporting 3 kids and a wife. He was offered an SAS training course and promised that on completion he’d receive an extra 3 pounds and change a week. He told me the initial testing was all psychological. They sat him in a bathtub full of luke warm water for 24 hours with machine guns trained on his head. The gunmen shouted abuse at him for the entire time and any sound or movement he made would fail the course. He lasted 3 hours. I can’t attest to the rest of the training, but the psychological training is valued higher than is physical resiliance in the SAS

any routine outlined in the “the encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding” by arnold.

SBS would be the hardest. First you have to pass the SAS selection course then you must go on and pass another course which includes learning everything about diving, they also have to train to exit a submarine whilst its moving. The SBS are easily the best in the world yet have managed to remain ‘quiet’ so to speak. They were the first special forces in during the gulf war.

The Danish “Jaeger-korps” (“Hunters”) has a passing% of only 8-10%… …saw a program about them just the other night… …and those guys are BAD!!

Definately the SAS I’ve worked with SBS and SAS. SBS do elements of the SAS selection and the build up for test week is so hard the tests are a piece of piss.
SBS need to learn to be proper soldiers first. SBS were first on the ships in the gulf and also killed more of there own men in the gulf too!!

In terms of brutality, I would vote for the Republic of Korea (ROK)(South Korea) Marine Corps. Those guys are all black belts in Tae Kwon Do before they go to boot camp. They beat the living hell out of each other. It is nothing for a sergeant to kick a private in the face for having a screwed up uniform. They would go apeshit if any of the troops did something to embarass their leaders in front of US Marines.
They have some damn tough training too. In the Vietnam War, the vietnamese feared the ROK Marines more than Americans.

Semper Fi

Along the lines of the SAS, Delta Force has a very similar indoc program. If you read “Inside Delta Force” by Eric Haney he describes some of it in pretty good detail (or at least what it was like back in the early eighties). Delta was actually modelled on the SAS initially. Same kind of thing. Grueling.

[quote]Older Lifter wrote:
Mistake in my last posting: Ranger school is nine plus weeks in length. The average weight loss amoung students is 30 pounds. The pass rate is around 20%. Check out their website.
Best of Luck.[/quote]

What is the point of it? Just that the men need to lose weight quickly?

[quote]Dainon wrote:
Ranger school pass rate is more along the lines of 50%. The calorie total is now 2000kcal. The weight loss is about 30#, though.[/quote]

That makes more sense. No point in eating 1000 calories a day and having half the weight loss be muscle.

I think it is hard to get a straight answer on this one. Once you get to the elite warrior level, all programs are pretty brutal. You get pride in your branch, so everybody will say what they are is the toughest. In reality, all these programs are hard, and share similar methods of training and schools of thought.

I’ve seen firsthand that the ROK is hard core, and physical discipline is the norm. Does this make them better soldiers? Is fear a better motivator than (for example,) a SEAL who must use willpower and can quit training at any time?

Also, I’ve been through both Army and Marine basic. Marine basic is head and shoulders above Army, both in the challenge and quality.