10: Navy SEAL Surf Conditioning
For a total of eight minutes, Navy SEAL recruits are ordered to link arms and lay down on their backs, with their heads partially submerged in the cold ocean. Used to strengthen endurance and stamina, the SEALs are periodically instructed to shout at the top of their lungs while the surf crashes over their heads.
9: Belarus Security Force Concrete Training
Belarus Security Forces are asked to go through an intense training regimen in order to wear the “Red Beret.” Among the tasks are tightrope walking over burning logs while live ammunition is fired below their feet, live fights in smoke so thick you can’t see a foot from your face, and breaking piles of burning concrete with your head.
8: British Royal Marine Mud Runs
Designed to improve strength, stamina, and team-spirit, the Mud Run is the most grueling part of the Royal Marine’s 32 week training program. Dragging themselves on their stomachs for 45 plus minutes while being asked with getting up to run, perform various exercises, and “games,” the mud run is designed to weed out those too weak of mind or body.
7: Russian Spetsnaz Pain Management Training
As Vicktor Suvorov, a former Spetsnaz soldier described in his book, one aspect of Spetsnaz Special Forces training is called pain management training. As he describes it, young soldiers are put through a harsh series of exercises, from taking full-force punches in the chest from their commanding officers without flinching, to getting burning cinderblocks broken over their stomachs with a sledgehammer.
6: U.S. Special Forces Training: Exercise Robin Sage
This month-long training exercise is the final stage of U.S. Army Special Forces training where soldiers must use all of their training in an actual 4,500 square mile, 10 county “country” in the center of North Carolina. Several hundred servicemen and women act as the People’s Republic of Pineland’s home defense forces and would-be Green Berets act as the resistance forces. Citizen volunteers aid in creating an almost-real environment of political instability and armed conflict, forcing soldiers to analyze and solve real-world problems, including torture and government overthrow conspiracies.
5: Russian Spetsnaz Hand Axe Training
As part of the Russian Spetsnaz training, recruits are asked to do nearly physically impossible things with repeatable accuracy. This particular training exercise forces recruits to do a flip over a barbed wire fence while throwing a hatchet at a target.
4: Taliban Suicide Bomber Training
Taliban suicide bomber training, such as that described by a former trainee, consists of preparing the would-be bomber for the glory of the afterlife, physical training by climbing up and down mountains, balancing on tightropes and handling their explosive devices. They are taught to clear their minds before their ultimate mission in order to show no signs of fear before detonating themselves.
3: North Korean Storm Corps Training
The highly secretive North Korean Storm Corps is said to have some of the most insane training exercises in the world. According to an alleged defector, soldiers are required to punch a tree trunk 5,000 times in a row, then punch a jagged tin can until their hand is completely bloodied, before punching a pile of salt. Allegedly, this is to turn their hands into rock-hard weapons.
2: Philippine Navy SEAL Drunk “Hell Week”
During Philippine Navy SEAL’s final week of training, dubbed “Hell Week,” soldiers are required to stay awake for the entire week, without more than an hour rest at a time, while performing rigorous training exercises. What takes this to another level is that they’re required to do tasks such as target shooting, running six miles and swimming 18 miles, all while drunk.
1: Navy SEAL Drown-proof Testing
SEAL Trainees have their arms and legs bound in rope before jumping in the pool. Once in the water, they are instructed to bob in the water for five minutes, then float for five minutes, before swimming for 100 meters. Next, they must bob for two more minutes before performing a series of front and back flips before diving to the bottom of the pool to retrieve an object with their teeth.
By Brett Gillin © PopularMilitary.com