British Special Air Service Selection and Training

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"Its nice of you all to come along, I don't suppose most of you will be with us for more than a few days." These are the first words soldiers hear at the beginning of their SAS selection attempt

The SAS selection is one of the hardest, and most grueling in the world. It consists of three basic phases. The first phase, Fitness and navigation, being the hardest, with the largest drop out. The second phase, Jungle Training in Brunei, and finally combat survival, including escape tactics and interrogation.

Phase I
Endurance Phase:
The selection course begins with a week long BFT, (Battle Fitness Course), 3 mile run, the first mile and a half must be completed in 12 and a half minutes, the rest in your own time. The next 5-6 days consist of basic map revision, orienteering, gym work and 5 mile runs. 8 Mile cross country runs are also done, with candidates required to finish in 1 hour. At the end of the first week the candidates face their first real test: The Fan dance

The Fan Dance
The fan dance consists of: carrying a 32 Pound bergen over a route of 24km. Easy?well think about this then:
Your day starts at 4am, and ends at 10.30pm, and marches range from 15-64km, which means going up, and then all the way down, and then all the way up again and so on, carrying bergens weighing 40-60 pounds! This also includes a few night marches.

To add to the problem, you are never told when the cut off time is and just have to keep up with the DS, or get RTU'd, (return to unit). However, if a candidate who has been doing well suddenly has a bad day, he may receive a 'gypsy's warning', one more bad day and they are told to report to platform 4, basically you've been RTU'd. Still think this is easy?

Test Week
This is what all the hard work leads to: a series of 24-64km marches, all over the Brecon Beacons, followed by the hand drawn map march, and finally the endurance march, which takes twenty hours to complete!
After this the candidates are gathered together and told if they have passed this phase or not.

The survivors are then sent for continuation training, where they are trained on the Special Air Service weapons, as well as eastern block weapons. The physical hasn't ended with test week as they are expected to keep fit and do gym work, and are tested for their mental abilities, language aptitude as well as mensa tests. this is all done to see if a candidate can adjust to the SAS way of doing things.

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