#3. NAVSOG and CGSOG Will Get You Drunk
By the nature of their title, special operations forces are expected to work in any conditions. It isn't adequate to just have a body you can sharpen knives on; your mind and will also need to be strong, simply because the brass won't appreciate you peeing yourself and cowardly fleeing during your mission to eliminate ZomBin Laden.
These guys, who are essentially the Southeast Asia version of what would result from a U.S. Navy SEALs/Baywatch crossover, considered this relationship between the body and mind and decided to ask the important question, "But what if their minds were fucked?"
There's no complicated way to put this: During training, they get their men stone drunk. Because, obviously, nowhere is better for this type of stuff than an army base.
"Yeah, I'm not feeling anything so far. Hey, let's go throw grenades at farm animals."
Even the name of this training technique itself, "Hell Blast," doesn't help to disassociate the whole thing from any connotations of partying and drunken debauchery. But before you all go off and start packing for your immediate emigration, realize that, these being special operations forces, there has to be some kind of perverse reasoning behind all of this joviality. And there is: While drunk, the men (or women, which they've recently started admitting) still have to complete their normal training regime, which includes activities such as target shooting, running six miles every day and being able to swim 18 miles without a rest.
Remember, training is all about preparing for every contingency. Including finding out that the team had a few on the chopper ride to their mission.
"I sure hope puke doesn't clog machine guns."
According to the commander of the unit, getting the soldiers drunk during training allows the instructors to gauge their personalities and find out whether any of them are going to be complete assholes on-mission. Particular attention is often paid to those who love fighting or become very troublesome under the influence, and if anybody is found to act like that, they immediately get their ass placed under observation.
"I've got my eye on you, Steve. You hold your tequila like a 4-year-old."
#2. The U.S. Navy SEALs Put You Through Hell
The training regimen of the U.S. Navy SEALs is legendary within the world of special operations forces, most notably for the bastard time that is "Hell Week," a week-long smorgasbord of pain and suffering that, on average, makes half of all recruits to this unit drop out.
We're not sure what's going on here, but it's absolutely crucial to national security.
A lot of it is the standard stuff -- activities range from carrying heavy wooden logs up near-vertical sand dunes to the infamous trial that is "surf torture," in which soldiers lock arms and wade into freezing cold ocean water. They stay in the water for 15 minutes at a time, take a five minute break to be checked for signs of hypothermia and then are ordered back in over and over again.
All of this happens while having only a total of four hours sleep. And that's not four hours per day, either -- that's over the course of a week. Bear that in mind when firing off your next whiny status on Facebook about pulling your third all-nighter of the semester.
"Man, I could really go for some repetitive boat-carrying exercises right now."
There usually isn't a formal announcement when "Hell Week" actually starts, with the only announcement being the sudden, massive series of artillery explosions and gunfire, and the screams of the instructors telling everyone to get their asses outside.
That's because in preparation for what has to be the world's worst surprise party, the entire base is tricked out to simulate a combat zone. The central courtyard where the trainees are made to exercise is lined with barrels filled with artillery simulators, which, as the name would suggest, are blanks that replicate artillery strikes all the way from the whistling of the "incoming" shell to the very massive and very real explosion that soon follows.
It's just like Call of Duty, only with fewer screamed threats of murder.
The trainees will continue to do their drills among the random explosions, while instructors walk among them, screaming and firing off hundreds of blanks from machine guns.
They also have an industrial-strength fog machine that fills the place with a misty haze in between the pyrotechnics, which makes us think that when designing this program, the instructors accidentally Googled "KISS concert."
"... and party every day."
#1. The Russian Spetznaz Will Make You Kick Your Own Ass and Swim in Blood
You may remember us mentioning the Spetznaz before -- more specifically, how badass and crazy their training is.
We're only allowed to use this image one more time, then our servers catch fire.
But believe it or not, that image is barely scratching the damn surface. When you get beneath all the back-flipping and hatchet-throwing, Spetznaz training is freaking brutal. Whereas most special operations forces train to make you a more competent warrior and hone your skills, the Spetznaz thought, "Screw that. War is full of pain and misery -- that's what our soldiers must know."
Basic Spetznaz training involves learning a unique martial art. Being a Spetznaz martial art, it obviously teaches the soldiers how to disarm and kill as quickly as possible, as well as how to fire two guns at once. Why? Spetznaz, that's why.
We're pretty sure that's a man punching an AK-47 in half.
After soldiers are fully trained in the art of ass-kicking, a popular training exercise is to allow Russian recruits to beat the living shit out of each other to test their skills. But obviously recruits can only test their own skills so much -- to really test the limits of what a soldier can do, you need the experienced guiding hand of a superior officer.
Or a sledgehammer.
Yes, that image is an actual part of Spetznaz training, designed to build strength and possibly as a punishment for boners in the shower. When officers do need to step in, however, they like to make damn sure the soldiers know shit is about to go down, as a defector from the GRU detailed in this book.
Young soldiers are awoken in the middle of the night, dragged through the dark and thrown into a room. The room is dark, cramped and filled waist-deep in blood and rotten organs. We really can't emphasize the blood part of that, either. Warning: The following quote is a bit icky.
"It's not water they are in -- it's blood. Blood up to the knees, the waist, the chest. On the walls and the ceiling are chunks of rotten flesh, piles of bleeding entrails. The steps are slippery from slimy bits of brain. Undecided, the young soldiers jam the corridor. Then somebody in the darkness lets a huge dog off its chain."
Suddenly pull-ups don't sound so bad.
The blood and organs come from a nearby slaughterhouse, which makes absolutely no difference to the soldiers who were only moments ago asleep. So when the choice is put in front of them to be grossed out or attacked by a big dog, they get the hell out of there, which is exactly what the Spetznaz wants. Blood is a part of war, and if the soldiers can literally wade through it, it's not going to bother them in a battle situation, which just may give them that split second to catch their opponent by surprise.
And a second is all they need.
You can find more from Adam at Alert Level Stork! And he helped write The Four Humors, a collection of short stories published independently by a group of Cracked writers. Karl lost a bet and is honoring it by plugging his friends' band.
For more military exploits, check out 6 Massive Secret Operations That Are Hidden All Around You and The 6 Most Hilarious Undercover Operations Ever Pulled Off.