6 Insane Military Training Techniques Designed To Break You
When you think about training for the military, you probably imagine bald dudes jogging in perfect formation, crawling under barbed wire, and getting inventive nicknames spit into their faces by their superiors. In reality, military training techniques vary a lot from country to country: Some are insanely elaborate, some are insanely cruel, and some are fine just being plain old insane.
South Korea And China Force Soldiers To Have Shirtless Snow Fights
Even though it's been several decades since there's been an actual military campaign between the two nations, North and South Korea are still technically at war. However, South Korea might be taking the whole "cold war" thing a little too literally:
It's a little-known fact that, when exposed to extreme cold, Koreans turn into that
douchey guy your sister dated in high school.
Each winter, more than 200 of South Korea's finest Special Forces soldiers travel to the icy region of Pyeongchang to train in negative-30-degrees Celsius. For those of you who measure temperature with an F instead of a C, that figure converts to "nipple-chafing ice planet." Once they've all stripped down to half-nakedness (presumably so that said nipples can be used as bayonets), the Winter Olympic Games of the South Korean Special Forces begin. In addition to the marathon above, events include wrestling:
Everyone's wrestling name is "Stone Cold." Ah cha cha.
That, or Korea is being invaded by the aliens from The Thing.
And, of course, the after-party:
This is right after they were told the Jonas Brothers were coming to perform.
They even throw snowballs at each other's bare chests as part of the training, because South Korea is deeply committed to its reputation as the quirky little brother of the Koreas.
This type of training isn't exclusive to South Korea, though: Chinese soldiers go to the border of Russia in sub-zero conditions to conduct similar drills, but with more dick-shrinking intensity and less snow-hurling frivolity.
"Tire hurling is just as much fun."
The trainees crawl through the snow half-dressed, and they even bring along swords, because only a true champion can wield a decorative weapon in a forest of Christmas trees.
Nuclear winter is coming.
Taiwanese Marines Have To Crawl Across 50 Yards Of Pointy Rocks
Taiwan is a nation famous for its flimsy electronics, but the quality of its soldiers is pretty top-notch. A big part of that is due to the fact that Taiwanese Marine Corps trainees can graduate only after they've passed the heroically named "Road To Heaven" -- a 50-yard course of rocks and jagged coral that they must writhe across on their stomachs, which as you may have noticed is the side of the body on which the penis is located.
"Crawling," we believe some people call this action.
Oh, but simply dragging their maligned bodies through stabby protuberances (after nine weeks of intensive training) clearly isn't hardcore enough: Along the track, they also have to stop and perform certain exercises, all while suffering the abuses of instructors trained in the art of jeering.
Worst slip 'n' slide ever.
This track will take most of the recruits between 15 and 20 minutes ... on the first try, anyway. If the instructors aren't satisfied by the recruits' performances, they'll generously grant them another go at leopard-crawling through jagged rock until they're so battered and bleeding that the existence of any other type of heaven (or the deities ruling it) is firmly disproved in their minds.
A young Taiwanese soldier setting a PB in the 50-meter freestyle rock swimming.
It isn't all doom and gloom on the Road To Heaven, though. The trainees' families, wives, and children are all invited to come watch their squealing loved one scream bloody curses of forever hatred. The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but the Road To Heaven is lubed up with the tears of your family.
Once they've received first aid, which we assume includes being mummified in bandages, recruits who finish first get to return to the Road to sing military songs to encourage their comrades. Popular selections include "Somebody Please Kill Me," "Give Up And Run Now," "Nothing Is Worth This Agony," and the timeless classic, "Sweet Lord (My Dick Got Scraped Off On The Coral)."
U.S. Marine Scout Snipers Have To Bathe In A Rancid Pond For A Month
Ghillie suits are those stringy Chewbacca costumes your character wears while hurling digital bullets and devastating insults at complete strangers in Call Of Duty. Additionally, military snipers occasionally use them to blend in with their surroundings, allowing them to deal out sweet, sweet doses of freedom undetected. Now, how do you think the army procures these things? Amazon? eBay? The pelt of a mythical bird? Or do they just give the Marines a bunch of Endor outfits and tell them to jump in a big puddle of shit?
Believe it or not, that last one is pretty close to a correct answer: U.S. Marine snipers have to put on their suits and dive into the Pig Pond, a rancid pool of rotting vegetation and stagnant water. Repeatedly.
"Hey. Hey, come on. Who's peeing? Jesus, people."
Sloshing around in the Pig Pond stirs up slime and mud which helps "deaden" the ghillie suits (as well as your soul) to stop them from reflecting light. Once you're sufficiently dripping with rotten slime, step two is dropping to the ground and getting some dirt all over your new duds. This part is important, because being seen with a new-looking ghillie suit is as almost as embarrassing as forgetting to take the clearance tag off of your new polo. Also, you'll be spotted by the enemy and shot, so there's that.
There's always time to make muck angels.
Next: Muck-covered push-ups. Just because.
They don't count unless every tendril touches the ground.
This process goes on for almost a month, until the Marines are more swamp than soldier. Once this dirt-poop fashion parade is finally over, the snipers are deemed ready for combat, ensuring only the grimiest bog monsters make it to the front lines.
U.S. Navy Recruits Have To Survive A 12-Hour Stint Aboard A (Replica) Sinking Ship
Most people's understanding of what happens on a sinking ship is based on James Cameron's Titanic: After improbably having sex in a car, you spit in Billy Zane's face before letting your lover drown because you need space to manspread on your floating debris.
The U.S. Navy has an even more insane view of what it's like to be on board a sinking ship, and it forces young recruits to re-create that hellish vision for an arduous 12 hours. No expenses are spared to make every element of the simulation as realistic as possible, starting with the 130,000 gallons of water that surround the fake vessel. Bass speakers buffet the ship, but this isn't a cruise dance-floor simulator -- they're ramped up so high that they jolt the crew, to simulate being struck with missiles. In debriefings, a mock CNN news program is set up to follow the "emergency" situation created for the recruits.
This one really was an inside job.
Anatomically correct dolls groan and moan, and not for the usual reasons anatomically correct dolls moan and groan. They're casualties. Recruits have to lug the bodies through the ship on stretchers, but it isn't a simple collect and carry exercise: Did you fasten the strapping wrong? Whoops, you just killed a father of two. And, more importantly, failed your final exam.
"I swear it already looked like this when I arrived, sir."
The recruits are forced to contend with smoke, heat, and flames while attempting to remove fake bodies from the (equally fake) wreckage. There are strobe lights to imitate flashing electrical malfunctions, and heating pads in the walls to amp up the temperature. Meanwhile, flash fires are simulated using an interesting little trick called "actually setting the place on goddamn fire." Yep, the recruits are faced with a three-second flash of flames, and it's up to them to put it out using a hose of 100 PSI pressurized water, which is strong enough to kill a turkey, should one happen to walk in front of you in there.
Or leave you looking like Freddy Krueger took a refreshing shower.
Scott Barnes, a civilian engineer who works behind the scenes of the ship, said its "DNA comes from theme parks." We assume he is referring to the Backdraft ride and sections of Splash Mountain.
Jordan Has A Massive City For Special Forces Training
Games like Call Of Duty and Battlefield are supposed to place their players in ultra-realistic combat simulations, when in fact you're mostly running around an empty city artificially closed off from the rest of the world. In Jordan, they thought this was actually a pretty good idea, so they went ahead and built themselves one of those:
But with crappier graphics.
The King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center is the most advanced special operations training complex on the planet, leading nations from around the world to travel to Jordan to beat each other's high scores (and, you know, train for war and stuff). KASOTC is constructed as if it was a real town, with over 60 urban structures such as apartments, villas, and office buildings for trainees to use to shoot at each other. There's even an entire simulated airport, complete with mock jets whose dummy passengers stand up out of their seats. We have no idea what specific training simulation would require a plane full of standing mannequins, but the point is, they've got one.
For an extra $60, you can pay Steven Seagal to re-create the plot of Under Siege.
Just about any conceivable unit or task in the Special Forces can be run in KASOTC, be it dog training, explosive entries, extractions from high-rise buildings, or even cutting a few laps around a driving track (reports of chain chomps and banana traps are unconfirmed). They even have special effects: Speakers project hundreds of unique, realistic ambient sounds like shouts, animal noises, crying, and gunfire. Best of all, KASOTC has 350 thermal cameras with 360-degree range to capture all the action going on in the compound for their inevitable series of YouTube montages set to songs by Linkin Park.
The place is so large it requires hundreds of operators, all of whom actually live in the compound. Consequently, there are places to eat, sleep, relax, and shop, when you're not helping soldiers detonate your fake city. We imagine this is what video games must be like for all the anonymous bystanders.
The Belarus Red Berets Run The Assault Course From Hell
To become a Red Beret in the Eastern European nation of Belarus, you have to complete an obstacle course that looks like what would happen if the ghost of General Patton directed an American Gladiators reboot with a budget of $200 and a demagnetized moral compass. Oh, sure, there are tires, balance beams, and climbing walls, like you'd expect from your granddaddy's obstacle course, but everything has a slight twist to make it more badass:
What, you never played Jump The Burning Tire in school?
The camaraderie of the army is already on display for the eager young recruits attempting the course, as current Red Berets are on hand to swing tires at their potential companions in attempt to knock them off balance beams.
The current Berets are also in charge of spraying gas into holes and tunnels the new recruits are forced to navigate with masks on, as well as the essential duty of liberally firing machine guns all over the training grounds, just in case any newbies get the idea to try to relax for longer than three seconds at any given moment. In between all this team-building, potential recruits are running, climbing, crawling, and cultivating a pure, molten hatred for the soldiers they'll be serving with in the future.
"Dance for me, private."
Out of more than 150 recruits who attempted the course in 2012, only 17 passed it. That's a pretty bad graduation rate for any class, but to be fair, the article doesn't specify whether the other 133 recruits actually failed the obstacles or if they were just killed in the attempt.
Hoss follows you to work, so why not follow him back on Twitter @M_Hossey?
Also be sure to check out The 5 Least Intimidating Military Uniforms Around The World and 6 Military Units Whose Training Would Traumatize Rambo.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the kind of people who would probably survive all this shit in 5 People Who Need to Put Down Their F#@%ing Camera, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook, because it's easier than joining the military.