Militaries have trained people to become killbots for centuries. Typically, military exercises are designed to simulate combat and warfighting while training both the body and the mind to respond correctly even under great duress. The theory is that when all hell breaks loose, personnel fall back onto their training to cut through the confusion, chaos and fear that can cripple fighters.
Almost all militaries around the world feature some sort of boot camp that whips recruits into shape in a relatively short period of time. Drill instructors transform soft civilians to hardened killing machines, sometimes achieving a recruit’s transformation in as quickly as a few weeks.
The process tends to begin by training recruits to obey military customs and requirements while increasing the physical strength and endurance of candidates. After developing mental obedience and physical strength, recruits then focus on specific aspects of warfighting, like martial arts, rifle training and other specialized instruction that prepares the candidate for a specific role within the armed forces.
However, some military forces go to extremes to ensure that their personnel are ready for absolutely anything, like preparing a solider for the day that they have to punch a tree to death with their bare hands. This list of the craziest military training exercises in the world features regimens that are disgusting, dangerous, over-the-top and sometimes just plain useless.
10. Fun with Live Grenades
Similar to many military training regimens, The People’s Liberation Army of China features exercises designed to toughen the bodies and minds of their soldiers, preparing them for battle. Some aspects of their boot camp, however, appear to take the simulation of war to a new extreme.
One of the craziest exercises of this wing of the Chinese military involves six soldiers and a live grenade. The first soldier pulls the pin and begins to pass the ticking time bomb around his circle of peers. After the grenade is handled by each soldier and returns to the pin-puller, the grenade is then tossed in the hole in front of them while the six soldiers leap away from the explosion.
9. Kill Houses as Far as the Eye Sees
The most comprehensive special operations military training facility is located slightly north of Amman, which is the capital city of Jordan. Opened in 2009 by King Abdullah himself, the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) is designed to increase the effectiveness of their special operations capabilities.
KASOTC features 67 urbanized buildings such as apartment complexes, an embassy, commercial buildings and even a town square. The facility includes 350 360-degree cameras, live-fire killhouses, a multi-helicopter landing pad and an airport with two airplanes modeled after 737 and A300 jets.
These training grounds sprawl over 6,000 acres and include special effects like a fog generator, explosions, concussion cannons and simulated weapon fire.
8. Great Leader’s Special Punch Training
North Korean special forces endure intense physical training that pushes their bodies to the limit, similar to other special military troops. One particular exercise they undertake makes it possible for them to punch through 20 sheets of cement blocks.
Wrapping a rope around a tree, North Korean special forces practice punching trees thousands of time a day for a month in order to toughen up their hands.
Afterwards, they break a tin can to expose a sharp edge, attach it to a stand and punch the can until their fist starts to bleed and ooze pus. Then, they punch piles of salt in order to prevent the hand from rotting away, developing rock hard hands that can “kill a person with three punches.”
In the meantime, Great Leader Kim Jong-Un trains by planning invasions on his XBOX.
7. Drunken Hell Blast
The Philippine military forces include a special elite group that survives the most difficult training out of all their units. The Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) undergo months of incredibly difficult exercises to perform commando-style operations on land, sea and air.
Similar to other SEAL and special forces units that train personnel to be able to operate under any circumstances, NAVSOG undergoes “Hell Week” training featuring various tough tasks while enduring extreme sleeplessness.
Unlike other special forces, they also have a “Hell Blast” training regimen that forces personnel to get completely and utterly drunk while engaging in military exercises. NAVSOG believes that recruits able to do their duty while completely loaded show the true strength of their character.
6. Destroy Flaming Concrete Blocks with Your Forehead
One of the most militarized European nations is Belarus, a country that decided not to embrace the falling of the iron curtain like other Soviet bloc nations. In fact, it’s considered to be one of Europe’s last remaining dictatorships, run by President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko.
Special forces training to become Red Berets – the best of the best – under the command of the Interior Ministry of Belarus undergo some of the most bone-breaking exercises of any military force.
This deeply-religious military unit celebrates the pagan holiday of Maslenitsa, in which soldiers show off their training through feats of strength, like breaking several concrete blocks engulfed in fire with their heads while shirtless in the dead of winter.
5. Tactical Somersaults of ISIS
The growth and spread of ISIS forces throughout Northern Iraq and Syria is one of the most significant developments in worldwide terrorism over the past few years, especially considering their ability to conquer large cities like Mosul. However, videos that show off their special forces training appear to be far less convincing.
One of the more bizarre aspects of ISIS military exercises is their infatuation with the “tactical somersault”. Examples are found on videos that show a recruit somersaulting over a heavy machine gun while picking up the weapon and struggling to aim, rendering him useless.
Other recruits practice flipping over small hills instead of crawling, exposing themselves to greater risk while making it easier for their enemies to target them.
4. Killing Chickens With Your Teeth
Cobra Gold is a joint military exercise of the United States and Thailand militaries that grew into the biggest multinational gathering in Southeast Asia, including the military forces of Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.
Training includes simulated forest assaults, civic assistance volunteer work and survival scenarios in the jungle.
In addition to learning how to capture and kill live cobra snakes to drink their blood, which is apparently very hydrating, U.S. Marines learn to appreciate the nutritional value of a wide variety of insects and scorpions.
However, one training exercise that seems to take things a bit far is the part where trainees bite into a chicken’s neck to kill and decapitate the bird.
3. SAS Death March
The British SAS is one of the most feared and respected special forces on the planet. Even the American military applauds their fighting skills, toughness and tactical prowess, modelling their Delta Force special ops after British standards.
The SAS is comprised of volunteers who must pass a five-month boot camp that fails at least 90 percent of all their candidates. In fact, the training and selection process is so difficult that it kills recruits.
The deadly part of their training is the series of long marches that cumulates with ‘Endurance’, a non-stop, 40-mile, time-trial march carrying a 60-pound backpack, a water bottle and a rifle.
While uncommon, this trial has literally walked several recruits to death and often causes troops to experience delusions and physical collapse due to dehydration.
2. A Different Type of Russian Roulette
The most dangerous military exercise in the world likely belongs to the Russians, who conduct live fire training in a way that’s unique compared to the rest of the world.
Confidence training involves human volunteers standing next to targets to simulate a hostage-taking situation. Soldiers fire live bullets that strike targets perilously close to the volunteer’s head.
When recruits master firing at targets next to people’s skulls, they graduate to the next test which involves the soldier fighting through distractions – like guns fired next to their ears – while performing the same precise marksmanship.
In order to get special forces accustomed to combat conditions, soldiers also shoot each other in the chest before returning fire on inanimate targets. While wearing bullet-proof vests, of course.
1. Spetsnaz Blood Training
The Spetsnaz is a super-elite, Russian special forces division that takes pride in accepting only the toughest, meanest and most disciplined fighters in their country. The training is designed to push soldiers to the absolute brink of their physical and mental abilities, breaking them down into a boiling mass of muscle and fury before unleashing them upon the world.
Part of getting ready for battle for those in Spetsnaz involve blood training, specifically, getting used to dealing with copious amounts of blood that spill during deadly military operations.
In this exercise, recruits are woken suddenly in the middle of the night and put through an obstacle course that leads soldiers to wade through a dark, flooded building. When the lights flip on, it’s revealed that the flood they’re standing in is actually blood mixed in with rotting entrails and organs.
The tension is turned up a notch when a giant, hungry guard dog is let loose among the recruits, who have to then scramble through a bloody labyrinth to escape the snarling beast, slipping on brains in the process.
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