U.S. News & World Report gives a fascinating glimpse into the revamped training that is turning out a larger number of Special Operations soldiers. But the military is not sacrificing quality for quantity.
It is a challenging task to quickly expand the country’s most elite units—whose members are carefully chosen and groomed at great expense—without jeopardizing the force’s high mental and physical capabilities. Special operators want to avoid at all cost repeating the Vietnam-era experience in which rapid expansion led to lower standards and a crisis in morale and reputation.
The training includes — in addition to the usual physical, mental, and psychological development — very realistic role playing involving civilians hired to mimic real challenges. In one case involving a “suicide bomber,” the scenario was so realistic that one of the trainees beat up the pretend bad guy.
I’ll bet the career spec ops guys have some real stories to tell about some of their missions.