Top 10 Hardest Special Forces Training In The World 2021

The toughest special forces training in the world. Special Forces refer to military units who receive special training for the purpose of carrying out special operations. According to NATO, special operations can be described as “Military activities which are conducted by specially designated, organized, trained and equipped forces manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques and modes of employment”. This covers essentially, the duties performed by Special Forces.

The 20th century saw the emergence of Special Forces and during the Second World War, there was a notable increase in the growth of these Special Forces as various major armies who were part of the battle, created units that were directed to perform special tasks behind enemy lines.

The duties carried out by these Special Forces vary from nation to nation and may include operations such as airborne operations, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, Covert Ops, Foreign Internal Defense, Direct action, Hostage rescue, High-value targets/manhunting, mobility operations, intelligence operations as well as unconventional warfare.

Top 10 Hardest Special Forces Training In The World 2021

1. The United Kingdom’s Gurkhas

For the people of Nepal who aspire to join this British military organization, the first set of punishing tests that qualify them for the actual military training are somewhat tame and involve having to do about 800 meters in 2 minutes or maybe 12 pull-ups.

The actual training is much more difficult than anything dealt with by SAS trainees. The aspiring members are made to run 5 kilometers all the while saddled with weight weighing 25 kilograms. The 25 kilometers incline upwards every 400 meters, and these aspiring members have to complete it in 48 minutes. This among others made their training to be the hardest special training forces in the world.

2. Pakistani Special Services Group 

Coming second on the list of hardest special forces training in the world – Those eligible for selection into the SSG must have first served in the regular army and afterward have to pass an aptitude test as well with a score of 100.

During the eight months of training, the men are required repeatedly, to cover a distance of 36 miles in 12 hours only. After that, they 5 miles run to finish in 40 minutes while saddled with a full pack.

Once the 8-month period elapses, the real danger begins. The members have to perform 7 para drops, with 5 of them occurring during the day and the other 2 at night. Understand that skydiving at night has a ten-time higher chance of resulting in injury than during the day. After this, members are almost at their goal and have to spend a half year engaged in commando training after which they can finally join SSG.

Also, it should be mentioned that for no reason other than health reasons, can one leave the organization.

3. Special Air Services UK

Aspiring members of this unit are left in the middle of nowhere, saddled with a sixty-pound weight and rifle, with nothing by way of sustenance except a bottle of water and are instructed to cover a distance of 40 miles in under 20 hours. It is important to note that their boots and uniforms are purposely chosen to not be a good fit for them. Any police met on the way will attempt to capture them leading to their disqualification. Those who are able to meet up with the time frame also have to meet up with the 4-mile run in 30 minutes which follows.

This training known as the Endurance became known worldwide when it so happened that 3 aspiring members died during the training process. Unfortunately, deaths are not at all strange for the exercise.

4. Korean Special Warfare Command

The trainees for this Special Forces unit are made to perform training exercises in extremely cold conditions, shirtless. They have to run, perform exercises like sit-ups, and even wrestle with each other in those frigid conditions.

The only time they seem to be allowed to wear tops is when they go to frozen rivers to engage in marksmanship training.

Did I forget to mention that every trainee has to have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do? Because they do.

5. Israeli Shayetet 13

The best anti-terrorism unit in Israel is held to a very high standard of performance.

The training period lasts about 20 months and they are made to go through training exercises in basically everything from demolitions, to para drop operations and even diving under extremely frigid conditions with basically no visibility.

Based on the area they excelled in, they are assigned to land, sea or air operations. It should be noted that before being officially welcomed into S13, the recruits have to go on actual coastal raiding missions. However, as a plus, medical staff is always on the ground for both physical and psychological care which is no doubt always in high demand.

6. US Navy Seals

The sea, air and land teams of the US Navy are probably one of the most famous groups on this list with the hardest special forces training in the world. The training lasts for 30 months on the average and includes something known as the “Hell week” which, true to its name, involves a heavy amount of agony compressed to last a week, during the first 3 weeks of training.

Aspiring Navy SEALs are made to stay five and a half days in the cold, doing extreme exercises, performing training programs on coastal environments, etc. all the while covered in mud and struggling with sleep because they are only allowed four hours of sleep.

While they are going through hell, their trainers try to make them quit and mock them by eating donuts and taking coffee in front of them. There is always an emergency standby medical staff on the ground so, very few casualties are recorded.

7. The Special Air Service Regimen Of Australia

Stuart Boner, in the year 2014, in collaboration with Robert Macklin, told the story of how he joined the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. There was one aspect of his story which had to do with training one to become resistant to interrogation. According to him, a white bag was placed over his head before he was stripped of his clothes and thrown in a cell where he was put in stressful positions for a long time without the option of sleep. It lasted for three days and when he attempted or even seemed to be dozing off, a slap was administered to wake him back up. He seemed to be of the opinion that he got PTSD from the experience.

While they refuse to disclose their training methods, it was suggested by Harry Moffitt that there were more deaths recorded during the training process required to join, than during actual operations.

8. Russian Spetsnaz

The training process for Russian Spetsnaz is a long and staggering 5 years. The first five months out of those five years are designed specifically to break the recruits and raise them up again, building them to the right state of mind and body to carry out the highly improvisational methods used by the unit.

9. National Security Guard Commandos Of India

One thing you would find common between these elite units is that their recruitment process usually involves making potential recruits pass through harsh, mostly unfamiliar territory and get to the base within a specified time, giving them a well-earned spot on among force with the hardest special forces training in the world. Many units within the Indian armed forces make use of these test and the men are given a day’s worth of food and water and made to take part in this test. Some recruits, as a way of impressing their superiors, try not to finish their rations before reaching the base.

Trainers all have their various methods of toughening up recruits. A particular Italian trainer was notable for making potential recruits endure beatings from the locals as a means of testing their endurance. A different trainer had the recruits try to pass target practice while drunk in order to show them how it would be like, shooting under stressful conditions. The potential recruits who are able to endure this so-called ‘training’ are then allowed to join the Special Action Group, which is basically the elite out of the Indian elite.

10. The People’s Liberation Army, China

This army boasts of a standing combat strength of about 1.483 million and is the largest in the world, closely followed by India. The training regimen these men and women undergo in order to toughen them up is one that would make the average man and woman curl up in a corner after simply watching a video of it in practice.

The members of this army are made to go through an obstacle course consisting of 17 steps which include, climbing, swimming and most terrifyingly, jumping over and in some cases, through flaming objects. You know they intend for you to be tough when they make you literally play with fire.

Some people may read the description and shake their heads thinking, “Well, that doesn’t sound so tough”, well, let me tell you now that no matter how physically fit you are, the training is designed in a way to ensure that you really feel it. Potential recruits at one point of this training program, are made to submerge themselves below water for a complete one minute, and if they are to raise their heads even by accident, a superior is on standby to push it back in. Imagine going through such rigorous, physically tasking exercises and then depriving yourself of much-needed oxygen at a point, I am certain that you are starting to get the idea.

They may be at number 10 on this list, but it should be noted that in the year 2014, Chinese Special Forces units came out tops in the “Warrior Competition” which is an international competition between the Special Forces of various nations.


Joining a Special Forces unit is by no means a small feat and even those who regard themselves as physically fit often find themselves, conquered by the training involved. However, considering the kind of missions that they are required to do, the training is very important to prepare them for the possible trials ahead.

All over the world are men and women who do not have the mental fortitude to join the regular army, not to talk of its more advanced units. For those people, it is interesting to know that all over the world, there are elite groups of people who are way higher than regular soldiers and have engaged in rigorous training which has made hem capable of the feats they are capable of. These men and women represent the most disciplined and capable amongst us, both physically and mentally, in high-pressure situations.

These men and women are put through training exercises and programs that would probably land many of us in the hospital on the first day and it works towards fashioning them into loving, breathing, dependable organic weapons for the good of the nation.

Some of the training which the members of these elite groups are made to go through, as well as the elite groups which mandate these programs, will be discussed below.

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