A career in military service requires a willingness to fight, and even die, for the interests and security of the United States. And from boot camp to elite fighter schools, the training the 1.2 million active duty military receive reflects the gravity of that responsibility.
Each year, thousands of American men and women begin their military service with basic training or boot camp. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard have their own specific basic training process tailored to the branch function. (Here are the States where the most Americans serve in the military.)
Of course, for some servicemen, boot camp is just the beginning. Those who excel under the rigors of military life and meet certain criteria—often related to experience, aptitude, stamina, and personal character—may choose to enroll in programs that develop units. the most specialized in the army. (These are 17 of America’s most elite Special Forces.)
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the major components of basic training for each branch of the armed forces, as well as training programs for some of the more specialized units within each branch.
The 15 training programs on this list range in duration from less than two months to well over a year. They also vary in difficulty and intensity. Some of the more exclusive training programs on this list have a completion rate of 20% or less. Even the difficulty of basic training for new recruits varies by branch of service.
Nevertheless, for each training program in this list, applicants are advised to undergo a certain level of physical training before enrolling. These programs are designed to push the mental and physical limits of enlistees and troops, as well as teach and hone skills not commonly found in civilian life. These include training in the use of weapons, hand to hand combat, reconnaissance, outdoor survival, guerrilla warfare and explosives to name a few.
All information in this story comes from government websites and military publications. It is important to note that many training programs are dynamic and change over time. Some, which often also require applicants to obtain a government security clearance, do not provide full details of their training.
Click here to see what it takes to be part of 16 of America’s elite military forces.
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