How to Join the SAS

Written by ehow careers & work editor
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The Special Air Service (SAS) of Britain is one of the most elite special forces units in the world. Characterized by the motto "Who Dares Wins," an SAS trooper excels in mental aptitude, physical fitness, stamina, secrecy and bravery. They live their pledge--"I agree to carry out arduous duties with no recognition, no rewards, no promotions and no medals." It all begins with the strenuous induction process.

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  1. 1

    Understand the qualifications of a SAS candidate. Applicants must be males up to 34 years of age who have served in any branch of the British Armed Forces for three years. They should have not less than 39 months of active service remaining. Prime candidates must be in exceptional physical shape, have excellent eyesight and possess advanced swimming skills.

  2. 2

    Apply for selection. The initial induction phase is offered twice a year--winter or summer.

  3. 3

    Attend the initial screening sessions. These consist of a one-day Recruit Interview and are followed by an Induction Weekend. Both of these preliminary sessions present the candidate with mental and physical exercises, and inform them of the rigorous service that is required in the SAS. Candidates must pass the Battle Fitness Test, sign a non-disclosure form, and agree in writing to perform arduous duties. Ten percent of candidates fail at this point.

  4. 4

    Begin the six-month selection process. Do this by attending the first one-month phase in the mountains of southern Wales. Aptitude training is a test of physical endurance and map skills. It involves runs and hikes of continuously longer duration while carrying increasingly heavier weight. The majority of eliminated candidates drop out at this level.

  5. 5

    Move on to the Standard Operational Procedure Training (SOP) in the jungles of either Brunei or Malaysia. Candidates are trained in weapons and fighting techniques. The reality of combat is emphasized with the use of live ammunition and the awareness of friendly fire.

  6. 6

    Complete the last phase of selection in survival training while under pursuit by the enemy. After one week the candidate surrenders and undergoes enemy interrogation and torture. Less than ten percent of the original candidates make it through this segment. After this milestone, candidates are badged as troopers.

  7. 7

    Be assigned to a 12-month probation and specialist courses during Continuation Training. Education is received in parachuting, communications, and general training. Candidates are prepared for their areas of expertise in the Air Troop (free fall), the Boat Troop, the Mobility Troop or the Mountain Troop. SAS troopers and are then ready for active duty in one of four "sabre squadrons." Assignments are on a six-month rotation and can include intelligence, counter-terrorism, domestic security, and training military personnel around the world.

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