The reason why non-paras pass selection is because when i joined, the original remit of the SAS wasn't the lean green fighting machine, it was about using your brains. To problem solve whilst in the Ulu and know what the trees were around you and the 50 uses that they could be used for. As my RSM used to say, the old boys could advance to contact, through the trees and know what use that or this tree had. These SAS today still can fight and win, but they dont care about the tree or its uses. To be able to hide in a hole for weeks if necessary. That McNab chap couldn't hide for 48hrs. Today as i far as i can tell, to recognise is not something they care that much about, Isn't that why 1 Para were rebadged to a support role? It doesn't mean they are any less of a Soldier its just that todays SAS trooper has to learn a different set of skills than the Para Soldier. Paras are the equivalent of Death coming to visit, ask the Argies, 600 paras slaughtered 2000 Argies. In a book i have recently read, it was the Falklands that persuaded the Russians that invading Europe might not be the walk in the park they though it was (Col Delves, back when he was a CO of D Sqn SAS). I remember years ago, about a senior SAS NCO, saying in the paper, that it was time to close the Regiment down and start again, as they had lost there way a bit. Perhaps thats why 1 para was given the support role.Stuart Tootal started off in a Scottish regiment before transferring and commanding 3 PARA in Afghanistan.
In the book Contact, by AFN Clarke, he refers to the Royal Marines and the SAS at craphats. He gets a bit miffed when he spots a few SAS guys who he recognises from when they failed at DEPOT PARA,. I don't know whether this is from when he was a recruit (he is an ex-ranker), or from his time as a Recruit Platoon commander. Either way, he is wondering, "How did they pass SAS selection, when they can't pass our course?"
2 different mindsets, not less of a Soldier just a different thought pattern. I saw on TV once a RM attempting P Coy and failing. Its not easy nor is selection, they just need different bodies.
Somebody has also posted that that Paras are brighter than the RLC, not in my day they weren't. We had RASC Air Dispatchers (predecessors of the RCT and RLC) resupplying us from the air, in Malaya and Borneo and later in Oman, can't remember if we were resupplied in Aden from the Air. They used to drop through jungle and hit the target almost every time, that takes some doing. I dont want to be rude about the Paras, but they are not picked for their brains, they are picked for their brawn.
Tell you what its nice to see the old Regimental rivalry still working, it always did make the Army work better. Back in my day they amalgamated the Glosters with the The Worcestershire Regiment, that went down like a lead ballon, slackers, shirkers, and boot bullers, that lasted a few years then we all became the Rifles. Another shower if you ask me, not enough Glory to many hangers on. Also the Guards, nobody liked the Guards, to much bull and not enough Soldiering. Do you know that it was the Guards drill mob that held up the replacement of the SLR for years, coz they had to work the drill out for whatever new rifle the army was getting. Now theres a lot whose IQ takes some beating, at the bottom of the scale that is. Coz it takes some doing tick-tocking outside the big house in London, doesn't it?