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Still fancy it?

What is selection?

This is the phrase used to describe the 'Physical Exorcism' that soldiers/sailors/candlestick makers have to go through to be able to join the (say in hushed voice) SAS, also known as 'Them', 'The Regiment', 'The Mob', the 'Hooligans', the 'Gun Club', the 'Blades' and 'The Undertakers'. Also see here.

Day One

The first test of Selection is a BFT, this stands for Boring Fitness Test, in which candidates have to listen to the Physical Training Instructor explain how long it would take you to run three miles - and by the time he has finished most of the playstation generation with grannie ankles could have completed it.

Day Two

Once this is out of the way the DS or Dancing Staff, give the potential embassy stormers a list of what they will be expected to do, this is classified dont tell anyone, or me mom'll kill us:

  • A five mile run, with no shoes on.
  • A six mile run, with your mate's boots on.
  • A ten mile run, with your mate's boots on and laces tied together.
  • A fifteen mile run, out of 'camp', keeping in the hedgerows and avoiding the public at all costs.
  • A twenty mile E&E naked (apart from cam cream).

Day Three

After breakfast, also known as breakfast, the troopers are put into 4 tonners. These are green - sometimes camouflage-pattern - and are driven to the 'Brecons'. This is the highest point somewhere in Wales that no one has ever climbed to the top of... ever.

The candidates are expected carry the combined weight of seven Mini Coopers packed tightly into a 'Bergen', given a teaspoon of water and one Rolo - to be hidden somewhere about their person. Along with a button compass and a World War II 'Great Coat' (so called because they were 'great at filling up with muddy water in the trenches' during the Battle of Trifle Valley) the candidates set off at timed intervals of 3.5 seconds.

As an extra incentive, when all of the candidates have set off, the DS send one of the fittest members of 'The Regiment' after them and if he catches any of the 'potentials' up, he slices their head off and keeps it as proof of faliure. This is then places in a huge shed back at H (The Head Shed) next to The Boathouse, the colour of which I can't tell you, OPSEC.

Day Four

The final stage of Selection is 'The Fan Dance'. The DS (see I told you) issue every remaining candidate, now down to three from the origional 5,678, a fan. This must be kept visible through out the whole exercise.

Candidates will be expected to navigate across the Brecon Beacons in the worst weather imaginable, which is specially ordered in depending on the time of year:

  • Summer - Blazing sahara type sun, burning any exposed skin, and so hot you can fry an egg on your mess tin with it.
  • Winter - Five foot of Arctic-type snow, minus the infamous 'creeping pengiuns' and polar bears.

For the latter they are issued camouflage mittens, and have to navigate from point-to-point and, on request, assemble any 'weapon' imaginable... or even do the regimental 'Fan Dance' which should have been learnt prior arriving at Hereford (pronounced 'Hareford', see Ronin).

Once they have completed the 376 mile navigation and they crest the final hill, they encounter a regimental tradition - a 'Sickener'. Just when candidates think they have finished, the DS inform them that this is not infact 'your transport'. Yours is another 350 mtrs. down the lane.

After judging the reaction of the candidates (I think you fail if you start crying) the DS give you your final set of co-ordinates and send you off with a bacon sarnie with both sauces on, mmmmmmm.

At this juncture I feel I must mention the phrase RTU or 'RTU'd'. This stands for Recently Turned Upside-down, the procedure carried out upon your failure... for any reason. You will be sent back to your parent unit in a box upside down, minus your head, (see above).

Day Five

Once completley finished, candidates are treated to a '4 tonner pig roast' and as much mulled Peruvian wine as they can drink. Oh and they get a beret too, which is 'Harder to keep than it was to get' apparently.


  • The Regiment has changed its motto from "Who dares wins" to "Who can see me in this bush?"
  • Important note: Members of the Army Incontinence Corps (AIC) cannot join the regiment for operational reasons.
  • Regimental march - Two little boys (or ducks).
  • Being ex-SAS is a Booker Prize requirement.
  • Selection now ends with a spelling and grammar workshop consisting of five weeks hard lessons. This workshop is designed to better prepare sneaky beakies for their literary careers once they leave the service.

See also: Little-known Facts about the SAS.

The SBS also have a selection process, they have to lie in a muddy puddle for twenty minutes, with no laces in their boots, bbrrrr.

____________________________________________________________ Endex.

Camelflage out.

p.s. If you are an ex-member of 'The Regiment' and read this please dont hunt me down and 'slot' me like the dog that I am, because I'm not a dog, I'm a plumber from Doncaster.