Fitness Tests of the UK Special Air Service (SAS)

The Special Air Service Unit of the U.K. is renowned as one of the most elite special force units globally. Many nations have drawn inspiration from the SAS, incorporating their training methodologies. Notable units influenced by the SAS include Sayeret Matkal from Israel, ARW from Ireland, Australia's S.A.S., New Zealand's S.A.S.R, and Delta Force in the United States. The selection process for this unit is considered one of the most challenging in the world.

  • Motto: "Who Dares Wins"
  • Established in: 1941

To join, one must be a U.K. Citizen or a Citizen from one of the Commonwealth countries. The Selection process is held twice a year with an attrition rate exceeding 85%. Candidates must be under 32 years old at the start of Selection, and only two attempts are allowed.

S.A.S. Modified Test

  1. Press Ups

    • Pass: +45 reps needed to pass

  2. Sit-Ups

    • Pass: +45 reps needed to pass

  3. 1.5-mile run

    • Pass: Under 09:30 min

  4. Water Entry

    • Pass: Jump from a 10-meter tower

  5. 25-meter water swim

    • Pass: 3 Meter water entry in full kit + Swim in uniform and weapon

  6. 200 m swim

    • Pass: Tread Water for 5 min + Swim in uniform

  7. Dive Test

    • Pass: Underwater Swim + Object Retrieval

  8. 8 Mile Hill Run

    • Pass: In less than 60 minutes

The journey into the S.A.S. involves intense physical testing and pre-selection assessments.

Selection Phase

The SAS Selection Phase is considered the toughest worldwide. Candidates undergo the Hill Phase, including the High Walk and Test Week. High Walk is an escorted hill march over 23km to identify those committed to the cause. Test Week comprises timed marches with increasing ruck weights, culminating in a 64km ruck march with over 70 lbs. Candidates face challenging conditions based on the season.

7 Attributes of a SAS Operator:

  1. Physically Robust
  2. Mentally Robust
  3. Self-Confident
  4. Self-Disciplined
  5. Ability to Work Alone
  6. Ability to Assimilate new information quickly
  7. Ability to Assimilate new skills quickly

More Information

SAS Soldiers must remain sharp and focused under duress. In the words of Bear Grylls, qualities needed to join the SAS include being self-motivated, resilient, calm yet able to smile in challenging situations, unflappable, fast-reacting, with an improvise, adapt, and overcome mentality, and possessing good tunnel vision during crucial times.

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