In Latvia, trying out for special forces involves a series of phobia tests that include trust falls from bridges, drown proofing, stepping in the ring with a fighting instructor and 9 days alone in the frozen woods.
The selection process to audition for the tiny country’s special forces unit, whose motto is “The Brave Man Wins” comes only after a six month long pre-selection that vetts a candidate for what is to come.
Latvia was part of Imperial Russia and later the Soviet Union (against their will) and they aren’t very keen to be part of the Motherland again, meaning they are deadly serious about their job. The phobia tests to see if a candidate will fold under pressure range from worming their way underground through a 20-foot long tunnel to taking on a beefy mixed martial arts instructor in the ring, to spending more than a week nearly naked and afraid in the wood armed only with a live rabbit and a knife.
Speaking of which, don’t watch the video if you really like pet bunnies.
If they make it, they have another six months of training ahead of them.
If not, there is always next year.