I know it must get tougher, but except for having to kill somebody’s pet rabbits and put up with the harassment of the instructors it looks like a pretty pleasant two weeks. Yes, it’s true, I’ve had vacations under tougher conditions. And yes, I know that’s not the point. These guys are just getting used to camp life in this first episode.
The best part of this first episode is noting the point at which you’d be washed out of the program. Possibly you wouldn’t meet the physical fitness standards or the many other strange criteria of polish and attitude that the military uses to judge potential. Maybe, like the two misfits in this episode, you aren’t tidy, a mark of poor leadership. There probably will be some reason, because almost no one gets selected for this high level training and many who do get washed out.
I do not think there’s a whole lot in this first show that’s of much help to us civilian backpackers. The concept behind this Air Force training is based on a premise we won’t be likely to encounter–crashing a plane in the wilderness or being shot down. Everything these fellows carry is something that could be found on board a plane or stocked in the plane’s emergency kit, so they start out with a lot of stuff. Even axes.
There’s some rough stuff in this if you are friendly towards rabbits, but the useful tips that can be gleaned from the show are pretty much limited to making chopsticks and spoons and a brush hut shelter. No secrets here. No surprises to anyone who’s been in the military, either, where sleep deprivation is standard policy.
On to Episode Two, with my fingers crossed.