Surviving the Cut

I just finished watching the first installment of Discoery Channels’ new series “Surviving the Cut.” The series premier followed a class of soldiers through the US Army’s Ranger School.

Not a bad program. It’s hard to cram a 61 day course into an hour of television. And it is flatly impossible to convey the sheer level of hunger, fatigue and discomfort that is deliberately built in to the course.

I’m not a Ranger. I never went to any of the high-speed courses in the Army. I’ve done just about all the tasks that a student would go through in Ranger School. But what I didn’t have to do was face the grind of doing it for 2 straight months with no more than 4 hours sleep a night, and on no more than one or two meals a day. It’s pretty easy to put up with misery for a five day training exercise. But fatigue is cumulative. What may be easy on Day 5 is damn near impossible on Day 50.

Next week the show brings us the Air Forces Pararescue course. It is a tennent of the Army that the Air Force may wear uniforms, but they aren’t really military. PJ’s are the exception to that rule.