All US Military Training Programs, Ranked by Difficulty

Voting Rules
Vote up the training programs that would kick your butt the hardest.

When you think of the military, one of the first images that probably comes to mind is boot camp. Otherwise known as "basic training," it's the military's way of preparing you mentally and physically for life in the armed forces. And how hard is basic training? Well, it depends who you ask... because a lot of military training is anything but basic.

The most difficult military training programs test everything a person has... but which one is the most difficult? Everyone thinks they know what to expect from the Army after seeing a few movies, but most people don't know just how insane some of these programs can get.

So, you might think you know what it's like to train for the Army, but getting a taste of what Delta Force goes through will be more than enough to make you think twice. These are the hardest training programs the US Military has to offer.

  • 1
    2,860 VOTES

    Delta Force Training

    Delta Force Training
    Photo: Spc. Joseph A. Wilson / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    To be considered for the most elite counter-terrorist and direct action unit in the US military, you pretty much have to be a world class athlete and a master of another special forces branch. Their training consists of executive protection, espionage, marksmanship with 100% accuracy, HALO drops, creating and diffusing explosives, and live ammunition simulations for building and aircraft hijackings. Oh, and their fellow trainees play the parts of the hostages.

    2,860 votes
  • 2
    2,596 VOTES

    Navy SEAL Training

    The SEALs aren't interested in getting you in shape. If you don't meet their grueling standards, they don't want you. If you do pass, you're put in a seven-month training program designed to teach you underwater demolition, SCUBA operations, parachute training, and advanced weapons training.

    2,596 votes
  • 3
    1,759 VOTES

    Special Forces Training

    Special Forces Training
    Photo: US Army / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    If you pass your basic Army training with certain qualifications, you'll have the option of training for their special forces division. First, you need to pass airborne school where they teach you the ins and outs of parachuting into combat zones. After that, you're sent to Fort Bragg for an intense 19-day physical training program. If you succeed there, you're sent to a qualification course where you're taught unconventional warfare, guerrilla tactics, and foreign languages/cultures so you can blend in around the world.

    1,759 votes
  • 4
    1,523 VOTES

    Force RECON Progam

    Force RECON Progam
    Photo: Sgt. Chris Stone / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    An elite section of the Marines, RECON candidates are expected to complete a nine-week program consisting of high repetition PT, obstacle courses, helicopter rope suspension training, communications, mission planning, amphibious reconnaissance, and nautical operations.

    1,523 votes
  • 5
    1,739 VOTES

    Ranger School

    Ranger School
    Photo: US Army Africa / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    If you want that Ranger tab on your Army uniform, you'll have to go through some crazy stuff. After a phase of grueling physical tests and combat survival evaluations, you have to survive for three weeks in the mountains. The final phase teaches small boat operations, ship to shore operations, and survival skills for jungle and swamp environments. Students of this program have been known to lose 20-30 pounds over its 56 days.

    1,739 votes
  • 6
    1,476 VOTES

    Air Force Pararescue Training

    Air Force Pararescue Training
    Photo: U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    If you pass the Air Force's physical evaluation course, you then have to make it through eight weeks of team training full of extensive physical conditioning and field skills. If you finish that program, you can choose to become a para-jumper (PJ) or a Combat Control Technician (CCT), each with different but equally intense courses lasting more than 20 weeks.

    1,476 votes