Airdate: SAS: The Search for Warriors

For the first time in 25 years the Australian SAS lift their strict veil of secrecy in a new SBS documentary.

For the first time in 25 years the Australian SAS lift their strict veil of secrecy to reveal what it takes to pass the toughest military selection course in the world.

This rare, two part documentary series SAS: The Search for Warriors is set to air on SBS in December.

It follows the journey of 131 hopefuls as they attempt a brutal 21 day trial.

The Special Air Service Regiment, officially known as the SASR and commonly referred to as the SAS, is a special force unit of the Australian Army. The SAS is the world’s supreme fighting force. It is a secretive organisation and the identities of those who serve in it cannot be revealed. Based at Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne, Perth, Western Australia, the SAS is widely regarded as the world’s most elite military unit.

To join this revered Special Forces group, applicants who are known only as “Candidates”, must first pass the selection course which is the most physically challenging and psychologically demanding military selection process in the world.

The candidates are subjected to constant and crushing physical exercise, extreme psychological tasks designed to erode their confidence and torturous sleep deprivation. Each man is stripped back to the core of his being to see what he is really made of.

One of their first tasks is to strip naked in front of one another, as well as the training officers.

“The cause for stripping them naked is to level them out . . . we populate the staff with as many women as possible also as another psychological ploy to play on their minds. It’s not a comfortable thing to be standing their nude with people looking at you whilst you put your socks on.” – Sergeant G, Selection Course Instructor.

Witness the strange role playing and mind games, the gruelling physical endurance tests and the blood, sweat and tears experienced by each candidate as they battle to become one of the world’s most superior soldiers.

SAS: The Search for Warriors is part of SBS’s Australian Documentary Season, Secrets and Lives. The captivating season is a snapshot of Australian life that is guaranteed not to be seen anywhere else on television. The compelling, at times provocative season includes six new documentaries taking viewers into a range of extraordinary worlds in contemporary Australia and, through the incredible characters that inhabit each documentary, explores themes that are inspiring and thought-provoking.

It begins Tuesday 7th December at 8.30pm

Photo: stock image.

7 Responses

  1. Steveany- The so called torture is simply applying physical and mental pressure in order to expose the essence of the man and then test for the attributes required. The ability to show judgement and effective decision making under pressure, endurance, resolve, teamwork etc

  2. I will watch this with great interest…married to a retired SASR member for close to 40 years (still waiting for my medal) and having watched the ABC production “battle for the golden road” several times, it will be interesting to compare.
    I just hope the successful young “warriors” of today come through it all
    unscathed, both mentally and physically.

  3. They don’t torture these men for the sake of it or just to see how tough they are. The whole torture part of the selection process is to see how well they can perform under the same circumstance if they ever get caught by the enemy. The type of missions these guys do, normal people could not fathom and are extremely dangerous and secret, so being captured means they will be put through some grueling torture techniques to “encourage” them to talk about their mission. The torture training puts them through the same real world encounter, making sure that they stick with their cover story and that they can push through the torture without breaking down

  4. steve. To use your reasoning. Every serviceman, who has killed in defence of his country is a professional killer. Every police officer who had to kill in the line of duty, is a professional killer. I guess, we’re lucky, there has been so many “professional” killers in our country.
    Anyway. I think this will make a great show. I know a few current and ex members of the SAS. I also know one person who tried out for it. He was for many years a fitness fanatic. Who use to complete in triathlons. He couldn’t pass.

  5. These people play a very important role, a role that we don’t speak much of but understand its existance. I for one will keenly watch to get a better insight into what makes these people tick. From a psychological point of view, what the human body can stand is what interests me the most, but I think it’s a little unfair to compare it to a snuff film steveany, but I understand the point you are making.

  6. While I have vast respect for these men (professional killers – let’s call a spade a spade) and normally watch historical and military docos with great interest, this type of training film smacks too much of torture and sadism.
    Having watched the doco on Aust Navy diver selection and more recently Bear Grills and co in the Foreign Legion being tortured (let’s keep calling a spade a spade) by their drill instructors, I don’t think I’ll be watching this one.

    BTW, I totally agree with and understand why they train like this – these men have to be the toughest of the tough – it’s just that watching this sort of thing must be like viewing a snuff film without an ending.

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