Following on from these posts, let’s keep the momentum going:
Here are some videos from YouTube of The Parachute Regiment (it’s a British Army unit), which is the finest airborne / light infantry unit in the world. Videos are a random mix of recruit training, battalion training, and operations.
FYI: The Parachute Regiment, which is an elite unit and is termed SOF in US Military parlance, has 3 active duty battalions. 1 PARA serves in the SFSG under UK Special Forces Group, 2 and 3 PARA serve in 16 Air Assault Brigade as the UK’s quick reaction force. Personnel rotate through 1 PARA. In my time in the British Army, I served in both 1 and 2 PARA.
The Parachute Regiment is selected via ‘Pre-Parachute Selection’ or ‘P’ Company (short for Pegasus Company). All UK airborne forces have to do some sort of selection to attend parachute training, which is one of either P Company, Commando course, or UKSF selection. Non-Parachute Regiment volunteers who want to go to parachute school and serve in 16 Air Assault Brigade attend ‘All Arms P Company,’ which is a standalone selection course. Volunteers for The Parachute Regiment can join directly and attend recruit training, which includes P Company as part of the process (they get to that part after 20 weeks of basic training), or transfer in and attend the All Arms course.
The idea of the MVT Rifleman Challenge was conceived to provide a skills and PT based challenge, with a set of basic standards, that was in some tiny part approaching the crucible of a course such as Pre-Parachute Selection. It was in no way P Company, but the spirit was there, and it was more infantry-skill focused. But of course, it was hard and people didn’t want to do it! At least not in sufficient numbers.
I have to remind myself that people are generally weak, and that only a small portion have anything like a warrior mindset, or the strength of will to work hard at warrior skills.