By Buddy Blouin
We all know that the American Armed Forces is the world’s most elite fighting force. Others may try, but nothing can compare to the strength found in the U.S. military. One of the many reasons for this is that America trains harder than anyone. Or at least better than anyone. Doing something for the sake of doing isn’t really efficient, but what makes American troops so prepared is that we train technique along with physical and mental toughness. Our training sets us apart from the rest. So, who has the hardest military training? This is sure to start a bar fight, but we're gonna dive into which branch endures the most.

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What Is the Hardest Military Training?

Opinions are like… well, you know the rest. The truth is, when it comes to determining what is the hardest military branch training, everyone has their own idea. This is actually a great problem to have because of two key points:
  1. It’s difficult to decipher because each branch brings a different level of expertise than the others to complement each other on the battlefield.
  2. The reason everyone is claiming to have the hardest military training is that each branch works hard to remain the best fighters in the world.
The U.S. military is comprised of many branches, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force. Each of these branches specializes in a specific phase of warfare, even if there is overlap and collaboration. This means that comparing training is more apples to oranges than apples to apples. But as David Andrew Burd, an American poet, once said, “Why can’t fruit be compared?”

The Case for Many, the Case for One

When you’re looking for the top 10 hardest military training in the world, you can find many of them in the U.S. because we continue to dominate. Here’s a look at the hardest U.S. military training out there:

1. U.S. Navy

It seems unfair to say that becoming a Navy SEAL isn’t made to break you. Any time you have to spend several days wet, cold, and miserable on less sleep than one might think possible, what else do you call it? But it’s not there to simply break your will; the hardest military training in the world is there to remold troops into a version of themselves they may have never thought possible. Just like the Green Berets we mention further below, you can expect to undergo the rigorous Combat Dive school.

2. U.S. Marines

There’s a great argument that the Marine Corps has the hardest military training of anyone, and here’s why. Of course, when you reach the top, you can find them becoming SEALs or a part of the Marine Raider Regiment (MRR), but the training of any Marine is some of the hardest military training in the world. Even outside of Special Forces, Marines have to be ready for both land and sea combat. The training reflects that, including the longest basic training in the military.

3. U.S. Army

The most elite special operations forces in the U.S. are known as the Green Berets, and while that alone is enough to spark debate, there’s great reasoning behind it. Training includes harsh mental and physical undertakings, including the school that's widely regarded as the hardest: Combat Diving.

4. U.S. Coast Guard

The USCG has a bit of a reputation on the outside as an easier branch when it comes to training. There isn’t the glamour found in being a SEAL or Green Beret, but the truth is, you’re going to have to work hard to stay in. On top of needing to have your sea legs, there are a lot of mental drills necessary, as well as physical challenges that can even be tested monthly in order to stay in the service.

5. U.S. Air Force

In war, physicality is important, but so, too, is intelligence. The USAF continues to raise the bar and is widely considered to be the branch that will test troops more from a mental standpoint than any other. Oh, and becoming a part of the Air Force Special Operations Forces (SOF) is far from a cakewalk.

6. U.S. Space Force

It’s a bit unfair to say exactly how difficult it is to train as a Guardian seeing as the U.S. military’s newest branch is still finding its way. A unique challenge it has, however, is not simply creating and delivering on the world's hardest military training, but creating training that's difficult and effective for outside of Earth as well. Either way, the mental fortitude that it takes to operate in the USSF continues to make headway in crafting some of the hardest military training you can find.

The Hardest Military Branch Training Means a Safer U.S.

In some cases, it’s splitting hairs, and in others, it’s still a bit unclear. But no matter what, the fact that the people who enlist in the U.S. military endure what they do to better themselves helps keep America safe around the clock. You can’t be prepared for the battlefield unless you train under similar conditions. This is bluntly reminded to us through tragedies such as when a Marine recruit collapsed and died during training. Each and every one of those who put their lives on the line through training in the field and in the classroom help come together to form a superior military that provides freedom to us all. Overall, the hardest military training continues to look like a toss-up between the Green Berets and Navy SEALs, but anyone enduring their training to keep us safe is going to face tough conditions created to help them execute missions and become better fighters.

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The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. Courtesy Photo | U.S. Navy



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