The Most Difficult Branch of the Military to Get into, Ranked

Choose the branch you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 19, 2024 06:29
Choosing a career in the military is a significant decision that involves various considerations, one of which is the difficulty of entry into different branches. Each branch has its unique set of challenges and requirements, making some harder to enter than others. This difficulty can stem from physical demands, educational prerequisites, or the competitive nature of selection processes. By participating in voting on the most challenging military branch to enter, individuals contribute to a broader understanding of these differences. The insights gained can assist potential recruits in setting realistic expectations and preparing adequately for their chosen path. This voting process not only enlightens potential candidates but also provides valuable feedback on public perceptions of the military's rigorous selection criteria.

What Is the Most Difficult Branch of the Military to Get into?

  1. 1
    United States Navy SEALs

    United States Navy SEALs

    Part of the Naval Special Warfare Command and the maritime component of the Special Operations Command, known for their rigorous selection process and demanding training.
    • Selection Program: BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL)
    • Notable Operation: Operation Neptune Spear (killing of Osama bin Laden)
  2. 2
    United States Air Force Pararescue (PJs)

    United States Air Force Pararescue (PJs)

    Provides personnel recovery and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operations in humanitarian and combat environments.
    • Training Course: Pararescue Indoctrination Course
    • Motto: That Others May Live
  3. 3
    United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets)

    United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets)

    A special operations force tasked with five primary missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism.
    • Qualification Course: Q Course
    • Nickname: Green Berets
  4. 4
    British Special Air Service (SAS)

    British Special Air Service (SAS)

    A special forces unit of the British Army known for its stringent selection process and considered one of the foremost special forces units in the world.
    • Selection Process: SAS Selection
    • Founding Year: 1941
  5. 5
    French Foreign Legion

    French Foreign Legion

    A unique military unit within the French Army established in 1831 to allow foreign nationals to serve in the French Armed Forces.
    • Selection Process: Preselection, Selection, Basic Training
    • Motto: Legio Patria Nostra (The Legion is our Homeland)
  6. 6
    Russian Spetsnaz

    Russian Spetsnaz

    Refers to special operations forces or special forces of the Russian Federation and previously the Soviet Union. Known for their toughness and specialized training.
    • Branches: GRU, FSB, SOBR, and others
    • Role: Special Operations
  7. 7

    Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR)

    Special forces unit of the Australian Army and part of the Australian Special Operations Command, with roles including direct action, special reconnaissance, and counter-terrorism.
    • Selection Course: SASR Selection Course
    • Motto: Who Dares Wins
  8. 8
    Canadian Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2)

    Canadian Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2)

    An elite special operations force of the Canadian Armed Forces, primarily tasked with counter-terrorism operations.
    • Selection Process: JTF2 Pre-Selection Physical Fitness Test
    • Founding Year: 1993
  9. 9
    Delta Force (1st SFOD-D)

    Delta Force (1st SFOD-D)

    A U.S. Army component of Joint Special Operations Command. It's tasked with counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, direct action, and special reconnaissance missions.
    • Selection Process: Assessment and Selection
    • Founding Year: 1977
  10. 10

    Israeli Sayeret Matkal

    A special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Its main roles include intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism, and hostage rescue.
    • Formation Year: 1957
    • Notable Operation: Operation Entebbe

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult branch of the military to get into. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or branch is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 100 votes
  • 10 ranked items

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Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each branch once every 24 hours. The rank of each branch is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


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More about the Most Difficult Branch of the Military to Get into

United States Navy SEALs
Rank #1 for the most difficult branch of the military to get into: United States Navy SEALs (Source)
Joining the military is a significant decision. Each branch has its own challenges, but some are harder to get into than others. The most difficult branch requires high standards and rigorous training. This branch looks for individuals with exceptional skills and qualities.

To start, candidates must meet strict physical requirements. They need to be in top shape. The branch tests endurance, strength, and agility. Many applicants train for months to prepare. Even then, not all make the cut. The physical tests are just the beginning.

Next, there are mental challenges. This branch values intelligence and quick thinking. Candidates take written exams that assess their knowledge and problem-solving abilities. The exams are tough and cover a wide range of subjects. A high score is essential to move forward.

Beyond physical and mental tests, character matters. This branch seeks individuals with integrity and strong moral values. Background checks are thorough. They look into an applicant's past, including criminal records and personal conduct. Any red flags can disqualify a candidate.

Training in this branch is intense. Recruits undergo weeks of grueling exercises. They face sleep deprivation, harsh weather, and demanding tasks. The goal is to push them to their limits. Only the strongest and most determined survive this phase.

Leadership skills are also crucial. This branch wants leaders who can make quick decisions under pressure. Recruits participate in exercises that test their ability to lead and follow orders. They must show they can handle stress and take charge when needed.

Teamwork is another key aspect. This branch emphasizes working as a unit. Recruits must learn to trust and rely on each other. They participate in team-building exercises designed to foster cooperation and trust. Those who cannot work well with others do not progress.

The selection process is competitive. Thousands apply, but only a few are chosen. The branch looks for the best of the best. This means that even highly qualified candidates may not be selected. The process is designed to ensure only the most capable individuals join.

Once accepted, members of this branch continue to face challenges. The training never stops. They must stay in peak physical condition and continue to develop their skills. The demands are high, but so are the rewards. Serving in this branch is a mark of honor and dedication.

In summary, the most difficult branch of the military to get into requires a combination of physical fitness, mental sharpness, strong character, leadership, and teamwork. The selection process is rigorous and competitive. Only the most qualified and determined individuals succeed. Those who do earn a place in this branch can take pride in their achievement. They have proven themselves among the best.

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