Phil Campion is a veteran of military operations in just about every conflict-prone corner of the world. He served with the Royal Hampshires, passed through Commando and Parachute Regiment selection, before being badged with 22 SAS. He left the British Army in his early thirties, with the rank of Staff Sergeant, and started working on the private military circuit.
In this interview, Phil gives his advice on making it through any selection course. For example, he starts off this portion of the interview by saying he was lucky that he took time off prior to starting his selection course, but instead of working out like he was supposed to, he said, “I pissed it away by drinking too much.” This, he claimed, gave him an advantage, because those who start out with no reserve will sometimes not make it halfway through. By going into selection with some fat still on you, you will make it out successfully, only as half the man you once were.
Phil also talks about the main issues that affect the attrition rate in the SAS. Some candidates cannot make it for medical reasons, and others “VW out” (voluntarily withdraw). He recalled that the course wasn’t hard for him. It was very “one foot in front of the other” and “monkey see, monkey do.” As long as you don’t quit or give up, you will be good. Perhaps the best part of this episode is when he tells the story of pushing a bear off a cliff.
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