Jaeger or Frogman selection: Which one is the hardest? The question has been asked a hundred times, and I have given the same answer again and again. “I don’t know.” It seems very fair to give that answer, however, as I am the only one who has completed both selection courses, I should know, right? For some reason, everybody else seems to have an opinion on the subject. I believe this has become a topic of interest outside Denmark, too.

“The Frogman selection is toughest, they spend all the time in cold, dark water. The course has rougher handling of students and is way longer.”

“No way, the Jaeger selection is way more intense. It has higher demands and pushes you further by way of harsh marches.”

The truth is that both statements are right; however, what remains unanswered is why you can’t compare them to each other.

Frogman selection

I was 22 when I applied for the Frogman selection course, had only served in the military for two years, and I had no deployments. I had very little practical experience as I started straight away as an officer. I’m sure the same story goes around in all countries when it comes to young lieutenants. Never bring a knife to a gunfight, right? Or more correctly, never bring a young lieutenant to, well, anything.

Besides being young and eager, I had the pleasure of suffering from a bunch of injuries stemming from training way too much (typical young lieutenant, completely misjudging my own capabilities). I barely made the initial physical screening and started out like a sack of potatoes. However, if there is one thing good about a young lieutenant, it is their innate capability of recharging faster than a horny rabbit. Within one month, I was back on track, running in front. Ironically, just two weeks earlier, I was close to getting kicked out because of my injuries slowing me down.

Going through the selection course is a long, bumpy road, as it is eight months of intense physical and mental hardship. The first week is designed to weed out all the Call of Duty gamers and the ones who didn’t really understand what they joined up for. Military experience isn’t required to join selection.

Typically, around 80 guys will show up for the first week. They will have recently passed an initial physical and mental test to see if they are fit to handle the coming challenges. It all starts out with three long days of marching and running, which goes straight into two days of swimming and holding your breath. Isolated, these are really simple tasks that don’t require any prior military experience. However, when combined over the span of an entire week, and with a lot of mad instructors nearby, it tends to inspire quite a lot of people to quit, and typically only 16-20 guys will be left to start the next phase of selection.