Ah yes… the Nasty Nick Obstacle Course. If you are an aspiring Special Operations soldier in the Army, you will become intimately familiar with this obstacle course. It is one of those rites of passage gated events that you have to complete.

Part of the reason we do so much upper body training while preparing for selection is that you’ll need that upper body strength to make it through the selection and especially the obstacle course out at Camp Mackall. And not just for the course. To be an “operator,” what we used to call “team guys,” you will find that you need a lot of upper body strength.

The “Nasty Nick” is named after Special Forces Colonel James “Nick” Rowe. Rowe was a 1LT who was captured in a Viet Cong ambush. He was held as a POW for five years before escaping his captors as they were about to execute him.