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A first-ever look into the arduous journey of SAF's elite force

This article is more than 12 months old

Ever wonder what does it take to enter the hallowed ranks of the Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)?

For the first time ever, you can get a glimpse into the arduous journey - an honour that only a privileged few will receive - through a five-part video web series produced by So Drama! Entertainment.

Each episode of Uncommon Grit: The Joint Special Forces Selection reveals the different demanding physical, mental and combat test requirements that candidates go through to determine their suitability to embark on the eight-month Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).

In Finding The Right Stuff, the first episode that was released on April 28, over 100 soldiers from various SAF units arrive at the Special Forces Leadership School at Pasir Ris Camp to take part in the two-week Joint Special Forces Selection. It comprises a battery of tests to see if they have what it takes, both physically and mentally, to go on to the Special Forces Qualification Course.

The series producer, Mano Mahendran, was intrigued by the unit ever since he was a young recruit. His curiosity was further piqued after being deployed to document them in action.

“The fact that they are a very elusive unit makes you want to know more about them – what they’re capable of, what makes them special and feared at the same time," he said.

“You’ll see this recurring trait in the soldiers across the five episodes – highly motivated individuals determined to make it through the arduous selection process, not as individuals but as a team. This is what sets them apart.”

Filming Special Forces personnel “reality-styled” has its unique challenges.

Forget about rehearsals or do-overs. Mr Mano and his team had to react and adapt quickly on the ground when things change unexpectedly.

The SOTF are the sharpest end of the SAF's troops, and they are called upon to get the job done during critical situations and under extreme conditions.

“The selection process may seem tough, but it is not an insurmountable task with mental preparation and self-motivation,” said Lieutenant Colonel Brian Anthony Thomas, Commanding Officer of the Special Forces Leadership School.

“The experience itself allowed the candidates to discover an inner strength they never knew they possessed.”

Each episode will be released every Thursday on MINDEF’s social media platforms.

Singapore Armed ForcesMINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MINDEF)video