History’s New Series ‘The Selection: Special Operations Experiment’ Pushes Participants Beyond Their Mental And Physical Limits

This new series follows 30 men and women as they go through some of the most grueling physical and mental challenges imaginable. There is no monetary reward, the participants are there to test themselves and to find out if they have what it takes to be the best. History posted to their Facebook page a sneak peek video of The Selection: Special Operations Experiment, with a caption that states, “Discomfort is growth.”

According to Broadway World, Special Operations units have developed some of the most extreme training and assessment exercises, which are specifically designed to find those who can push through the daunting challenges in order to complete whatever is thrown their way. The 30 civilians range in age from 21- to 45-years-old and have no military experience whatsoever. They are going to attempt to do what is almost impossible for some of the most motivated and trained soldiers in the world.

For the purposes of this challenge, the participants can withdraw from the program at any time, and The Hollywood Reporter shared that 80 percent of those who attempt to make it through the training and assessment exercises eventually quit. The only reward to be gained is discovering that they had the mental fortitude and the physical strength to push their bodies in order to complete each challenge. Several of The Selection: Special Operations Experiment participants will not make it past the first episode titled “Dip in the Fire.”

“Throughout the history of our nation, Special Operations training tactics has played an integral part in our military endeavors and this series gives viewers a rare glimpse into what it takes to be selected among the elite,” Paul Cabana, History’s head of programming said.

The Selection will offer civilians the unique opportunity to take part in an immersive, authentic course instructed by different branches leading together, while giving viewers insight into the origins of these challenges.”

This ultimate test of endurance will be led by six instructors who are veterans of the Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and Army Rangers. They will definitely put The Selection: Special Operations Experiment participants through their paces as they face several tough situations over the course of eight episodes, including being exposed to tear gas, interrogation, and psychological warfare simulations, and demanding physical exercises that will push them to the brink of exhaustion and beyond.


History shared on their The Selection: Special Operations Experiment page that for Marcus Capone, there was just one reason to join the Navy and endure the rigors of SEAL training. He wanted to earn the privilege of going to war and after two years of intense training, learning, and preparing, that is just what he did. He became a first phase BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition Seal) instructor for two years, and will be bringing the skills he learned to the participants. He goes on to say that there’s a perception that it’s mostly a physical challenge, but mentally it’s a very grueling, demanding “schoolhouse” at the end of the day.

“It absolutely pushes your limits beyond what your mind tells you that you can’t do,” Capone remarked.

Former Special Forces Green Beret Bert Kuntz knew that after the terrorist attacks of September 11, that it was time for him to join the military. He says that at 26-years-old, he went from traveling around kayaking, rock climbing, and going to Grateful Dead concerts to the demands of basic training. Calling it intimidating and a “kick in the face,” he began to realize just what a big decision he had made. He says he is 10 times stronger, faster, smarter, and a better person than when he first started out.

Sean Haggerty is a former Navy SEAL instructor and he was responsible for instructing and training over a thousand students through mentally and physically demanding exercises. He also logged over 100 hours of off-duty mentorship and managed 18 staff personnel. According to his bio page, other duties included organizing 503 employees for 660 hours of training and leading 650 training events. He was also named Instructor of the Year in 2012. Sean is now studying to get his MBA and plans to open his own brewery.

Green Beret Donnie Bowen retired from the Army after serving 22 years, and 13 of those years were in Special Operations. Besides U.S. Army Special Forces training, other training included Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Special Operations Combatives, Lone Operator Course, Modern Army Combatives, and Survival Evasion Resistance & Escape (S.E.R.E. level C). Since he was 7-years-old, he has had a passion for martial arts.

“I started training [when] I was probably seven years old, in Tae Kwon Do (in Fort Clayton, Panama). I grew up watching Bruce Lee, kung fu movies and westerns,” Donnie states in his bio.

“Since then, I have trained in just about every martial art known to man. I love what martial arts and physical fitness training does for me, physically and mentally. I love the feeling of helping people get motivated, especially when they see a positive difference in their health and physique.”

The Selection: Special Operations Experiment instructor Ray Care served as a Navy SEAL for 12 years, was a government contractor eight years, and a professional firearms instructor for two years. Ray interlaces his own life experiences and knowledge into his training sessions and has transformed the lives of people across the nation with not only tactical, but also practical seminars.

“I use my skill set to motive and educate individuals from troubled teens to NFL super stars,” Care explains.

“I also have and currently work with the UCLA Bruins football team. I am their motivational guest who also utilizes extreme PT to make them push their limits to the breaking point. Just a guy who has taken my own hardships and channeled that into positive energy. I am direct, honest and to the point. I am a hard charger and get things done. My definition of SUCCESS is my ability to help others help themselves.”

Former Army Ranger Tyler Grey joined the Army in 1998, which was something he always wanted to do. He quickly advanced from training into the 75th Ranger Regiment, 2nd Battalion, and was deployed with Army Special Operations twice to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq. He became 100 percent disabled after an explosion during a house raid and gun battle in 2005. Grey is interested in The Selection: Special Operations Experiment because he wants to push people to the point where they are broken, and then build them back up even stronger than they were before.

The Selection: Special Operations Experiment is produced for the History Channel by Film 45 and Bunim/Murray Productions. Peter Berg (Lone Survivor), Matt Goldberg, Brandon Carroll, and Grant Kahler serve as the executive producers for Film 45, with Gil Goldschein serving as the executive producer for Bunim/Murray Productions. Cem Yeter, Joel Karsberg, Tim Healy, Stephen Mintz, and Russ McCarroll are the executive producers for History. The Selection: Special Operations Experiment is based on the show SAS: Who Dares Wins by Minnow Films, which aired last year in the U.K.

Will you be checking out this new show? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. The Selection: Special Operations Experiment premieres on Thursday, December 8 at 10 p.m. ET.

[Featured Image by Film 44/45]

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