How Environmentalists Can Become Ecological Special Forces

Special forces and special operations forces (SOF) are military units trained to conduct special operations. NATO defines special operations as “military activities conducted by specially designated, organized, trained, and equipped forces, manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques, and modes of employment”.

In the past, we have argued for the formation of clandestine ecological special forces units as part of our strategy, Decisive Ecological Warfare. We believe this DEW strategy is one of the only chances we have for stopping runaway global warming and preserving some chance of a livable future.

We have also discussed some of the skills that these ecological special forces units would require.

The skills that differentiate special forces units from regular soldiers often fall into categories already possessed by people in the environmental movement. For example, wilderness survival, stealth and stalking, movement across rugged terrain, travel in winter conditions, emergency medicine, watercraft, ropework, robust physical fitness, and other outdoor skills are staples of special forces training. Many environmentalists already have these skills and capabilities.

Many of us, however, do not have the military-type skills possessed by special forces units. We must normalize training in these skills within our communities. As an aboveground organization, we at DGR are not engaged in DEW directly. Regardless, military-style training in firearms, small unit tactics, physical security, hand-to-hand combat, and other relevant skills will be useful for self-defense and community defense as society becomes increasingly fractured and unstable due to climate chaos, financial collapse, inequality, rising fascist movements, etc.

Participating in outdoor activities like hunting can also help us develop further competency with firearms, stalking, terrain analysis, survival skills, and so on—in addition to helping us deepen a spiritual and physical connection to the land that supports all life.

Female Special Forces Units

As a radical feminist organization, Deep Green Resistance has a special interest in seeing women lead and participate in militant action. There are countless resistance movements that have been led by female warriors. And in the special forces arena, Norway created the first all-female unit in 2014.

Candidates are selected based on attitude and physical fitness, the minimum physical standards are: one pull-up; 20 push-ups; 35 sit-ups in two minutes or less; 20 back extensions; swim 200 metres (660 ft), with no underwater phobia; and perform a 7-kilometre (4.3 mi) road run carrying 22 kilograms (49 lb) in 59 minutes. In addition there are required tests in 10 kilograms (22 lb) medicine ball throw, standing long jump, and 3000-meter run which will not disqualify, but do count towards selection. There is a 3 week pre-selection course learning basic skills before commencing the week long selection course named “hell week” that is a test of mental and physical strength involving long marches over several days with little time for rest, and minimum amounts of food and water.

Applicants then face a 10 month training program that includes a patrol course, survival course, shooting course, communications course, medical course, parachute course, winter training, winter exercise, close combat course, close quarter battle (CQB) course, vehicle course and urban special reconnaissance course culminating in a final exercise. To complete the program, candidates must be able to march 15 km (9 miles) in full gear (22 kilograms (49 lb) backpack, weapon, boots) through forests within two hours and 15 minutes or less; perform 50 sit-ups in two minutes, six pull-ups and 40 push-ups; run 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) in 13 minutes or less; and swim 400 metres (1,300 ft) in 11 minutes or less, the first 25 metres underwater.

Featured image: Norwegian Army

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