As tensions with China build and the US military sends more troops to the Asia-Pacific region, soldiers with the skills to fight and survive in the jungle are increasingly vital. The US Army trains soldiers for jungle warfare at the 25th Infantry Division’s Lightning Academy on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Insider’s chief video correspondent Graham Flanagan spent 12 days inside the Army’s Jungle Operations Training Course, where a cross section of soldiers of various ranks and experience levels learn to fight, move, and survive in the jungle. Eighty students begin the course, but only 51 will make it to graduation. The rest are dropped by failing one of five critical tests.
On day nine, students begin a three-day culminating exercise that incorporates the skills and lessons taught in the course, such as rope systems, rappelling, survival skills, small-unit tactics, and land navigation. Students who graduate from the course receive the Army’s coveted jungle tab.