Inside Taiwan’s brutal navy frogman bootcamp

Inside Taiwan’s brutal navy frogman bootcamp

A chill wind whips across the Taiwan Strait as a small group of Taiwanese marines stands shivering on a remote dock in the early hours of the morning, their shorts and thin jackets drenched after a day spent mostly in the sea.

“Are you a sleeping beauty? Are you skipping out on class?” a trainer shouts at the wiry men, who have barely slept in days, as they do sit-ups and other exercises on the rough concrete floor, some fading in and out of consciousness from fatigue.

Blasts of cold water from a hose brings them to their senses.

Entry into the Taiwan navy’s elite Amphibious Reconnaissance and Patrol unit or ARP, its answer to the U.S. Navy SEALs or Britain’s Special Boat Service, is not for the faint of heart.