These men crawled over jagged coral to become Frogmen


The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Amphibious Reconnaissance and Patrol Unit is one of Taiwan’s top Navy teams. These guys are the equivalent of U.S. Navy SEALS, and to make the cut you need to be hardcore.

How hardcore? To join the ranks of the “Frogmen,” as they’re affectionately known, you have to pass the final test: Crawling face-first over 50 long meters of jagged coral — and stopping to do exercises along the way, like rolling over.

Making things even harder this year was the mercury, which was hovering around 35 degrees Celsius.

The challenge, sardonically dubbed the “Road to Heaven,” capped six days and five nights of tests. Only 16 recruits made it this far from the 58 who started the training a month ago.

On average, only 23 percent of those who start the course end up joining the recon unit.

The success, for those who find it, is clearly well-earned — something not lost on their loved ones.

One of this year’s successful new Frogmen was Kao Sheng-an (高聖恩), a 21-year-old who was the first to finish the Road to Heaven.

After completing it, a tearful Kao embraced his girlfriend. “It hurts my heart to see him suffer,” the woman, who is Japanese, said solemnly, according to the Liberty Times.

This batch of Frogmen is the 145th in the Amphibious Reconnaissance and Patrol Unit’s history. There are two batches every year.