5 reasons you should know about the hardcore Selous Scouts

May 18 , 2022

5 reasons you should know about the hardcore Selous Scouts

Green Berets, SEALs, MARSOC — these are all well-known operator groups in the United States military. But not many know much about the Rhodesian Selous Scouts

 

Named after the famous hunter Fredrick Selous, they possess the teamwork mindset of the Rhodesian Light Infantry and the skills of the Rhodeisan Special Air Service; but with harder training requirements than both, the Selous Scouts became monumental in anti-terrorist operations.

 

1. Rigorous selection process

A recruit carrying a 30 kg (66 lbs) pack of stones. (Public Domain image)

Their boot camp was named “Wafa Wafa Wasara Wasara” which is Shona for, “Who dies — dies, who survives — remains.”

2. Extensive Training

The Selous Scouts were raised as a special forces regiment when Rhodesia was facing a terrorist threat that was armed by the Soviet Union to eliminate many European colonies in Africa. The Scouts’ mission was the clandestine elimination of these threats both in and out of Rhodesia.

 

5 reasons you should know about the hard core Selous Scouts
The first Selous Scout parachuting class. (Image via National Archive)

3. Expert survival skills

5 reasons you should know about the hard core Selous Scouts
A Selous Scout waits to be inserted by helicopter. (Image source unknown)

Selous Scouts were trained to hunt and forage for their own food and water supplies.

 

4. Could shoot targets in rapid succession — without looking

Trained to shoot well-known enemy hiding spots, they eventually became so skilled that they no longer needed to look at their targets in order to hit them.

5 reasons you should know about the hard core Selous Scouts
The marksmanship training they received would prove extremely useful in their operations. (Image via Imgur)

6. Always outnumbered

Selous Scouts went out in 5-10 man teams, which meant they were always outnumbered against their enemies, but their training proved to be more efficient, allowing them to inflict a high number of enemy casualties.

 

5 reasons you should know about the hard core Selous Scouts
Selous Scouts valued quality over quantity. (Image via Reddit user dudewatchthis)

*Bonus* Infiltrated enemy units just to eliminate them

After being trained by former terrorists, Selous Scouts were capable of infiltrating enemy terrorist units by joining their factions. These scouts would eventually turn on the terrorists, capitalizing the elements of surprise and shock to mitigate the cells.

Other times, Selous Scouts would infiltrate enemy encampments and “expose” themselves by leaving clues behind of scout hiding places and encampments, ultimately leading terrorist troops into deathtraps.

 

5 reasons you should know about the hard core Selous Scouts
The ability to blend in with the enemy made Selous Scouts a formidable opponent. (Image via Reddit user 4noteprogression)

While Rhodesia ultimately fell to the Zimbabwe African National Union, the Selous Scouts remain a monumental example in the world of anti-terrorist operations and helped write the book on being operator AF.


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