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The producer of Insider's 'Boot Camp' series ranks the 6 most intense moments of the show so far

Graham Flanagan   

The producer of Insider's 'Boot Camp' series ranks the 6 most intense moments of the show so far

Following is a transcript of the video.

Instructor: Get louder! Get louder!

Instructor: Ah! Get out of my way!

Graham Flannagan: I'm Graham Flanagan, and I am the producer of Business Insider's "Boot Camp" series. Today I'm counting down the most intense moments of "Boot Camp," and I'm gonna give you some behind-the-scenes intel and show you some never-before-seen footage. And a warning that some of the footage that you're about to see may be disturbing. Future Secret Service agents train behind the wheel of high-speed Dodge Chargers. And these future agents learn what's known as protective transportation, which incorporates high-speed turns and heavy braking. And this is what you didn't see in the original episode. I got to ride inside one of the Chargers, and I used an iPhone to film what it's like from the perspective of somebody inside one of these cars. Lucky for me, I had lunch after we filmed this.

Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Greenwell!

Flanagan: No. 5 is chow in the galley at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, New Jersey.

Petty Officer Sanchez: What is it?!

Recruit: Petty Officer Sanchez —

Flanagan: I saw a lot of really intense situations at Cape May.

Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Sanchez!

Flanagan: But I never thought that lunch would be one of them.

Company commander: Let's go, let's go, let's go. Get out and go around!

Recruit: Aye, aye, sir.

Flanagan: These recruits are physically and mentally exhausted. You'd think that their mealtimes would be, you know, a time to relax and nourish themselves, but nope.

Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Misiuda!

Flanagan: Before they can sit down to eat, they're randomly stopped by company commanders and tested on recruit knowledge.

Company commander: Who is Alex Haley?

Flanagan: If they can't answer it properly...

Company commander: Start writing!

Flanagan: They have to write down their mistake in their log, which is reviewed later, and they'll probably have to get smoked for it, which we'll get to.

Petty Officer Misiuda: Who the freak are you?!

Flanagan: One of the most interesting things to me about chow at Cape May was that the company commanders themselves, they're also eating during this time, and they don't get a chance to relax.

Company commander: It's a little bit ridiculous. Would you agree?

Flanagan: A lot of them spent their mealtime yelling at recruits from their tables.

Company commander: Ah! You don't respond to "carry on!"

Flanagan: So it's just a chaotic situation for everybody. At some boot camps, there's, like, a culminating event that everything leads up to. For the Marines, it's known as "The Crucible." The event lasts for 54 straight hours. The recruits have minimal sleep and food, and they're tested physically, psychologically, tactically. I mean, you can just see in the faces of these recruits the toll that The Crucible had taken on them.

Recruits: Yes, sir.

Drill instructor: Get your bags up right now. Get your bags up!

Flanagan: So, at Fort Benning, these Army armor recruits, they don't exactly get a warm welcome on day one of training.

Drill sergeant: Write down who you are right there! Ah! Get out of my way!

Flanagan: Instead, they endure what's known as the "shark attack."

Drill sergeant: This way! Let's go!

Drill sergeant: Over your head!

Flanagan: It's about 30 minutes of just nonstop what the Army calls "stress inoculation."

Drill sergeant: Stop looking around!

Drill sergeant: Go back to where you were!

Flanagan: Just trying to put these recruits in a chaotic environment. What was most interesting for me observing it was the difference between how some recruits responded to the shark attack. Some recruits were very calm; some were very discombobulated, obviously being impacted by the stress.

Drill sergeant: Why is that so difficult?!

Flanagan: And after about a half hour, the stress level starts to wane, but this is definitely the most intense welcome that I've seen at any boot camp.

Recruits: We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline!

Flanagan: So, back to Cape May and the Coast Guard.

Recruits: We have no self-discipline!

Flanagan: These recruits getting "smoked," as they say, remains one of the most intense things I've seen during this entire "Boot Camp" series.

Petty Officer Gunn: Get your canteens above your skulls!

Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

Gunn: Fingers interlaced, cap facing the overhead!

Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

Gunn: You people have absolutely no self-discipline! Absolutely no self-discipline! So you're just gonna remind yourselves, "We have no self-discipline." Go.

Recruits: We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline!

Flanagan: This group of recruits was being punished because earlier in the day when I was filming them in their seamanship class, one of their fellow recruits gestured towards my camera.

Gunn: You people wanna act like actual crazy people all day at seamanship? I got a tool for that.

Flanagan: Basically, this was the reason they were getting punished, which I felt bad about, but then I found out later that the company commanders would have found something else to punish them for. It's just sort of part of the daily routine at Cape May. You're always gonna get smoked.

Recruits: We have no self-discipline!

Flanagan: You'd think that a water bottle, holding that above your head would not be a big deal, but as you see in the footage, it just continues to take its toll on the recruits.

Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

Gunn: Hey, Lindsay, you taking a nice little break now that I turned my back?

Flanagan: The company commander would blow the whistle...

Gunn: Taking a nice little break, Yelton?

Flanagan: And she would point out that somebody had taken a rest or made a mistake or was doing something wrong, and then she would start over.

Gunn: Start over!

Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn! Eight zero! Seven nine! Seven eight! Seven seven!

Flanagan: After about 20 minutes, she finally let them stop.

Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

Gunn: Drop the canteens.

Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

Flanagan: And what you didn't see in the original episode was that after this, there was some other kind of smoke session that they had to endure. So with the water bottle session, they were just getting started. At Border Patrol boot camp in Artesia, New Mexico, all trainees have to go through what's known as OC exposure, which simply means they get sprayed in the face with oleoresin capsicum, which is also known as pepper spray.

Trainee: One, two, three, four —

Flanagan: No gas mask at all, just close-range pepper spray to the face. The chemical agent is commonly used in US military and law enforcement in situations with large crowds like protests, or to subdue someone using less-lethal weapons. This training footage was filmed in April of 2019. But the ongoing use of these chemical agents, like pepper spray and tear gas, on peaceful protests have sparked a debate around the legality of these methods. We reached out to US Customs and Border Protection to ask if the academy will continue to conduct OC exposure training and if it has any plans to change the training amid the recent protests surrounding police misconduct. According to a CBP spokesperson, specialists evaluate trainings quarterly, but as of now, "the curriculum remains unchanged."

When I was filming at the academy, up close, you could see how painful this was for the trainees. Some of them had a less intense reaction to it, but for most of them, you could tell it was just pure pain.

Trainee: Get on the ground! Do it now!

Flanagan: Then they have to run into this area where an assailant is waiting for them, and they have to take down this assailant and then make an arrest.

Trainee: Backup.

Flanagan: And then finally they're allowed to run over to this station with water fountains, where they can wash their face with water and soap, but it doesn't wash off right away. The water and soap often aren't enough. They had these giant fans going, and you could see them just pulling their eyes open just to try and get any kind of relief from the breeze of the fans. Just to give you an idea of how long the OC lasts, that night after filming, I was in town in Artesia picking up dinner, and this guy walks up to me and says, "Excuse me, sir, are you the guy with the camera that was out there earlier?" And I recognize it was one of the guys that I had filmed. It was this trainee.

Instructor: Look over here. Look over here. You have to open your eyes in order to see. How many awnings are over there?

Trainee: Three!

Flanagan: So I chatted with him for a minute. His eyes were still red; he still couldn't see. That was, like, six hours after I had filmed this. So the pain lingers.

Instructor: What?!

Instructor: Ah!

Flanagan: So, that's my countdown of what I think are the most intense moments of the "Boot Camp" series so far. Once these agencies and branches deem it safe to film again, I will be back out there making new episodes. If you've been through these training programs, leave a comment. Let me know what you think are the most intense aspects of training. And be sure to subscribe below so that you can find out when new episodes are posted.


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