This year, over 80 servicemen participated in the trials.
Nineteen members of the National Guard's special-purpose units in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, have been awarded the coveted maroon beret following a series of rigorous tests. The process, overseen by the respective authorities and reported by Sarbaz.kz, involved over 80 military personnel this year. Candidates underwent theoretical testing, physical and medical evaluations, as well as tasks such as rappelling with specialised equipment.
Candidates faced a thirty-kilometer march under the blazing sun, traversing mountainous terrain where temperatures soared to 40 degrees Celsius. These demanding physical and psychological challenges showcased their endurance, determination, and teamwork as they surmounted obstacles to reach the finish line.
Notably, stress resilience was bolstered through the inclusion of explosions and live ammunition fire near the obstacle course, simulating combat conditions and testing candidates' reactions under pressure. Immediately following the obstacle course, candidates engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Initially, they sparred with each other before facing off against maroon beret holders. Only those who endured three three-minute rounds were eligible to earn the maroon beret.
Hand-to-hand combat proved to be the final challenge on the path to achieving the maroon beret. One candidate, who goes by the call sign "Richie," shared his experience: "Hand-to-hand combat was the ultimate test for obtaining the maroon beret. Despite fatigue and pain, I fought fiercely, defending against strikes from experienced beret holders. The surge of adrenaline kept me going, allowing me to endure all three rounds."
At the conclusion of the tests, Kazakhstan's Minister of Internal Affairs, Marat Akhmetzhanov, presented the coveted maroon berets to the 19 successful candidates.
Minister Akhmetzhanov commended their discipline, dedication, and professionalism, recognising them as exemplars for both the younger generation and all law enforcement personnel. He emphasised that their exceptional skills and collaborative service contribute to the formation of elite units ready to confront any challenges and protect their homeland.