Tear gas. Extreme cold. Grueling interrogations. Physical combat. Water submersion.

Thirty average men and women facing intense psychological and physical challenges performed by real Navy Seals which are designed to break any individual.

The Selection: Special Operations Experiment — based on Minnow Films’ format SAS: Who Dares Wins — takes 30 men and women with no military background through the most intense physical and mental challenge of their lives, according to History. The volunteers are trained and led by veterans of the Navy SEALs, Green Berets and Army Rangers, who drive those who are willing to push themselves to the limits of the human body and mind. The eight-episode series will premiere at 10 PM Thursday, December 15.

“Throughout the history of our nation, Special Operations training tactics has played an integral part in our military endeavors and this series gives viewers a rare glimpse into what it takes to be selected among the elite,” said Paul Cabana, EVP and Head of Programming at History. “The Selection will offer civilians the unique opportunity to take part in an immersive, authentic course instructed by different branches leading together, while giving viewers insight into the origins of these challenges.” – Deadline Hollywood

From over 800 applications, the field was slashed to 40 individuals who were invited to southern California to go through a battery of physical and mental tests to assess if they could handle the intense stress facing them in this challenge; we were interviewed repeatedly by producers, performed physical assessment tests conducted by Navy SEALS, met with psychologists, and medical doctors.

Of those initial 40, 10 individuals either manually dropped out or were cut, leaving only the 30 who made The Selection. Some individuals on both sides of the cut line are well-known to the obstacle racing community, and you may catch a glimpse of them in the photos, though we will refrain from sharing any names or more details until directed by the producers.

The Selection: Special Operations Experiment, an 8-episode series premieres 10 PM Thursday, December 15 on the History Channel.