Pegasus Company (also known as P Coy) is the rigorous training and selection British military organisation based at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, North Yorkshire. P Coy run the 'Pre-Parachute Selection' Courses for trainee Parachute Regiment soldiers and officers as well as an "All-Arms Course" for Regular and Territorial Army (TA) troops. P Coy is also responsible for delivery of the TA Combat Infantryman's Course (CIC) for candidates for the TA Parachute Battalion, 4 Para.
Pre-Parachute Selection must be undertaken by all Army candidates for parachute training who have not already undergone a strenuous form of training, such as UK Special Forces.
Training in P Coy culminates in a series of eight tests undertaken over a 5-day period (starting on a Wed and finishing on Tue, with the weekend off). For recruits directly joining the Parachute Regiment, the tests are attempted at week 21 of training, All-Arms candidates attempt the tests after two and a half weeks of build-up training.
The Eight Tests
A 10-mile (16 km) march conducted as a squad over undulating terrain. Each candidate carries a 35 lb (16 kg) bergen (not including water) and a rifle. The march is currently to be completed in under 1 hour 50 minutes (TA candidates have 2 hours).
A unique assault course set 55 feet (17 m) above the ground, designed to test a candidate's ability to overcome fear and follow simple orders at considerable height. This is the only event which is a straight pass or fail; all the other events are scored. The total score required to pass is 45, with 10 points (maximum) being awarded for each test.
A team event, in which eight men carry a log (a telegraph pole) weighing 60 kg over 1.9 miles (3.1 km) of undulating terrain. Candidates wear a helmet and webbing. This is supposed to be one of the hardest events. Points are awarded for determination, aggression and leadership.
2 Mile March
An individual effort over 2 miles (3.2 km) of undulating terrain, carrying a 35 lb (16 kg) bergen (not including water), rifle, combat jacket, and helmet. Regular candidates have 18 minutes, TA candidates have 19 minutes to complete the run.
In this event, each candidate is paired with another of 'similar weight and build', and is given 60 seconds to demonstrate 'controlled physical aggression' in a milling contest - similar to boxing, except neither winning, losing, nor skill are pre-requisites of passing. Candidates are instead scored on their determination and aggression, while blocking and dodging result in points deducted. Candidates wear head protection, gum shields and boxing gloves.
20 Mile Endurance March
A 20-mile (32 km) squadded march over the Catterick or Otterburn Training Areas. Candidates carry a 35 lb (16 kg) bergen (not including water) and a rifle. The march must be completed in under 4 hours and 30 minutes. TA candidates do not participate in this event, due to their reduced opportunity to prepare for the course.
Candidates are divided into teams of 16 men, and have to carry a 175 lb (79 kg) stretcher over a distance of 5 miles (8.0 km), each individual candidate wearing a helmet, webbing and a slung rifle. No more than four candidates carry the stretcher at any given time, swapping round at regular intervals so that all candidates carry the stretcher for a certain distance.