To Be A Soldier

It is finally time for the last test. Before they can graduate from the military academy cadets must survive a virtual battlefield. This was the moment they had spent 3 years training for, the moment they could become soldiers. The virtual battlefield is not to be underestimated; after all what happens in the virtual world has consequences in the real world. 

The cadets are separated into squads of five at the beginning go their final year. Each cadet has a purpose, they are assigned a position that makes the most of their individual abilities such as lookout and squad leader. After spending a year training together, the squads have formed unshakeable bonds which were about to be tested. 

The virtual world is a recreation of one of the most brutal battlefields from the past. In the middle of winter when it is impossible to tell day from night, hordes of wild, savage beasts were everywhere. To past the graduation exam, the cadets must retrieve a flag from a designated location within 6 hours. The brutal test was necessary to determine if the cadets had the mental and physical strength to survive a real battle where their lives would be at stake. The cadets needed to demonstrate their individual abilities while working as part of a team. This is a test of strength, willpower, strategy, marksmanship and more. 

Although their lives are not at stake in a virtual world, the experience and sensations are still very real. In the virtual world the cadets senses are still active to enhance the experience. Meaning they can feel, smell and hear everything on the battlefield as if it was real. If the cadets were to be soldiers it is necessary they become familiar with the sensations of a battlefield as it will be an everyday experience once they graduate. The exam may be cruel but it is an experience the cadets must overcome it they are to become soldiers. There is no log out function for the exam, the only way to leave the virtual battlefield is to accomplish the mission or die.

The smell of rotting corpses and fresh blood, the sight of comrades being torn apart by crazed beasts, the never-ending screams, hunger and no time to sleep.  There is no end to the hardships the young cadets are exposed to on the battlefield. They all thought they were ready, they thought they had experience hell already under their commanders training; they never expected the battlefield, even a virtual one could be even more hellish. 

Participation in the virtual battle exam was not mandatory. Those that opted not to take it would never see the battlefield. Instead they were assigned support roles like cleaners, porters, kitchen hands, maintenance and so on. 

Squads and Cadets that took the exam but failed to complete the mission in six hours would be positioned in the rear on a battlefield. These cadets proved they have the willpower and mental strength to be soldiers but lack the skill to battle on the front line. 

However, the squads that proved themselves, that accomplished their mission would be assigned to commanders on the front line. With some more conditioning they would become formidable soldiers.

The End

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