Psych Eval Strip Background.png

Psychological Evaluation

An assessment of Si's voluntary participation in the testing phase of a brutal new British Army Psy-Ops selection process. 

Illustrated icon representing Simon Ellice's psychological evaluation. A man's head in profile with a red brain inside.

BO/OS - Dis/Sych Module: training 6

Attached: Aldershot

Mandatory Psych Eval, pre-selection

Subject: Ellice, S. J.


The high failure rate of soldiers attending the recently developed psy-ops section of special forces training has led to calls for a component of selection to further assess psychological toughness prior to admittance. Dis/Psych Modules one through six are an attempt to develop such a selection process. As with physical selection, no more than a 5% fatality rate will be accepted.


Given the severity of the undertaking, personnel volunteering to assist with the development are offered the chance to join 4 Rifles with one rank higher than their current and one months leave preceding.


Subject attended as instructed, equipped as specified, sober and clean. Confirmed no previous history of traumatic exposure to disorientation training.

Pre-testing assessment

Response time: normal-high

Cognitive function: normal-high

Pain threshold: not measured*

Aggression threshold: not measured*

Nausea threshold: not measured*

Disgust threshold: not measured*

*Subject failed to exhibit distress markers despite the sergeant at arms’s best endeavours with the toilet brush.


The subject’s apparent indifference to physical and moral assault by the instructors raised concerns regarding neurological deficit, but the subject was able to confirm that he was aware of the stimulus, but had chosen not to respond. This seemed unlikely to the team, but no reason could be found to exclude the subject so he was wired up, the restraints applied and tested, and the testing schema initiated at level two and escalated.


L2: No physiological response

L3: 3% rise in heart rate

L4: 15% rise in heart rate. 20% increase in skin conductivity. No vomiting or loss of bladder or bowel control. Return to resting heart rate: 6 minutes 15 seconds

L5: 105% increase in heart rate, profuse sweating, some involuntary trembling. No loss of bladder or bowel control. Minor skin abrasion. No muscular-skeletal damage. Return to resting heart rate: 12 minutes dead


The testers were keen to implement Level 6, but as that hasn’t been devised or authorised, this request was denied. HM armed forces does not sanction the intentional wounding of subjects during testing, except where unavoidable.


Of the cohort, the subject was the second to achieve level 5 and the first without loss of bladder control. 

Post-procedure interview notes

Subject was able to wash and dress himself and return to the consultation room within half an hour of the end of testing. Subject seemed calm and oriented. No change to willingness to make eye-contact observed.


T: “Well, Ellice. How was that for you?”

E: “Pretty horrible, sir.”

T: “Pretty horrible?”

E: “I take it I passed?”

T: “What makes you say that, Ellice?”

E: “The look on the sergeant's face, sir.”

T: “How could you possibly see the sergeant's face, Ellice?”

E: “He looked through the window, sir.”

T: “Which must surely have been heavily obscured by that point.”

E: “I wiped it clean, sir.”

T: “You were still in restraints, Ellice.”

E: “With my tongue, sir.”

T: “Really, Ellice?”

E: “In for a penny, sir.”

T: “I see. Yes, Ellice. You passed. How are you feeling now?”

E: “Fine, sir.”

T: “I see. Glad to be through selection, no doubt. Training starts on the 12th, so you’ll have time to get some R and R.”

E: “I won’t be joining the Specs, sir.”

T: “So, not fine after all, Ellice?”

E: “It’s not that, sir.”

T: “Then what, Ellice?”

E: “Won the bet, sir.”

T: “Won what bet, Ellice?”

E: “With Green Troop, sir. Beer for one month.”

T: “You’re telling me, you took the test for free beer for one month?”

E: “For the whole troop, sir.”

T: “You took a test that has a three per cent pass rate, for beer?”

E: “Yes, sir. How did I do, sir?”

T: “I said, you passed, Ellice.”

E: “With what score, sir?”

T: “How is that relevant, Ellice?”

E: “Two months, if I come out top, sir.”

T: “None of your business, Ellice.”


Lieutenant Ellice shows an unusually high degree of physical and psychological toughness. He was able to command his thoughts and physical reactions to the most extreme and degrading treatment permitted in HM armed forces without flinching and whilst remaining cheerful. He wasn’t informed of this, but he achieved the highest score recorded to date.


We note that his motivation for undertaking what is acknowledged to be a brutal test was essentially boredom with routine training. We will be writing to his commanding officer with the recommendation that he be encouraged to apply for special forces selection with some urgency when his current round of training is complete.


As has often been noted before, he is the kind of soldier about whom it is justly said: “Good to have around in times of war, trouble to have around in times of peace”.

Post script

The sergeant at arms whose duties include administering the pre-assessment assault and also escorting the subjects from the premises was later discovered at the foot of the stairwell, unconscious and with a broken jaw. He has refused to name his assailant.

Simon Ellice Series illustration. A house next to water and a man on the beach.

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