The techniques used in SERE training can include things
like stripping students of their clothing, placing them in
stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, disrupting
their sleep, treating them like animals, subjecting them to
loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme
temperatures. It can also include face and body slaps, and
until recently, for some sailors who attended the Navy's SERE
school, it included waterboarding, which is mock drowning.
The SERE schools obviously take extreme care to avoid
injuring our own soldiers. Troops are medically screened to
make sure that they're fit for the SERE course. Prior to the
training, each student's physical limitations are carefully
documented to reduce the chance that the SERE training and the
use of SERE techniques will cause injury.
There are explicit limitations on the duration and
intensity of physical pressures. For example, when
waterboarding was permitted at the Navy SERE school, the
instructor manual stated that a maximum of 2 pints of water
could be used on a student who was being waterboarded, and, if
a cloth was used to cover a student's face, it could stay in
place a maximum of 20 seconds.