Who is Robert Vliegen, or Fly?
Robert Vliegen, who is better known to the general public as Fly from the popular TV programme ‘Kamp Waes’, started his career with the Special Forces in 1991. He was living his childhood dream. A job in which he had the honour and pleasure of working with some exceptional men and women. His career has not only given him insight into the positive and not so positive human characteristics, but has also taught him that you can overcome any problem with the right degree of determination.
The saying that “no tree can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell” certainly applies to the Special Forces. “It's about the duality whereby you must first know your inner demons before you can reach enlightenment. No one realises what they are capable of, both in a good and a bad sense, until they are tested and pushed to their limit”, says Fly.
“When preparing soldiers –not only to survive, but also to function in conflict situations – you have to prepare them for physical as well as mental suffering: physical deprivation, low-calorie intake, no sleep, etc. Unlike other elite training processes, we don’t push our candidates to their limits in order to create group cohesion. We make things increasingly difficult for every individual. And we don’t allow people to help each another. This enables us to select the strongest characters, who are then made into a team.”