Some of the "special" training I received while in service was how to make homemade hermite. In order for the reaction to start, reach and sustain the temperatures required, both the aluminum and ferrous oxide materials need to be almost powdered. The ferrous oxide powder is easy to make but the aluminum powder requires time and effort unless a well stocked paint store is handy (And no I'm not telling what/how to.) Then how to mix and ratios, and igniter materials makes it much more than "take aluminum and rusty iron and make thermite"!
And our thermite (and explosives) had to work in order to pass. Needless to say, it was a fun class!