So Others May Live

Airmen train to become pararescuemen, embody selfless service

Story by Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon, 3rd Combat Camera Squadron

Service before self is an Air Force core value each Airman is expected to embody.  For one particular group, it is central to their way of life.

The pararescueman code states: “It is my duty as a pararescueman to save life and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do, that others may live.”

Air Force pararescuemen, an elite corps of Airmen, are responsible for combat search and rescue missions. They provide life-saving services to Airmen and the joint-service team.

Airmen must complete 62-weeks of training before receiving the title, Air Force Pararescueman. Airmen receive initial indoctrination training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, the Gateway to the Air Force and for becoming a pararescueman.

At Lackland, pararescuemen endure extreme physical conditioning and mental preparation during a 9-week indoctrination course. The program includes physiological training, obstacle course events, marches, dive physics, dive tables, metric manipulations, medical terminology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, weapons qualifications and history lessons, as well as leadership reaction course challenges.

Following the indoctrination course, additional preparation includes: Air Force Combat Dive Course, Army Airborne School, Air Force Survival School, military freefall training, and paramedic training and certification.

Airmen are pushed to their limits mentally and physically for the honor to wear the maroon beret and be called an Air Force pararescueman.

3 thoughts on “So Others May Live

  1. I spent 20 years as a PJ. I loved every single day. The return on an initial investment in blood, sweat and tears is 1K fold. If you are interested, sign up, and never quit. I promise you it’s worth it…

  2. I feel proud to be a veteran of the Air Force when I see or read about the PJs. ……into the wild blue yonder……