SPECIAL TACTICS PARARESCUE

Air Force Special Tactics pararescuemen, also known as PJ’s, are the only Department of Defense specialty specifically trained and equipped to conduct conventional or unconventional rescue operations. These battlefield Airmen are the ideal force for personnel recovery and combat search and rescue. The majority of pararescuemen fall under traditional rescue squadrons in Air Combat Command. A small number of PJ’s are assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command and are vital members of Special Tactics teams leading personnel recovery operations for U.S. Special Operations Command. To join this elite group of warriors talk to a Special Warfare recruiter and visit Airforce.com/SpecialWarfare.

Pararescueman waiting for transport

PJ PRIMARY FUNCTION

A PJ’s primary function is as a personnel recovery specialist, with emergency medical capabilities in humanitarian and combat environments. PJ’s deploy in any available manner, to include air-land-sea tactics, into restricted environments to authenticate, extract, treat, stabilize, and evacuate injured personnel while acting in an enemy-evading, recovery role. Learn more about pararescue here.

PHYSICAL ABILITY AND STAMINA TEST

8 pull-ups under 2 minutes
50 sit-ups under 2 minutes
40 push-ups under 2 minutes
1.5 miles under 10 minutes 20 seconds
2x25 Underwater Swim (pass/fail)
500m Surface Swim under 12 min 30sec

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A PJ?

Pararescuemen endure some of the toughest training offered in the U.S. military. They complete the same technical training as EMT-paramedics, plus specialized training which takes about a year and a half to complete.

TRAINING

Their training as well as their unique mission, earns them the right to wear the scarlet beret. When they join Special Tactics community, they receive additional training to support U.S. Special Operations Command assets. Their training includes:

Pararescuemen gathering their equipment prior to flight

SPECIAL WARFARE PREPARATORY COURSE (SW PREP)

Candidates undergo intense strength training by running, rucking, and swimming extensively. They will also learn about the rich history of Special Warfare, Esprit De Corps and ultimately take the Physical Ability and Stamina Test (PAST) to see if they will move on to tech training.

SPECIAL WARFARE PRE-DIVE COURSE

Because an emergency cn occur in the middle of the ocean, PJs must be expert divers. This course physically and mentally prepares candidates for the rigors of upcoming combat dive school.It consist of intense calisthenics, middle- and long- distance running, swimming and, most importantly, water-confidence training.

SPECIAL WARFARE COMBAT DIVE COURSE

Building upon what they learned during the pre-dive course, PJs undergo extensive combat dive training so they can render medical aid whenever, wherever.

AIRBORNE SCHOOL

When an aircraft goes down, it's often in the middle of nowhere, which means PJs must airdrop in to help the survivors. During airborne training, they learn basic parachuting and prepare for static line jump operations.

MILITARY FREE-FALL COURSE

In addition to being certified paramedics, PJ's are also advanced skydivers. This is where they take that next step by building on the training they received at airborne school.

SERE TRAINING

Special Warfare Airmen conduct missions in some of the most extreme and hostile places on the planet. This is why they receive survival, evasion, resistance and escape training.

PARARESCUE EMT-B COURSE

The primary job of a PJ is to provide medical aid to downed personnel. This is the first step in how to do that by learning basic emergency medical training.

PARARESCUE EMT-P COURSE

After obtaining the fundamentals of emergency medicine, PJ candidates continue onto advanced medical training where they learn additional lifesaving procedures in pressure situations in order to become certified paramedics.

PARARESCUE APPRENTICE COURSE

PJ's are combat medics and rescue specialists who will often find themselves in the middle of a war zone. This is where they learn to apply their training under pressure while obtaining fundamental combat skills utilizing a range of weapons and strategies.