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What steps should I take to become a pararescueman?

I am a 15 year old female in the 10th grade and I want to know what I should do to start becoming a pararescueman. How early should I start preparing? What is the minimum ASVAB score to be able to become a pararescueman? Tips on preparation?

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Ajay’s Answer

Hi please see:
1) Pararescuemen (also known as PJs) are United States Air Force airmen who conduct personnel recovery and combat search and rescue operations as well as other missions for the U.S. military and its allies. Highly trained special operators, PJs are generally assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and Air Combat Command (ACC)
2)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Air_Force_Pararescue
https://www.airforce.com/careers/combat-and-warfare/special-warfare/pararescue
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Thank you comment icon Thank you, Ajay! Courtney
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Edward’s Answer

Courtney,
I'm a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and I'm encouraged by your enthusiasm. I was not in Special Operations but I have friends who were and I have the greatest respect for them.

The first thing you have to be clear on if you want Pararescue (PJ) is that it is a life of service. You go into it because you want to serve are willing to give your life if you need to in order to save someone else. That's the core of all we do in the Air Force, but it's especially true for PJs.
The second thing you have to be clear on is that you may not get to be a PJ, even if you are promised the pipeline on entry. You may wash out of training, you may get injured, or the needs of the Air Force may change. There are no guarantees so make sure that you are willing to serve in any capacity before you join.
The third thing is that PJ will be a test of your will every day, if you don't ABSOLUTELY want it then you will not get through the training.

Ok, so to answer your questions on how to prepare for PJ, you need to get yourself into top physical shape, you need to have the best grades you can, have an ASVAB of at least 31, and meet the physical requirements including vision.

For being in good shape, you have to be able to run fast and far, have lots of strength (especially leg strength), and you have to be able to swim long distances. Train hard in these areas.

For grades, make sure you have not only good grades but also have lot of extracurricular involvement that shows leadership, captain of a team, officer in numerous clubs, etc. Having a job outside of school shows that you can handle multiple tasks and prioritize. An EMT certification will show advanced training in an area that directly applies to PJ.

For ASVAB and physical requirements, research all you can online for the specialized fitness tests that PJs, TAC-Ps, and other special operators need to take.

Start preparing now. To qualify you need to beat out the most physically people in the Air Force so you need to be prepared. The Air Force had its first woman qualify for Combat Controller training 2 years ago so it's possible, but it's very hard. Start now and, if you're truly committed, never give up.

Best,
Ed
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice! I really appreciate it! Courtney
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