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Friday, September 19 2014 @ 08:49 AM PDT

At Minimum

PJ StuffJust a note for those of you seeking to qualify for pararescue...

I had a good conversation with someone today regarding the PAST. Long story short, don't just meet the minimums. If you can't function at that level on a regular basis, you'll never make it through the pipeline. Those requirements are only the starting place for PJ candidates. You will have to be far tougher to make it through.

Also, mix up the order of the workouts. You never know how they'll mix things up for the PAST. If you can meet or beat all the requirements in any order, then you might be ready.

If you're sleep deprived or hung over and you can meet or beat the requirements in any order, then you might be ready.

There are reasons so many guys get flushed out of the pipeline. If you will be a PJ, you have to make other people's best unacceptable in your own life. No excuses. No indecision. You show up and get it right because you know that people's lives will depend upon you.

If you can't do that, don't waste the instructors' time.

There are several reasons why I'm not active in EMS now, but at the core, I stopped fighting for it because I knew I had weaknesses that could harm others. That's my bottom line. I'm good at many things but I'm more fragile than I want to be. I know my limitations.

When I was going through BLS training, I remember one guy questioning why I chose to keep practicing rather than get in line for the test. I looked at him and said, "because I never want somebody to die because I'm not good enough at this." (For the record, I was one of the few who passed the exam on first attempt.)

There are a lot of reasons guys pursue pararescue. Most of those reasons can get you through the minimums but will fall apart during INDOC. But the physical and mental toughness required will come from the sure knowledge that weakness will get people killed. You have to see their faces in your mind and know whether you can be tough enough to help them.

For the record, here are the minimums:


Must be a male US Citizen with a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate
Must have a general score on the ASVAB of at least 44
Must be able to pass a Class III Flying Physical with normal color vision and depth perception and meet the hearing and vision requirements
Vision limits: 20/70 one eye & 20/200 other or 20/100 both; correctable 20/20
Must be able to pass the PJ PAST

EVENT....................................TIME...................................REST
2x25m Underwater.................Pass/Fail (3 min intervals)..10 Minutes
500 Meter swim......................<1007................................30 Minutes
1.5 MILE Run..........................<947..................................10 Minutes
10 Pull-ups..............................1 Minute.................................3 Minutes
54 Sit-ups................................2 Minutes...............................3 Minutes
52 Push-ups............................2 Minutes...............................3 Minutes


Again, if you can't do these backwards and forwards, hung over and starving....Either you have a dangerous weakness or you're not trying hard enough.

Are you a PJ or the guy they rescue?

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