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Is PARARESCUE Training For You?

Could You Pass This Test?

Think you've got what it takes to be a PARARESCUEMAN? Find out by seeing if you can pass the PAST, that is, the Physical Abilities and Stamina Test. It's sort of a special ops SAT for the PARARESCUE pipeline. It's the bare minimum physical requirements for acceptance into the program and to advance through all of its phases. Proctors administer the test in the order listed, and it must be completed within three hours. You get three minutes of rest between each of the calisthenics.

  • Swim 25 meters underwater on one breath
  • Swim 1,000 meters sidestroke or freestyle in 26 minutes or under
  • Run 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes and 30 seconds
  • Pull off eight chin-ups in a minute or less
  • Do 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes or less
  • Pound out 50 push-ups in 2 minutes or less
  • Complete 50 flutter kicks in 2 minutes or less

If you're interested in taking the plunge into the PARARESCUE career field, call the PARARESCUE/Combat Control Selection Team at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, at (210) 671-2246/2247.

PARARESCUE Qualifications (revised September 2006)

Those interested in becoming a pararescueman must meet certain eligibility criteria. According to current Department of Defense policies, all candidates must be male and a U.S. citizen. A candidate must also be a high school graduate or equivalent, earn a score of at least 43 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test, be able to obtain a secret security clearance and be a proficient swimmer. Applicants must have normal color vision and the vision of their best eye must be at least 20/70 and their worst eye, 20/100, with each correctable to 20/20 (No Radial Keratotomy). Each applicant must also successfully complete the Physical Ability and Stamina Test (PAST), where individuals must show they can perform a 500-meter swim in 15 minutes or less, six pull ups in one minute or less, 50 sit ups in two minutes or less, 42 push ups in two minutes or less and a one and a half mile run in less then 11 minutes, 30 seconds.

Want to stand out and do more than the minimum?
Here are some things to you should be able to do...

  • Run 3 miles in under 21:00
  • Do 50-60 picture perfect pushups in 2:00
  • Do 100-130 situps over a 4:00 minute period
  • Do 12 perfect, deadhang pullups or chinups
  • Swim 1500 meters in under 28:00

By expressing an interest in PARARESCUE, you are taking a big step into a job with high demands, but strong rewards. Wearing the maroon beret is a distinction bestowed on very few men. It recognizes dedication to training and personal sacrifice. A trainee must prove he can be trusted to perform the mission no matter what the difficulty or personal risk. To deviate from this requirement puts the lives of many at risk. We demand the best from our force. In making your decision about becoming a PARARESCUEMAN, carefully consider the following:

  • Analyze why you want to be a PARARESCUEMAN. If the challenge of parachuting, SCUBA diving, outdoor life, and a fast paced lifestyle appeals to you, then you will probably be successful in this career. However, if you desire prestige and money - then you're making the wrong choice.

  • You must understand the role played by your distinctive career choice. We support critical missions with a relatively small force. This environment demands your understanding that, "the mission comes first", often causing sacrifices to personal desires and interests.

  • It is essential your family understands why you are coming into PARARESCUE and what it means to you. You will be away from your family for almost a year during training and routinely throughout your career. Gaining their understanding and encouragement is vital.

  • The most important asset a trainee can have is positive attitude. People say our training program is 20% physical and 80% mental, that is true! Even the strongest individual will fail if he has the wrong attitude. You must have a positive "can do" attitude.

  • Adaptability and flexibility are important. You must be capable and willing to adapt to diverse mission requirements, environments, and working hours. You must be flexible and rapid to change. Change and crisis management are a part of this lifestyle.

  • Physical fitness is crucial to the successful accomplishment of the PARARESCUE mission. Physical conditioning will be stressed during training and throughout your career. Strive to get into excellent shape. Be consistent and dedicated to your training program.

  • You must be comfortable living outdoors. A great deal of our work is done in the field.

  • You must develop strong military bearing and discipline. You must learn informal and formal leadership techniques, and know how/when to use them.

  • You must become a team member and work well with your teammates. Your team is your life's blood; they could mean the difference between life and death during operational missions. Being a team member requires you to be sympathetic to your team's needs as well as your own. It also requires you to develop followership to effectively meet the expectations and demands of your leaders.

For more information, contact your local Air Force recruiter, or write/call:

PARARESCUE/Combat Control Selection Team
1780 Carswell Ave., Suite 2
Lackland Air Force Base, Texas 78236-5506
DSN 473-2246/2247 (Fax: 473-3475)
Commercial (210) 671-2246/2247 or 1-800-438-2696