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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

USAF - My Son at Boot Camp

My Son Sean is currently at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in "Boot Camp" or Basic Military Training (BMT). He is in a squadron of 150 special force trainees. We received a call from his last Saturday, he said it is tough, not physically, but mentally. I didn't expect to hear that it was easy.

Much of my Boot Camp I had forgotten (almost 30 years ago for me), but I do remember that on graduation day, I felt such great pride for my country, the military, and the USA, that it is almost beyond what I can describe. To this day, I have never felt such deep pride and emotion as on that day. I have heard similar words from so many who have endured BMT. It must have something to do with how they strip you down from prideful individuality and rebuild you as part of a team, and part of something much bigger and greater than  most have ever experienced before. 

The military was a great force in helping me on my journey transitioning from that of a boy,  to that of a man, and instilled certain values, virtues, and beliefs than to this day are at my core.

I am excited to watch as Sean is transformed in a similar process, taking what we have helped form, pounding down some, and sharpening. His adult journey has now begun and there is no better place to start than the United States Air Force!

After BMT, Sean is then off to Indoc!

The 'Pipeline'

  • Pararescue Preparatory Course
    2 weeks, Lackland AFB, TX

    This two-week course provides physical training under the oversight of sports physiologists and swimming trainers to familiarize and teach the trainees the required skills to succeed in the indoctrination course to follow.
  • The PARARESCUE/Combat Control Indoctrination Course
    10 weeks, Lackland AFB, TX

    The mission of the I-Course is to recruit, train, and select future PARARESCUEMEN and Combat Controllers. At this school you will participate in extensive physical conditioning with lots of swimming, running, weight training and calisthenics. This course helps prepare you for the rigors of training and the demands of these lifestyles. Other training accomplished at this course includes physiological training, dive physics, metric manipulations, medical terminology, dive terminology, history of PJ's and CCT, and leadership laboratories. Graduation of this course is "your ticket to ride" the pipeline and begin learning those special skills that make PJ's highly regarded special operators.
  • US Army Airborne School
    3 weeks, Fort Benning, GA

    Here you learn the basic parachuting skills required to infiltrate an objective area by static line airdrop. This course includes ground operations week, tower week, and jump week where you make 5 actual parachute jumps. Personnel who complete this training are awarded the basic parachutist rating and are allowed to wear the coveted parachutists wings.
  • USAF Combat Diver Course
    6 weeks, Panama, FL

    Here you become a combat diver and learn to use SCUBA to infiltrate areas surrounded by water undetected. This course provides training to depths of 130 ft, stressing development of maximum underwater mobility under various operating conditions.
  • US Navy Underwater Egress Training
    1 day, Pensacola NAS, FL

    This course teaches how to safely escape from an aircraft that has ditched in the water. Instruction includes principles, procedures, and techniques necessary to get out of a sinking aircraft. Training requires personnel to actually experience water entry in a training device and perform underwater egress.
  • US Air Force Basic Survival School
    2 ½ weeks, Fairchild AFB, WA

    This course teaches basic survival techniques for remote areas - using minimal equipment. This includes instruction of principles, procedures, equipment, and techniques which enable individuals to survive, regardless of climatic conditions or unfriendly environments, and return home.
  • US Army Military Freefall Parachutist School
    5 weeks, Fort Bragg, NC and Yuma Proving Grounds, AZ

    This course instructs freefall parachuting (HALO) using the high performance ram air canopy. The course provides wind tunnel training, in-air instruction focusing on student stability, aerial maneuvers, air sense, and parachute opening procedures. Each student receives a minimum of 30 freefall jumps including 2 day and 2 night jumps with oxygen equipment and field gear.
  • Paramedic Course
    22 weeks, Kirtland AFB, NM

    This course teaches how to manage trauma patients prior to evacuation and provide emergency medical treatment. The course consists of two phases. Phase I is 15 weeks of Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B) training. Phase II consists of 17 weeks of instruction in minor field surgery, pharmacology, combat trauma management, advanced airway management, and military evacuation procedures are taught. Upon graduation, an EMT-Paramedic certification is awarded through the National Registry.
  • PARARESCUE Recovery Specialist Course
    24 weeks, Kirtland AFB, NM

    Qualifies airmen as PARARESCUE recovery specialists for assignment to any PARARESCUE unit worldwide. Training includes EMT-Paramedic certification, field, mountaineering, combat tactics, advanced parachuting, and helicopter insertion/extraction qualifications. At the completion of this course, each graduate is awarded the maroon beret.
Thank you for Serving Our Country in the USAF Sean.

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