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JBSA-Lackland SERE cadre opens doors to recruiters

By 1st Lt. Kayshel Trudell | Air Force Special Operations Command | April 12, 2019

The 66th Training Squadron’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape cadre at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland hosted recruiters from the 330th Special Operations Recruiting Squadron March 28.
The recruiters were given the immersion tour to witness what SERE candidates at their training facility experience to provide them a perspective for identify prospective Airmen for the SERE career field.

“Our goal is to recruit high quality candidates who would be a good fit for special warfare career fields,” said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Geren, 330th SRC, Special Operations Recruiting Flight Chief. “Today’s experience with the SERE cadre was invaluable and will make our team more effective recruiters. We will take back with us more knowledge to provide to potential trainees along with insight of who would make a competitive candidate and how we can help prepare interested individuals to be successful in the SERE pipeline.”

The pipeline begins with the SERE Specialist Training Orientation Course, which runs 15 days and is focused on Airmen interested in becoming SERE specialists. Upon successful completion of the course, candidates are sent to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, to attend the SERE Specialist Training Course, which is a 22-week follow program.

During the visit, recruiters toured the SERE classroom and examined training equipment and the SERE physical training facility while members of the cadre explained what the course is like and how candidates are graded throughout training.

“It’s our job to make sure that the members we send to the Basic SERE Training and Apprentice Course are the right candidates for this very challenging training,” said Justin Samaniego, 66th Training Squadron instructor. “Physical fitness is important, but just as important are the abilities to manage time, adapt and bounce back from failure and stay motivated.”

Recruiters also had the chance to experience a portion of the training, “rucking” two miles to get an idea of the physical stamina required of candidates. Here, the rucking is defined as candidates hiking four miles in under 60 minutes while carrying a 65-pound rucksack. Candidates must complete the ruck to continue to the next assessment milestone.

At the end of the march, SERE instructors brought the recruiters to a nearby wooded area and demonstrated shelter building techniques, demonstrating how to a create shelter from a parachute, poncho or other items that could be found in the environment.     

“It’s the responsibility of SERE specialists to be prepared to survive in any situation, in any environment,” said R.C. DeLano, 66th TRS program manager. “It’s their role as instructors to train Airmen across the force how to do the same.”

For more information on SERE, visit https://www.airforce.com/careers/detail/survival-evasion-resistance-and-escape-sere.