I just happened to stumble across this website while researching Airborne school and what to expect, and I'm very happy to have done so.
I just enlisted two weeks ago as a 27D Paralegal Specialist with Airborne in my contract. April 11th I ship to BCT at Ft. Sill, OK, followed by AIT at Ft. Jackson, SC, and finally Airborne at Ft. Benning.
Seeing as how I'm not a complete lost cause in the physical department and working on my Future Soldier program to get promoted to E-3, I'm not ridiculously worried about the requirements for Airborne... however I'm going to continue to maintain a minimum of a two-mile run per day before I ship to BCT.
I'd like to take the time to thank everyone for the much needed advise and information I recieved just from reading this thread. I can't wait for Airborne!!!
Myself and a few buddies here at Goodfellow AFB are looking to go to airborne school after we graduate (one month left!) We run the perimeter(little over 5 miles) every weekend at roughly a 8min/mile pace. A lot of soldiers tell me not to waste my time with it as its not a big deal being that we're intel and all.. I'm still excited to hopefully grab a slot when I get to my unit.
I know these thread started a few years ago, but for those looking for some advice. From my own experience, I thought Airborne School was hard.... and easy at the same time. Here are some of my tips, take them for what they are. The most important thing is preparation before you even get to Benning. Run, run, run. You will have a 3-5 mile most mornings in PTs and this does not include the 1-2 mile run you will make to get to the location where the actual run starts. Throughout the day you will also run another 3-4 miles to the various training and meal locations in your ACUs, boots and helmet. So get used to this as well. The PT test..... the first morning of Airborne school starts with a PT test. Be sure you can do the minimum push-ups while touching your chest to the ground and fully extending your arms. Some claim there is a "41 club" where the black hats will fail you no matter how many proper push-ups or sit-ups you have done to get the class size down. If you should happen to be one of these people, do not give up. I feel like this may have happened to me on the sit-up portion, but I did not quit. You will be given another chance the following week and the Army is still paying you while you wait for another chance, so who cares. I tried again the following week, passed with flying colors and moved on with my training. Also, listen to the Black Hats closely and pay attention to details. If they tell you to do something..... do it! No matter how silly it seems, some of this is for YOUR safety. I saw an E-7 kicked because he thought his rank excluded him from the No Jewelry rule. He decided to keep wearing his wedding ring and was kicked. One other piece of advice. Over the weekends a couple of my buddies and I would share a hotel room off base. If you are hanging around the barracks over the weekend, you might find yourself grabbed for a "hey you" detail or 24 hour CQ shift. Getting a hotel room avoided this and gave us a chance to just get away from the training environment and let our muscles recover. I would not suggest going out drinking or partying over the weekends. You will have plenty of time to do this after Airborne School and Columbus is a crappy town to party in anyway. So.... as long as you can run, listen to detail and NOT QUIT, you should have no problems graduating and wear those wings proudly on your chest.
hi. i leave for basic jan 31, i want to know what i can do to get ready for airborne school and basic?
Originally posted by sarabeth1981: I know this is an old post, but I just had to reply. SGT T, as a female who graduated jump school, your comments deeply offend me. First of all, you are setting this girl up for failure by telling her it's easy. Secondly, I worked my butt off to get my wings, so I don't appreciate having my hard work undermined like that. Statistically, airborne school has one of the highest attrition rates out of all the schools, ESPECIALLY for females. We started with about 40 girls and graduated 4. Most washed out in the initial PT test. They are pretty strict with standards (i.e. pushup form, etc.). Also, when I went through, we had to do a pullup to get in, not sure if that is still a standard, but go there being able to do at least a few just to be safe. The runs, contrary to what SGT T said, are not slow, and there is a killer hill on one of the tracks. They do run it at a faster pace than they are supposed to...supposedly they aren't supposed to be able to drop people from the class for a run that's over like I think a 9 minute mile, but they do it anyway. Trust me, it's no 9 minute mile. I was in the best shape of my life there, not an ounce of fat on me, and I could max my PT test, and I still had some trouble with the running. The rest of the girls we lost it was almost 100% from the running. But just push yourself through it and it's over fast. You can fall out of 2 runs I believe, But it's better not to fall out of any. The training itself isn't too bad, but it's pretty physically exhausting as well. Plus all of the falling down and getting back up you'll be doing will make you pretty sore. Bring ibuprofin and Icy Hot. Airborne school is NOT easy, but it was so worth it. It's not impossible by any means. It's only 3 weeks...It really boils down to how bad you want those wings, and how much temporary physical discomfort you're willing to put up with to get them. And yes, a lot of the challenge is mental too. As for being stationed at Bragg, not everyone there is airborne, but you have a pretty good chance of being sent to airborne school if you are stationed at Bragg and you request for your unit to send you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. SGT S
Airborne school is probably one of the easiest schools physically and mentally you can attend.
The APFT is the bare min, for male and female and that "41" bullcrap does not exsist. Just go all the way down and all the way up. The run is one a 1 mile track, 2 laps, too easy. No pullups.
The mandatory runs are so slow and trust me are not all the right distance, I run alot so I know what 3,4 and 5 mile run feels like esp. when I time the run.
Alot of girls fall out, why? You tell me. Expect a 9-9:30 mile pace.
Expect to run every where to chow, after to training, but its not a sprint, it a jog, "shuffle" calling cadence and half the Instructors are fat bodies.
You do pullups after you eat chow.
Going to airborne after Infantry Basic and AIT is not bad because you have so much more independence. Just leave the barracks and stay out of trouble because you may get pulled for details.
When it comes time to jump, if you are scared just jump. There is. 99% chance everything will go ok. Trust me.
Airborne school is a piece of cake. - show up able to pass the APFT no problem - be able to run at a 9min mile no problem - follow the simple instructions, timelines, uniforms, etc - lastly just JUMP, nice big exit, feet and knees together, and keeps your eyes on the horizion.
Hell, I don't even count when I exit, I open my chest strap, and I never PLF. I weigh 230lbs and land like a ball of cotton.
Well, I too want to put my thoughts in here. I went to Airborne school back in Feb of 1992. My MOS was a 43E (Which is now called a 92R)... A Parachute Rigger. So we were required to go through Airborne school BEFORE our AIT since we had to Jump during our AIT. That was a good thing for me as I was still in shape from Basic. I have always been athletic, but I HATED running. That, I say was the hardest part. The running. We ran EVERY WHERE! In Feb, it was winter, so we wore our full gear every where and we RAN every where. I remember running 7 min miles during PT. One of the things I did that helped a ton to keep up in the runs is run in front. Don't run in the middle or the back.... stay up front to keep a more steady pace. That helped alot. I was just 18 when I went through. I was and still AM terrified of heights.... but that was NOT an issue. When jumping, the ground does not look real from that far up. Just keep up with the running. We too started out with around 30 females, and only 5 of us graduated. The training itself was not hard.... it was just the running. That don't mean you don't have to pay attention.... It was more physical then anything. I am VERY Proud I am Airborne! :-) Good luck to everyone going to go through it! :-)
Hello everyone! Im so motivated to hear those stories, Im not setting up my mind as an easy thing to do, but not impossible either, however, few battle buddies from my platoon always make comments about how females are not suppose to be in the army, they are all "high-speed" enrolling in airborne, ranger, and doing great at the board and PT stud. However, I have maintain the standards, I have to work my butt double, Im older and my height is not really a compliment for those tall people who run 2mil in 13min without putting any effort, they seem to just run for fun or like theres nothing. And even tho they can make better, they just doing it like "watever" and that is something that gets my motivation low, even tho I have proof my PT score being great, and doing outstanding in some other areas, still I feel rejected by males always judging and criticizing females in the army in general. Any way, I just want to say, I am motivated to hear stories of females going airborne, I still dont have a date, but my packet is ready, and at my age (more than 30, almost to the age line to be accept in airborne school) I just would like to maintain my positive attitude, thanks everyone
Originally posted by Hockeymomshannon: Well, I too want to put my thoughts in here. I went to Airborne school back in Feb of 1992. My MOS was a 43E (Which is now called a 92R)... A Parachute Rigger. So we were required to go through Airborne school BEFORE our AIT since we had to Jump during our AIT. That was a good thing for me as I was still in shape from Basic. I have always been athletic, but I HATED running. That, I say was the hardest part. The running. We ran EVERY WHERE! In Feb, it was winter, so we wore our full gear every where and we RAN every where. I remember running 7 min miles during PT. One of the things I did that helped a ton to keep up in the runs is run in front. Don't run in the middle or the back.... stay up front to keep a more steady pace. That helped alot. I was just 18 when I went through. I was and still AM terrified of heights.... but that was NOT an issue. When jumping, the ground does not look real from that far up. Just keep up with the running. We too started out with around 30 females, and only 5 of us graduated. The training itself was not hard.... it was just the running. That don't mean you don't have to pay attention.... It was more physical then anything. I am VERY Proud I am Airborne! :-) Good luck to everyone going to go through it! :-)
Listen up! Airborne school 2011 is not like 1992.
Your advice is outdated.
Runs are not 7 min mile pace, if so, for the 1st 30 secs.
It's not very hard at all. Follow instructions and be in descent shape, that's slighty above military standard
Airborne is not hard nor is it easy. It has it's challenges but overall it's not hard. You have to stay motivated n dedicated. It's all on how bad you want it. As far as running it depends not the company your with but the runs are not fast it's 9+/-15 sec. Now I your running your 2 mile in 16 or less you should be fine. Just run alot before coming and be prepared for your body to be sore if your not fit. You must be fit. Push yourself and you cando it!
Personally, I felt Airborne School was possibly the most diverse and non-prejudicial of all Army schools I've been to. Non-prejudicial may be the wrong word. I'm trying to say that everyone was 100% equal there. It didn't matter what your race, creed, religion, height, weight, muscle build, age or gender were. Everyone there was held to the same standard to enter (Army PT standards for 18yr old Male), be able to make one pullup and hold for 10 seconds. If you didn't meet that standard, you didn't make it in.
At that point, if your body held up, you did not fall out of X amount of runs and successfully complete 5 jumps, you graduated. I don't know how much more of an equal playing ground you can get than that.
I graduated the United States Army Airborne School in 1993. My Airborne school was 4 weeks long at that time. What happened was I got there 1 week early and the "Black Hats" kept us running and working that extra week doing chores before the real school began.
When I started the school every bed in the barracks were taken up and so some had to sleep on the floor. By the end of the school there were plenty of empty bunks left over. In Basic Training, the Drill Sgts will push you through and they will only throw out the truly unqualified. However, in Airborne school they will throw you out even for minor violations of their rules and policies. For example, I remember whoever did not follow directions during the company photograph got thrown out for failure to follow directions.
When you got thrown out, they just didnt give you your papers and out the door, but they made you do the "duffel bag drag". They would call the entire training company to attention in the morning, the First Sgt came out and over a loudspeaker would be yelling "dont let that be you!". Then the soldier would drag their duffel bag full of stuff out the door in front of the company. Im not sure if they still do this. We had some very crazy Blackhats who were very passionate about their work and demanded a certain standard from us.
By the end of training, I was taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen a day because if we went to sick call they would toss us out. If they saw us limping they would toss us out. I didnt want to be seen limping and get thrown out. After graduation, I drove off of the post and to a local motel where I rested for a little while. I couldnt continue driving in the state of pain I was in.
There were 3 women in the company at the time. One of the women (an enlisted woman) appeared a little chunky to me and she got tossed out on a medical. There was another woman, a 2nd Lt, who also got tossed out on a medical. This woman seemed better in shape than the chunky woman, but was having leg problems. There was a taller more athletic woman who looked like Jackie Joyner Kersee and had the body. She weighed about 150 lbs and looked lean with all muscle. She passed.
There was a long list of men who didnt pass. One of the guys who didnt pass was a Marine Gunnery Sgt, another guy who didnt pass was a guy who was going to be moving on to Navy SEAL training or BUDS. I can tell you there were plenty of empty bunks by the end of Airborne School and there were lots of people doing the "Duffel Bag Drag".
If you love running and you know you are resistant to leg problems like shin splints, etc. than Airborne School is for you. In addition to dumping you on the ground hundreds of times in the saw dust pits from 5 feet in the air until you are bruised and battered, they will run you in formation around that track. They will run you just about everywhere and you cannot fall out. When I was there if you fell out, you got thrown out. If you fell out of the formation, you weren't following directions so you were gone.
The Blackhats really seemed passionate and were looking for any excuse to toss someone out. There was one guy who got drunk and urinated on the floor in the barracks. Not only was he thrown out, but they brought him up on charges. Then they put up a copy of those charges on the "Wall of Shame". That Wall was reserved for the people who truly messed up.
The biggest challenge of Airborne School was Fireguard. Yep! Fireguard. They required two people to watch each door during the night. If I remember correctly, there were 8 doors. They also had a CQ office which had to be staffed during the night with three people. Then on each floor they required 4 people. It seemed like every other night I was running fireguard and getting absolutely no sleep.
Getting into the chow line was a challenge because you couldnt get into the line without following the Blackhats orders. They would say when I say "hit it" then get into the chow line. Then they would scream "get into the chow line!", but they didnt say "hit it" and there would always be a few who ran into the chow line. Failure to follow directions. I remember there was one day when one of the Blackhats would be screaming into people's faces to get into the chow line, but again, he didnt say "hit it". It was a comedy, but one you couldnt laugh at at the time it was happening.
People would get frustrated and angry during the school, however, one of the rules was that you had to respect rank no matter what. Meaning that if you were an E-2 and the guy next to you was E-3 you had to respect them no matter how much of an ass they acted. I remember there was an E-4 who really made me an angry. A real ass, but I had to respect that rank as I was an E-3. Failure to respect rank and you do the drag in front of the company.
What else? Oh yeah the showers. Summer is very hot and humid in Georgia. So to protect you from overheating they would run you through these showers with your clothes on and then they would train you in the sand pit. There was also the classic "two canteens" where they get everyone in one big line and you had to drink both canteens on command. This was to make sure you were properly hydrated. You could not go to the bathroom unless it was a permitted bathroom break. This was challenging.
So if you want to get ready for Airborne School then run. Run 6-8 mile per day, stay lean and stay in shape. The Blackhats will not be helping you through the course. They will help you drop out of the course, but they will not help you through it and chances for injury are high.
Airborne School is one of the very few training courses in the military which has all branches and even some foreign military forces. It has officers, non-coms and enlisted all mixed into one. They do seem to treat the officers and non-coms a little better, but not much. Everyone has to meet the standard and follow directions to the letter otherwise you do the drag. There were a few officers doing that drag if I remember correctly.
Again, things might have changed since 1993 and my advice is probably outdated, but from what Im reading here there are still very high standards and its easy to get kicked out.