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#35219 - Sun Jan 22 2006 17:39 PM Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
smeetooie3 Offline
New Member

Registered: Thu Dec 08 2005
Posts: 2
I'm looking to enlist in the military and have a go at Special Ops, but I'm stuck on whether I want to shoot for PJ or to be a Green Beret medical sergeant. Does anybody know what differences there are between the medical training of a PJ and that of a medical sergeant?

Also, could anyone tell me if there are PJs deployed overseas right now, like in Afghanistan, Iraq or Korea?

Any help would be much appreciated - thanks!

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#35220 - Sun Jan 22 2006 19:25 PM Re: Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
turkeyleg Offline
New Member

Registered: Fri Feb 21 2003
Posts: 2
Okay Chachi here's one major difference: if you go Green Beret you'll be in the Army. While I have great respect for the green machine, there is something to be saidfor air power. The second difference might be in what your definition of "Special" is. Let's face it there are literally thousands of green berets, thousands of Rangers, and tens of thousands of regular army jamokes; but as far as PJs go, you'll be one of just about 400. No one can argue the capabilities of the special forces 18D. Their medical training is intense and lasts nearly twice as long as that of a PJ but again the two missions are different. The SF medic needs to know how to burn genital warts of of some AIDS infected native's ----- in a dark closet 100 miles away from any additional medical support. For the most part PJs need to be able to handle multi-system trauma in a mass casualty environment, triage patients, and provide continuous treatment en route to a medical facility. As rescue specialist we are also tasked with pilot recovery and assisted evasion. Let's not over look the peacetime mission as well. PJ operate as search and rescue specialist in conjunction with a slew of humanitarian civil taskings to include rescues in support of Katrina, confined space rescue expertise when the world Trade Center Collapsed, at the pentagon, and the highway collpse during the (1989?) California earthquakes just to name a miniscule few. To tell you the truth until recently you couldn't even go straight into SF you had to be at least an E-4P (corporal) with some time elsewhere under your belt. You might want to get those details clarified before you sign anything. In any event good luck with whatever road you choose, I'll just leave you with this one last thought...some choose the road less traveled just because they know it to be a harder road. Those hard headed men become PJs. If it was easy everyone would do it.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Fugedaboutit

#35221 - Sun Jan 22 2006 20:23 PM Re: Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
ranger22 Offline
New Member

Registered: Tue Dec 20 2005
Posts: 8
Well...I worked with 20th SFG (Special forces Group)in Afghanistan and worked with some PJ's while I was there on various missions. Let me tell you bro...just about every single 18D I know wishes that they were a PJ. Not only bc the Air Force treats their people infinitely better then the Army does, but they get HALO and SCUBA upfront(as a green beret you have to request those schools, and you won't always get them), have a better defined mission, and they get used what they train for in combat and peacetime environments..... Additionally, not all 18D's recieve their EMT certification. It all depends on the class you are in at the Special Forces Qual Course at Bragg. If you wanna be a SOF Medical Soldier. Go PJ. That's my bottom line advice from someone whose had a solid look at both sides.

#35222 - Sun Jan 22 2006 21:26 PM Re: Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
ninjase Offline

Registered: Sun Apr 04 2004
Posts: 109
Loc: TX
(not a PJ) but from what ive read, 18Ds are shooters first and medics second, and their medical care is primarily focused on providing care for their teammates and also heavy on providing care for the people that the SF trains (which is one of the primary missions of SF, to train indigious forces). PJs on the other hand are medics first, and shooters second, since youre primarily there just to get people out of a sh--y situation as quickly as possible (i suppose this somtimes different for some STT PJs?). So if you want to be a medic more than an infantryman, go PJ. if you want to be an infantryman more than a medic, go SF. (in my amatuer opinion, that is)

Edited by ninjase (Sun Jan 22 2006 21:28 PM)

#35223 - Mon Jan 23 2006 19:29 PM Re: Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
ranger22 Offline
New Member

Registered: Tue Dec 20 2005
Posts: 8
You also have to keep in mind that most SFODA's (Special Forces Teams) have very specific missions. One team could specialize in Mountain Warfare, while the other is strictly a CSAR or Foreign Internal Defense (FID) a HALO a SCUBA a W9 (HALO/SCUBA) you get the point. The extent of the 18D's responsibilities are extremely diverse depending upon the mission that his team is assigned. PJ missions are limited to the extent of CSAR. However, ninjase is correct in the observation that 18D's are also infantrymen to a large extent...Any Special Forces soldier, including 18D's, has the option to request schools like the Special Forces Urban Assualt Course (SFUAC) or the Special Operaions Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC aka SF sniper school). Both awesome schools that PJ's would probably never get a chance to go to.

#35224 - Tue Jan 24 2006 07:41 AM Re: Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
tgb85 Offline
New Member

Registered: Thu May 12 2005
Posts: 56
I have not met any 18Ds, but every PJ I have met loves their job. Sometimes you have to get the words strait from the hourses mouth.

#35225 - Tue Jan 24 2006 14:18 PM Re: Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
smeetooie3 Offline
New Member

Registered: Thu Dec 08 2005
Posts: 2
Thanks for the advice, guys.

#35226 - Wed Jan 25 2006 20:50 PM Re: Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
PJ2PA Offline


Registered: Sun Mar 18 2001
Posts: 248
Now you see, this is what happens when a bunch of never BTDT wanna-be's sit around and talk BS...(ninja and herlihy)

18D, Green BEret is a MEDIC first, and is not a primary shooter. "Ensures detachment medical preparation and maintains medical equipment and supplies, provides examination and care to detachment members and establishes temporary, fixed and unconventional warfare medical facilities to support operations with emergency, routine, and long term medical care. Provides initial medical screening and evaluation of allied and indigenous personnel. Manages detachment, allied, or indigenous patient's, administration, admission and discharge, care, laboratory and pharmacological requirements and the initiation, maintenance and transfer of records. Orders, stores, catalogs, safeguards and distributes medical supplies, equipment and pharmaceutical. Supervises medical care and treatment during split detachment missions. Operates a combat laboratory and treats emergency and trauma patients in accordance with established surgical principles. Diagnoses and treats various medical dermatological, pediatric, infectious and obstetric conditions using appropriate medications, intravenous fluid support and physical measures. Develops and provides medical intelligence as required."

18D PRIMARY mission on the ODA is providing MEDICAL care to the team and the indigenous personnel they work with to win the hearts and minds.


Therefore Mr. "while the other is strictly a CSAR" Herlihy22

Clearly, no ODA team is tasked strictly with CSAR. If a priority recovery mission occurs in the same AOR that an ODA happens to be in, then the most effecient means to recover an isolated individual is utilized.

Pararescuemen are not medics. Specifically they do not carry the USAF 4N identifier for medics and do not fall under the Geneva Convention category of medic. PJs are recovery specialists that have a required capability, one of many capabilities) to provide battlefield trauma care --not medicine-- to isolated personnel and as applicable save life and limb for injured team mates. The PRIMARY mission focus of pararescue is recovery of personnel, CSAR is just one of many recovery mechanisms that are utilized to make that happen. Every PJ is AIRBORNE/MFF/SCUBA qualified as a possible method to get into/out of the area where an isolating event has occured .... because isolation generally means in a place you can not simply drive to in a HUMVEE or land in a helicopter. So a recovery team must jump in, or rope in, or swim in, or climb to, or ruck overland out of

....because if it were easy to get to the isolated personnel and get them out, then the commander could assign the mission to an asset with less capability than a PJ team.

Just so you never been there done that (BTDT) readers get it..., 18D is a medic and ODAs are not organized, trained or equipped to perform CSAR as a core task. PJs are direct combatants, not medics and their primary focus (core task) is recovery of personnel and equipment when and where other assets CAN't get the job done!

By the way, did I mention that no other service has anything like a CRO or SERE specialist to work side by side with the PJ to make sure the entire PR event is sucessful.

That's what the USAF brings to the table, no other service even comes close.

This information is available to those that would like to read the facts about the CRO, PJ and SERE mission rather than hear wanna-be rumor and opinion, just google AFPD 16-12 for PJ and AFPD 16-13 for SERE, both policy documents apply to CRO.

Next time get your facts together before you lay out information about Pararescue in a forum dedicated to this career field.

#35227 - Wed Jan 25 2006 21:05 PM Re: Differences Between PJ and Green Beret Training
Triplethreat07 Offline
New Member

Registered: Fri Sep 02 2005
Posts: 45
Loc: Beale AFB
Great facts, points and info PJ2PA! seems like you really know what you are talking about, lots of interesting stuff in there good to see someone with the facts....
Happiness... is a Warm Gun (bang bang shoot shoot) - Beatles


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