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#47975 - Sat Oct 04 2008 19:21 PM Casualty Rate for PJ?
TheFatalist Offline
New Member

Registered: Sun Sep 21 2008
Posts: 1
I just was wondering if anyone knew the casualty rate for PJs?
It's not a matter of being afraid of the danger, I just want to know what to tell my wife and family.
The Fatalist

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#47982 - Sun Oct 05 2008 08:14 AM Re: Casualty Rate for PJ? [Re: TheFatalist]
Yukon Offline

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 2052
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
I've been retired from the Air Force and the being there performing pararescue duties since 1996, so I lack access to such data. The nature of the role and mission PJs performs is directly connected to being one of the high risk to life and limb in the Air Force during times-of-peace and times-of-armed-conflict.

The fact that it is among the few jobs the Air Force member must volunteer to do and in fact voluntarily do each day to remain a PJ and qualified to perform pararescue duties is a undeniable indicator that the being a PJ has risks in the line-of-duty disability or death type job whether it be participating in training or participating in a mission.

The pararescue AFSC is in the top 10% if not 5% of Air Force duty related injury statistics in any occupational health and safety study conducted by DOD or Air Force that I read during my 23 years of active duty being a PJ. The combat history of Medal of Honor, Air Force Crosses, Silver Stars, Bronze Stars with Valor awarded to members of the pararescue AFSC is another clear and distinct indicator of the potential combat perils and types of missions PJs perform during armed conflict.

I can not speak of concerns of your family which include spouse and potentially children; However, my parents and grandparents were told by me to butt out of my job choice and way of life after I graduated from BMT and changed a very good GTEP contract to volunteer to try to become a PJ. I was age 17 at the time I finished BMT and entered PJ Selection-Indoc course. One of my Grandmother's asked me every time I spoke to her to find a safer job throughout my 23 year career. My grandmother was born in 1909 and died in 2003. I only married once, am still married to the same woman, and my wife supported my career choice.

Not the specific numbers answer, but the only one I can give as I lack access to the statistics you are asking for.

#47983 - Sun Oct 05 2008 09:44 AM Re: Casualty Rate for PJ? [Re: Yukon]
Guard MC Offline

Registered: Sat Aug 09 2003
Posts: 1865
Loc: Louisville, Ky STS
More guys have died in training than in combat. We lose a couple of PJs and a couple of Controllers a year, whether in Combat or Trainng. It's not a high number but it's there.
Pararescue is inherantly dangerous. You are going to save people overcome by the situation they are already in, be that a ship going down in a storm, a pilot shot down in enemy territory, or an Infantryman in the middle of a fire fight.
Statistics mean nothing to me. You take your chances or you don't. Your number could be up in your first jump at Airborne School or you could go 30 years and never get hurt. We do everything we can to mitigate risk but in the end you take your chances or not. Those are the options.
Guard MC

#47992 - Sun Oct 05 2008 21:13 PM Re: Casualty Rate for PJ? [Re: TheFatalist]
VT41607 Offline
New Member

Registered: Mon Jul 21 2008
Posts: 46
Loc: around
Fatalist: According to Col Carney's book No Room For Error, SOFs suffered 37% of the U.S. combat fatalities during the quarter century preceding OIF. Since SOFs account for approximately 2% of the U.S. military's personnel, this means operators perished at a rate 15 times higher than that of their conventional brethren.

I know this pertains to all SOFs and not specifically PJs or Special Tactics but I hope this gives you a better perspective.


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