The career as a Pararescueman does not equate to civilian jobs per se. Many of former Operators have become involved in firefighting, medical careers (MD, PA, RN, Paramedic, etc.), law enforcement, government security, civilian contractors for overseas security firms, just to name a few. The mere fact that you were a PJ does not mean you are uniquely qualified for any of these jobs; however … a common thread that is embodied in the career field is that of discipline. The discipline to do whatever is needed without regard to one’s own needs and desires. This discipline is regarded in the Military and civilian sector as an invaluable asset to any company or any potential employer. That fact that I was a PJ does not make me a better ER clinician. My career choice DOES however, give me a calmness, confidence, willingness, and desire to give 100% ALL THE TIME and this simple fact makes me an invaluable asset to my emergency room, my patients and staff. Just as the former PJ who is a firefighter in Portland Oregon is an indispensable asset to his fire battalion. When the time comes to act or re-act we choose to act rather than re-act to the situation no matter what the risks.
Many persons choose a career in the Military as a stepping stone to the future in the civilian sector. There is nothing wrong with this. This is simply keeping with the society norm of “what can the world provide for me.” A Pararescueman is a person with a unique perspective of self sacrifice who generally does not see the world in terms of mere black and white. He views the world as a shade of gray. There are many ways to overcome an obstacle and a Pararescueman WILL improvise, adapt, and overcome anything to the completion of the mission.
That is why we are regarded so highly in Spec Ops, conventional Military, and civilian sectors.
When I retired, I had many offers from firms all across the US and around the world. Not because I “was a PJ”… no…I received those offers because I AM a Pararescueman. I am disciplined, I have the heart of a warrior, and I WILL do what ever is necessary to complete the mission…whatever that mission may be.
Courage is not the absence of fear... but the conquest of it.