SERE School sucks, no getting around it, no beating around the bush here. It isn’t fun and isn’t meant to be. That said, SERE is critically important training for any soldier who could find himself (or herself) trapped behind enemy lines, such as pilots and Special Operations personnel. SERE stands for Survival, Escape, Resistance, and Evasion. During the three week block of instruction, you are trained on each of these skills.
The first week of SERE is the survival portion, in which you spend about a week living out in the woods getting classroom instruction and hands on training. For those interested in this type of training, but unable to attend SERE, the curriculum is mostly based off of The SAS Survival Handbook by John “Lofty” Wiseman. This would also be a good book for future SERE students to read and get a leg up on the course. This way, you can have have your questions about the material ahead of time to ask the instructors once you get to SERE.
My favorite part of SERE was the Escape and Evasion or E&E training. You can only imagine what this might entail. As far as the Resistance part of the school, sorry, I can’t talk about that. But let’s dispel a few myths while we are on this subject. The last five or six days of the course consist of a field training exercise in which students have to apply all of their training. What starts as an E&E scenario ends with the students getting captured and imprisoned in a mock POW camp. So here are a few of my favorite misconceptions:
Nearly everyone in my class said they wish that type of training was given earlier on in their careers. Maybe even a week or so of SERE type training as part of AIT.
Minou_Demimonde Not sure how Durant personally thanked the colonel for saving his life in 1993 when he died in May of 1989. But that would have been a great end to the movie!
Michael Durant said that SERE probably saved his life. He got to thank Colonel Rowe personally for it a few years after he returned from Mogadishu.
So we tell you and you have the opportunity to go, we just made that one moment, uneventful. None of us cried, that was just excessive sweat beading up. I did cry when Santa Claus (if you went through late 80s-mid 90s) turned out to be a Communist and I think I ate some parts of Rudolph. Captain America comes out this weekend, do you want me to tell to you how it ends? I had a LCPL USMC on my E&E team and he cried happy tears when we told him that road kill Snake was on the menu.
No details provided for no other reason than to allow the men following us to get the full enjoyment and impact of the course. Saying that, all TF pilots had all the intel.