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:
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About the Author
Jack Murphy is an eight year Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Free Fall team in 5th Special Forces Group.
Having left the military in 2010, he is now working towards a degree in Political Science at Columbia University. Murphy is the author of Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, the PROMIS series, and numerous non-fiction articles about Weapons, Tactics, Special Operations, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. He has appeared in documentaries, national television, and syndicated radio.