Most of what we write here at deals with the training side of the house. What you’ll need to do to pass the Selection and Assessment courses. But today we’ll leap ahead to the second phase of the Special Forces Qualification Course or SFQC for Special Forces students and talk about SERE training.

Since the Army revamped the training and made SERE a part of the SFQC about a decade ago, every prospective SF soldier goes thru it before their patrolling phase (Phase III). And it makes more sense, in the old days, candidates would go through a survival portion of the training and then after graduation, selected members would get tasked to attend SERE. Now everyone does and it allows training for the entire force.

The only drawback is, the survival portion of the SFQC was very good training that candidates did on their own. They had a lot of tasks to complete while isolated in a survival situation. Now the survival training is done in groups. But apparently, the school didn’t think it was as important as in the past. Times change…

Breaking the Myths of What SERE Is and Isn’t: SERE School is a training program to teach military members, Department of Defense civilians and military contractors survival skills, training in evading capture and the military’s Code of Conduct.

The JFLSWC’s SERE course focuses its training on:

  • Code of conduct applications in wartime, peacetime, governmental and/or hostage detention environments
  • General survival skills
  • Evasion planning
  • Resistance to exploitation & political indoctrination
  • Escape planning

But we must get the BS out of the way. Like everyone else, we read what is out there in social media. And the myths that are perpetrated about SERE rival those of Selection.  You’ve seen all of these myths and some of you candidates have probably already repeated them without realizing they are false.

Myth #1, the Cadre are allowed to break one bone in your body: Really? I was going to use more colorful language but suffice to say, that this is total horse dump. I’ve even seen the “It may just a small one like a pinky”…. Jeez. No one is breaking bones out there, folks. We don’t do it to detainees in Gitmo, we’re not going to purposely break the bones of future Special Operations troops.

Myth #2 SERE is a “Torture” School designed to break you: Wrong again. It isn’t a torture school at all. It is tough, it will push you in ways you probably haven’t been pushed before and it isn’t fun. But when all is said and done, SERE is one of those courses that no one wants to go to but looks back upon it as a great learning experience. Treat it as such and learn from it. That is what is designed to do.