Excerpt from True Honor
At seven minutes after midnight, Chris gave up the battle and dialed the phone.
“You can’t sleep, either?” Claire said when she picked up the phone.
“Not for weeks, it seems.”
“Where are you?”
He smiled—it came hard. “Is that like what are you wearing?”
She laughed. “No, I just wondered if you were in bed.”
“That doesn’t sound much better, Captain.”
“I’m thinking that attorney-client relationship doesn’t include phone sex, Champ.”
He laughed. “That’s all right. I have a headache.”
“For weeks, it seems.”
“You want to come swim in my pool?” she said.
“It’s not closed for the night?”
“It’s not locked. What are they going to do, throw us in jail for swimming after midnight? I know a good lawyer or two. We’ll be out in five on good behavior.”
“I’ll meet you there in fifteen minutes. And Claire, be quiet about it.”
In the end, they didn’t swim much after the first burst of frustration had them racing. She was good. He was better.
Then, they sat on the steps in the pool—the water was warmer than the air—and talked.
He told her about the pipeline. She’d been unfamiliar with the nickname.
“It’s a succession of schools for pararescue—Superman School. Let’s see. Indoc. Airborne. Combat Diver. Underwater Egress.” He enumerated on his fingers. “Basic Survival. Freefall. Combat Medic. Recovery Specialist. We had to swim two thousand meters in open water in BDUs, drown proof. You name it, we did it. Few of us got through without drowning at least once.”
“I’ve heard you guys are actually better trained than SEALs.”
“Don’t let a SEAL hear you say that.”
A recent article from GruntStyle named the Air Force PJ school the hardest of all special forces schools.
Here’s the list from the Pararescue.com:
The process of becoming a PJ is informally known as ‘The Pipeline’. Almost two years long, it’s one of the longest special operations training courses in the world. It also has one of the highest attrition rates in the entire U.S. special operations community at approximately 80%.
Air Force Basic Military Training – 9 weeks
Air Force Pararescue / Combat Rescue Officer Indoctrination Course – 9 weeksAir Force Combat Diver Course – 6 weeks
Air Force Underwater Egress Training – 1 day
Air Force Basic Survival School – 3 weeks
Army Airborne School – 3 weeks
Army Military Freefall Parachutist School – 5 weeks
Air Force Pararescue EMT-Paramedic Course – 22 weeks
Air Force Pararescue Recovery Specialist Course – 24 weeks
You see why Claire was impressed? Better trained than SEALS? Well, don’t tell a SEAL that.