airr

Sailors carry a man from an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Red Lions of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 15 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson after completing a rescue-at-sea mission.

Do you want to save pilots of downed aircraft, people aboard stranded or capsized vessels at sea, or even hikers and mountain climbers in danger on land? That’s the duty of a Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmer.

According to my Petty Officer:

in order to score competitively I need to be able to

  • do the swim in 7 minutes or less
  • finish the run in 10:20 or less (that’s the easy part)
  • do 62 push ups
  • do 72 sit ups
  • and my bare minimum 5 pull ups.

Starting Thursday he’s going to train me personally (swimming especially. I suck) and when he feels confident in my abilities, he’ll fill out the medical clearance paperwork so I can participate in the PST.

I’m done messing around. It’s time to get serious. I bought a pull up bar for my room, I’m going to continue working out with my personal trainer as often as I can (on top of Petty Officer PT days) and the days that I don’t work out with my Petty Officer I’ll wake up at 0600 do a few laps around my neighborhood (there’s this gnarly hill that I run up and down. I refer to it as “my bitch”) then head back home and do sets of push ups and sit ups.

No excuses. There is no reason why I can’t do this every morning.

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“So others may live.”

On Saturday at 0600 I’m meeting the SEAL Candidates in Laguna to train with them. I’m the only girl and I’ve already been forewarned that some of the guys are a little skeptical about me coming along. This makes me nervous as hell, but at the same time more determined to show them that I’m not messing around. I’m obviously not anywhere near as physically fit as they are but I’m hoping my effort will count for something. I just want this more than anything.

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As you probably guessed, training to become an Aviation Rescue Swimmer is difficult. But what makes it tough? Chief David Natiola has answers.

Send your questions about Navy life to our inbox, or post them on Twitter/Instagram using #AskASailor.

After some words of wisdom from a fellow girl AIRR hopeful,

I’m going to talk to my recruiter about getting the medical clearance to participate in the PST and (with any luck) GET THAT CONTRACT.

I may not be physically up to standard. Hell, I don’t even think I can do one pull up…but man I want this. I want it so much.

I figured it out: there are 5 PSTs left before November. If I can show up to all of them, put all I’ve got into it, they’ll either see the effort and give me a chance or the PST will speed up the getting in shape process and that will get me the contract.

Either way, my time is extremely limited. It’s worth it though. It’s so worth it.