Marines with the Force Reconnaissance Detachment, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conduct a table two and three course of fire aboard the USS Makin Island during Certification Exercise at Camp Pendleton, California, June 15, 2014.
Pararescuemen, also known as PJs (Pararescue Jumpers), are United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and Air Combat Command (ACC) operatives tasked with recovery and medical treatment of personnel in humanitarian and combat environments. These special operations units are also used to support NASA missions and have been used to recover astronauts after water landings. They are attached to other SOF teams from all branches to conduct other operations as appropriate. Of the 22 enlisted Air Force Cross recipients, 12 are Pararescuemen. They wear the maroon beret as a symbol of their elite status, and to symbolize the blood shed by past PJs, as well as the blood current PJs are willing to shed to save lives.