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#2917 - 04/26/17 08:30 PM Intro- Prep for Indoc  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 8
IndocCommandant Offline
Operator
IndocCommandant  Offline
Operator

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 8
TX
Good afternoon, I am SMSgt Carpenter. I have been a PJ for 22 years, and the Commandant of PJ Indoc for the last four. I have seen a lot of students come through the course. Some successful... others not so much. There is a lot of good information on this site. I have joined this page to try to reduce any false rumors out there and to provide candidates with a dose of reality on what to expect. So what are the secrets to getting through Indoc? There are none.

However, I do have some thoughts on what worked for me and what worked for some of the graduates that have come through. 1- Mentality 2- Training 3- Timing

1- Mentality: Your mindset coming in will be a key factor. Figure out why you want to be a PJ. Think about it. If it's for money or fame you have picked the wrong job. If it's to help others, that's nice but there has to be more. There are many ways to make a contribution towards helping people that are far less difficult. If that's all you got, then it is too easy to get out of the pool when it gets tough. You should have a reason. Find your motivation. Adjust your mentality. If your mindset is that you are going to "give it a shot", your probability of success is low. When I came through, my mindset was that I'm going to crush this course. I'm not positive exactly what is going to be put in front of me, but it doesn't even matter. I will crush it!! My thought on every task was, "Just get out of the way Sgt and watch this!!" Of course I never said that, but that was my mindset.

"Airman Carpenter, mop this floor!!" My mindset was, "Roger that Sgt, watch this! It'll be mopped better and faster than anyone's ever done it!!"

"Airman Carpenter, 35m Mask & Snorkel Recovery with full BDU's... GO!!!"
My thought: Roger that Sgt, watch this! I'm gonna crush it!!

My point: Go all in and commit. You want to be a PJ? Be a PJ! Burn the freakin boats!!!
http://burningboats.com/about-burningboatscom/

2- Training.
Don't train to the minimum standard. Train to the final evaluation standards. Do some research. Run, swim, cals, water con... train. Imagine starting a course when you have already surpassed the final evaluation standards. You have already been able to complete what will be asked of you. Why would you join Pararescue before that? Now imagine struggling everyday with each skill barely passing most events and stressing yourself out over every evaluation each week. Which do you prefer? If you are not running a 7 minute mile for up to 3 miles, you will most likely struggle. If you are not swimming a 9 min 500m freestyle, and running a 9 min 1.5 mile, you will most likely struggle. If you are not in the mid 60's and low 70's for push/sit-ups, you will struggle. If you are not at 12-13 pulls, you should be. Those are not the minimums. They are where I would recommend anyone should be prior to coming in. Another thing... Form. Do them correctly. I don't care how many short stroke push-ups you can do. If you don't go all the way up and all the way down, your count is zero. Talk to your developer. I have students tell me they've been training for 2 years for this and fail the PAST. Then they ask for a washback. If you can't do 70 push ups in two years, what makes you think I can get you there in 2 months? It's not how long you're in the gym, it's what you do while you're in there.

Water Con: this area gets most people. Usually because of their lack of commitment. They haven't burned the boats. I have seen water experience of all kinds pass and fail. The best thing I can say is do some research and spend as much time as you can in the water. Always train with a lifeguard or some supervision. It's about being given a task and completing it. Increase your lung capacity. Learn to tread water by learning the egg-beater. Become a mouth-breather. Practice your skills with a charged mask. Practice with a snorkel and no mask. You are never coming into an event fresh. Commit. Why are you coming to Indoc? You're going to be put in an uncomfortable situation. You're not gonna like it. If you have no reason to be here, you will go away. There are no participation points. You have to engage in training. You have to complete the task the task at hand. I don't say this to scare you. I say this to get your mind right. CRUSH IT!!!

3- Timing
Some guys just aren't ready to commit right now. Some guys want the beret but are not willing to carry the rucksack. Some guys are not physically prepared and have only met the minimum standards. They go away quick. Some guys are not mentally there and are fooling themselves. Others are doing it for the wrong reasons. Some are just trying to impress someone while others are just giving it a shot. There is a difference between optimism and realism. Do some research, figure out if this is for you, train, dominate, and then crush this course.

Commit. Train. Hard.
Good luck to ya.

#2924 - 05/02/17 09:13 PM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: IndocCommandant]  
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 21
nitrohuck Offline
FNG
nitrohuck  Offline
FNG

Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 21
VT
Thank you for posting this,

I have just sent you a PM regarding a question I had about newly implemented course preparation.

#2930 - 05/07/17 02:44 PM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: IndocCommandant]  
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3
RedRover Offline
FNG
RedRover  Offline
FNG

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3
Texas
This is awesome, thank you. Exactly the mindset I have and exactly the training standard I have. This has helped me understand even more clearly what needs to be done. Thank you!

#3005 - 07/27/17 01:21 AM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: IndocCommandant]  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 8
IndocCommandant Offline
Operator
IndocCommandant  Offline
Operator

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 8
TX
Update: The first BA Prep will graduate this Thursday and the students will take the prerequisite PAST on Friday. The Development Course starts on Monday. There should be no reason for failing the PAST.

I am no longer the Commandant and have passed it off to MSgt Mercado. I am still in the unit, but have moved to the Senior Enlisted Manager position (Sq Sup). I will still continue to check in and answer questions as needed.

#3008 - 07/27/17 08:18 PM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: IndocCommandant]  
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
dlara27 Offline
FNG
dlara27  Offline
FNG

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Illinois
Thank you for posting this SMSgt Carpenter. I've been working on my conditioning for some time now and have 1 more month I believe before I am confident in my ability to excel in the PAST and get scores well above minimum standards.

I was slightly worried though if I "missed the boat" on shipping out soon. By September my swim time should be low 8 minutes and I'll be confident in enlisting. However is the development course only offered in August? If I enlist will I have delayed BMT date that will be closer to the next development course (so around August 2018?)

If so I would have additional time to train myself but at a certain point I feel like you just have to go for it and would like to pull the trigger and go.

Thanks again for posting on here and the motivation.

#3010 - 08/02/17 09:40 AM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: IndocCommandant]  
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 5
ss8541hill Offline
FNG
ss8541hill  Offline
FNG

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 5
Iowa
SMSgt,

I am a prior-service interested in Pararescue. I have been training and I was wondering if there are any tips that you might have on building lung capacity for underwaters in uniform and conducting the 10-ups and cross overs that I have heard about. Also, do you have any tips for a prior-service training going through Indoc?

Last edited by Hill; 08/02/17 09:47 AM.
#3012 - 08/02/17 11:09 AM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: IndocCommandant]  
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Yukon Online
Operator
Yukon  Online
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Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Anchorage AK
Lung capacity (how much air that can be inhaled and held in the lungs) is a complicated subject.

The physical capacity is limited by the volume size of the thoracic (chest) cavity and the pressure on the gases being contained within the volume of the lungs.

As far as underwater activities your are actually asking how to increase your limits of breath holding.

The limits of Breath Holding

The physiology and pathophysiology of human breath-hold diving

The reason PAST focuses on 500 meter (about 1640.4 feet/0.3 miles) surface swim and 1.5 mile run is this minimium aerobic activity contributes to improving gas consumption which influences ability to hold breath longer. Simply the more strenuous and longer duration of aerobic exercising the individual does produce some longer ability to hold breath.

Although the below link connects to a fitness article focusing on individuals 65 years and older it is also applicable to younger individuals who lack day-to-day physical activity due to sitting in classrooms or working in office cubicles or sitting playing video games most of the day.

The Age Antidote extracted:

Aerobic Exercise for All-Around Health

For overall health benefits, and reduction of numerous health risks, some form of aerobic activity is recommended. The use of the large muscles in the body in activities such as walking, swimming, aqua exercise and cycling are examples of the many to choose from. Swimming and aqua exercise are excellent modalities due to the lessened stress on the joints. Similarly, stationary cycling (recommended due to thoroughfare hazards and risk of falling in road cycling) places less stress on the joints, while recumbent cycling puts less stress on the back. Walking, at a higher pace than normal walking, is one of the most viable options for ambulatory elders. It can be done easily in most environments and requires no additional equipment.

With elderly who have been sedentary, a progressive low-intensity aerobic exercise program is recommended. Gradual increases in duration and intensity are encouraged. In movement activities such as group-led aerobics, concern should be on sudden movement changes and elaborate choreography that may lead to falls. Some activities such as running or jogging may stress the knees and hips unnecessarily, and are thus not universally recommended for elders. Adhering to the new Centers for Disease Control and American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for Exercise Lite are recommended: "Every American adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderated-intensity physical activity over the course of most days of the week." In support of this recommendation for the elderly, research suggests that daily cardiovascular exercise is well tolerated by older adults (Watkins & Kligman, 1991) . Although the American College of Sports Medicine recommends an intensity of 50 to 85% of heart rate range to improve cardiovascular parameters, research denotes that 40% of VO2max may be sufficient for sedentary elders in eliciting an improvement in aerobic fitness (Hagberg, 1987).

#3013 - 08/02/17 02:21 PM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: IndocCommandant]  
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 5
ss8541hill Offline
FNG
ss8541hill  Offline
FNG

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 5
Iowa
Thank you for the reply. Are you saying that doing the 500m swim and the 1.5 mile run are better then longer slow distances which take you out of an aerobic state and put you into a more anaerobic state? Should one focus on shorter distances such as those you presented to become more efficient in gas exchange and the use of the oxygen available?

#3014 - 08/02/17 07:14 PM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: IndocCommandant]  
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Yukon Online
Operator
Yukon  Online
Operator

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 925
Anchorage AK
If you desire to extend the fitness and preperation conversation you need to start a thread in the appropriate topic area. What I'm implying in my previous response is many applicants do not train to the minimum standard.

Consider the PAST guidelines to be the minimum moderated-intensity physical activity over the course of most days of the week. If you cannot complete the PAST to minimum passing standards on three to four consecutive days and then repeat after resting for a day or two you can consider yourself to be living to much of a physically inactive life style.

You may want to read the info in Original entry and retention classification fitness standard for PJ AFSC and other forum areas before posting a follow-on question. BTW adjust show topics to "from all dates" to get full advantage of the forums rather than doing specific searches.

#3056 - 09/11/17 07:15 PM Re: Intro- Prep for Indoc [Re: dlara27]  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 8
IndocCommandant Offline
Operator
IndocCommandant  Offline
Operator

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 8
TX
Dev Course happens 5x a year. I would recommend the cooler months as the Texas heat is not the best environment for the active outdoor events Indoc holds. Best of luck to you


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