On the Job - Air Force PJs - Part II
Part 2 - Edited by Glenn Garthwaite. Produced by Sean Bergin. Pararescuemen (AFSC 1T2X1) 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. They are the only members of the DoD specifically organized, trained and equipped to conduct personnel recovery operations in hostile or denied areas as a primary mission. Also known as "PJs" (Pararescue Jumpers), 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. Part of the little-known Air Force Special Tactics community and long an enlisted preserve, the Pararescue service began commissioning Combat Rescue Officers early in the 21st century.