You hook up your static line. You check your parachute equipment. You move toward the door of the aircraft - and then it's your turn. The cold air hits you in the face and, suddenly one step later, the only thing between you and the ground is 1,300 feet of air. And, of course, three weeks of intense training that have thoroughly prepared you for this moment. Talk about a rush!

Having successfully survived jump school, soldiers graduate and are given their Airborne wings. Wings are a mark of courage, daring and skill. But jump school is more than an airborne academy. It's a confidence school, a leadership school. And soldiers who complete the course leave with a greater respect and awe for themselves and the skills they have acquired.

That's something they have for the rest of their lives.

Be all you can be.......    GO AIRBORNE!


One basic safety device of an aviator is the parachute. It is as important to the aviator as a life preserver is to a seaman. The word parachute comes from the French words para and chute. Used together they mean \to shield a fall.\ Objects falling freely through the atmosphere are pulled toward the Earth by gravity . Free-falling objects can attain a terminal velocity, or top speed, of 118 or more miles an hour. Obviously no person could survive striking the ground with such impact. By using a parachute, the speed of fall is reduced enough to insure a safe landing. A parachute in use resembles an open umbrella. The open end is directed downward. Strong forces produced by air resistance push upward against the descending parachute. These forces oppose the downward pull of gravity. Although gravity's force is reduced, it is not completely eliminated. The speed of fall, however, is decreased from terminal velocity to a much safer 14 miles an hour.

Special Uses of Parachutes

Before World War II parachutes served mainly as lifesaving devices. During the war specially trained combat troops were parachuted into battle. Today food and medical supplies are often dropped by parachute into areas stricken by disasters such as floods and earthquakes. Life rafts and other survival equipment are lowered by parachute in air-sea rescue operations. The United States Forest Service smoke jumpers are specially trained parachutist fire fighters. Parachutes serve as landing brakes for high-speed jet airplanes (such as those that take off and land on the decks of aircraft carriers), and they are used to slow a returning space capsule as it reenters the Earth's atmosphere. Parachuting for sport, or skydiving, has become an increasingly popular pastime and an international athletic event.

Parts of the Parachute

Modern parachutes that carry people are made of nylon. When not in use, a parachute is folded into a nylon or cotton duck pack. The pack is fastened to the parachutist's front or back with a harness, which is specially constructed so that the forces of deceleration, gravity, and wind are transmitted to the wearer's body as safely and comfortably as possible. The parachutist uses a strong, flexible cable called the ripcord to open the pack. When the ripcord is pulled, the pack's cover flips open and a miniature parachute, the pilot chute, pops out. After bursting from the pack it becomes filled with air. This creates a strong upward force of drag. The drag pulls the main parachute out of the pack. The main part of the parachute is the canopy, which is designed to be as strong as possible. The canopy is made of 28 triangular-shaped panels, or gores. Each gore consists of several smaller nylon sections sewn together in such a way that a tear will usually be confined to the section in which it originates. The direction of the weave in each section adds further strength. The suspension lines, or shrouds, connect the canopy to the harness. Each shroud is a continuous unbroken line. It is anchored to a ring on the harness, passes through seams in the canopy, over the domed top, and back to the harness, where it is secured to another ring. There are three methods of parachuting: free-fall, static line, and automatic ejection. In each method, the ripcord is activated by a different means. In a free-fall the parachutist jumps out of the airplane, clears the craft, and then pulls the ripcord. In a static jump a line connected to the parachute pack is fixed to a wire cable in the airplane. When the parachutist jumps, the line pulls the canopy out of the pack. The ejection method is used to abandon an aircraft flying at supersonic speeds or to get out of a military aircraft that has been hit by antiaircraft fire. The parachute is designed as part of an assembly that includes the ejection seat. A small rocket charge ejects the pilot, seat, and parachute assembly. When the pilot is clear of the seat, the ripcord is activated by a preset timing device to release the parachute automatically.

Special Types of Parachutes

There are several specialized parachutes. The ring, or ribbon, parachute, invented in Germany during World War II, is composed of a number of concentric rings of radiating ribbons of fabric with openings between them that permit some air to flow through. These parachutes are very stable and are used for heavy-duty functions such as dropping heavy cargo loads or braking aircraft in short landing runs. Another type of parachute is made of flexible fabric panels which inflate individually and rotate as the parachute descends. It is not as stable as the ring parachute but is used to drop lighter cargo loads. Parachutes designed for opening at supersonic speeds have radically different contours from conventional canopy chutes. They are made in the form of a cone, and air is allowed to escape either through the pores of the material or through a large circular opening running around the cone. Still another type of parachute, the ballute, is closed and becomes inflated by air taken in through special openings in the sides. Sport parachutes, or parafoils, have been made safe by the addition of a component called the sleeve. The sleeve draws the parachutist upright and makes entanglement in the chute almost impossible.


It is believed that Chinese acrobats used parachutelike devices as long ago as 1306. The principle was recognized by several writers, and Leonardo da Vinci proposed the basic idea for parachutes in 1495. The first person to demonstrate the parachute in action was Louis-Sebastien Lenormand of France in 1783 he jumped from a tower with two parasols. A few years later other French aeronauts jumped from balloons. Andre-Jacques Garnerin was the first to use a parachute regularly. He made a number of exhibition jumps, including one of about 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) in England in 1802. Early parachutes were made of canvas, and later of silk. The first successful descent from an airplane was made by Capt. Albert Berry of the United States Army in 1912. In World War I parachutes were used by observers to escape from captive balloons but were considered impractical for airplanes. Only in the last stage of the war were they finally used in aircraft. In World War II parachutes were used for landing special troops for combat, supplying isolated or inaccessible troops, infiltrating agents into enemy territory, and stabilizing and slowing airborne weapons. In the following years, as the speed of aircraft increased, the ejection seat was developed.

Earning Your Airborne Wings

Do you have what it takes??

Ground Training (Week 1)

During ground training week, you begin an intensive program of instruction building individual skills designed to prepare you to make a parachute jump and land safely. The equipment your platoon will train on are the mock door, the 34 foot tower, and the lateral drift apparatus (LDA). You must qualify on the 34 foot tower, the LDA, and pass all PT requirements to go on to tower training week.

Tower Training (Week 2)

The individual skills learned during week one will be refined during tower week and a team effort or "mass exit" concept is added to the training. The apparatus used during this week are the swing lander trainer (SLT), suspended harness (SH), **250 foot free tower, and the wind machine. Week two completes the individual skill training and builds team effort skills. You must qualify on the mass exit procedures, the SLT, and pass all PT requirements to go forward to jump training week. ** Due to excessive injuries on the apparatus the 250ft Towers are no longer used.

Jump Training (Week 3)

This is it! The previous weeks of training have prepared you for this week. If you are not ready to jump you will not enter this phase. Week three is devoted to your five qualifying jumps. Before you make your first jump you will receive a review of malfunctions and aircraft orientation and be organized and manifested for the jump. Unless restricted by the lack of jump aircraft or weather, graduation is normally conducted on Friday of week three at the Airborne Walk. Guests are welcome to observe jumps at Fryer Field, watch graduation, and participate in awarding the wings. On Friday morning your company will out-process and following graduation you should be allowed to depart.

Basic Airborne Wings

Senior Wings

Master Wings

"The Airborne Creed"

I volunteered as a parachutist, fully realizing the hazard of my chosen service and by my thoughts and actions will always uphold the prestige, honor and high esprit-de-corps of parachute troops.

I realize that a parachutist is not merely a soldier who arrives by parachute to fight, but is an elite shock trooper and that his country expects him to march farther and faster, to fight harder, to be more self-reliant than any other soldier. Parachutists of all allied armies belong to this great brotherhood.

I shall never fail my fellow comrades by shirking any duty or training, but will always keep myself mentally and physically fit and shoulder my full share of the task, whatever it may be.

I shall always accord my superiors fullest loyalty and I will always bear in mind the sacred trust I have in the lives of the men I will accompany in to battle.

I shall show other soldiers by my military courtesy, neatness of dress and care of my weapons and equipment that I am a picked and well trained soldier.

I shall endeavor always to reflect the high standards of training and morale of parachute troops.

I shall respect the abilities of my enemies, I will fight fairly and with all my might, surrender is not in my creed.

I shall display a high degree of initiative and will fight on to my objective and mission, though I be the lone survivor.

I shall prove my ability as a fighting man against the enemy on the field of battle, not by quarreling with my comrades in arms or by bragging about my deeds.

I shall always realize that battles are won by an army fighting as a team, that I fight first and blaze the path into battle for others to follow and carry the battle on.

I belong to the finest unit in the world. By my actions and deeds alone, I speak for my fighting ability. I will strive to uphold the honor and prestige of my outfit, making my country proud of me and the unit to which I belong.

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