Down In The Mud

by SSgt Vernon Young Jr.

An Air Force Pararescue trainee low crawls through the mud during the Air Force Pararescue Indoctrination Course, September 6, 2011, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. During the course, trainees learn mask and snorkel recovery, buddy breathing, and other techniques. Pararescue training includes physiological training, obstacle courses, marches, dive physics, dive tables, metric manipulations, medical terminology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, weapons qualifications, pararescue history and a leadership reaction course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Vernon Young Jr.)

Photographers Narrative


Few military careers demand the determination and self-sacrifice of being an Air Force pararescueman. Photographing the exhausting and excruciating steps to ensure only the strongest both physically and mentally make it to become pararescuemen, only extends my personal appreciation and gratitude for having these brave men in our ranks. Even when the last drop of willpower is spent, they dig deeper than imaginable to continue that journey, often one inch at a time.