How to Become an Army Paratrooper

Army Paratroopers are employed by airborne divisions as highly specialized troops. They are expected to meet high standards of physical fitness, courage, and intelligence in order to qualify for the training. Becoming an Army Paratrooper involves developing self-confidence, leadership skills, and an aggressive spirit through extremely challenging physical and mental conditioning. A civilian who wants to become an Army Paratrooper has to complete basic army training before going to airborne school where it's taught how to use a parachute as a means of active combat deployment. An Army soldier needs to go to Airborne school at Ft. Benning, Georgia to become a Paratrooper. Read the following steps to learn how to become an Army Paratrooper.


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    Check what the requirements are to apply for Army Paratrooper training. In the United States, you must be under 36 and pass a physical fitness test with certain minimum requirements that are much more stringent than those for entering the Army. In addition, you'll have to prove good physical health without mobility, vision, or hearing impairments.
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    Apply for Army Paratrooper training at Fort Benning, Georgia. The process differs depending on whether you already serve in the Army or not.
    • If you're not already in the Army, try to get Army Paratrooper training guaranteed as part of your enlistment terms by speaking to your recruiter.
    • Complete your basic Army training. This is an intensive training of 9 weeks in which you'll learn basic survival and combat skills, as well as undergo rigorous mental and physical training to ensure you have both the psychological and physical strength and stamina required for combat.
    • If you're already in the Army, you can apply for Army Paratrooper training by speaking to your commanding officer, who can arrange for you to enroll in Paratrooper training if you meet all of the requirements.
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    Start your training to become an Army Paratrooper at Fort Benning, Georgia. Though the training only lasts 3 weeks, it's extremely structured and intense.
    • During your first week, you'll have to pass your physical fitness test before continuing with the rest of your training. This week consists of training on the ground and the acquisition of skills that allow you to make a parachute jump safely, without hurting yourself upon landing. You'll train on the mock door to acquaint yourself with exiting an aircraft while airborne, as well as on a landing fall platform to develop proper parachute landing techniques. In addition, on a lateral drift apparatus, you'll practice controlling your parachute during a descent, while jumps from a 34-foot tower will allow you to get used to the actual sensation of a parachute jump.
    • In your second week, your training will be reinforced with more physical training, learning how to deal with oscillation and falls upon landing, and how to recover from the drag. At the close of the second week, you'll jump from a 250-foot tower to transition into the actual parachute jumping.
    • In your third week, you'll actually jump from an aircraft. This means you have to make 5 qualifying jumps, using both conventional parachutes and steerable parachutes.
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    Receive your Army Paratrooper wings. Upon satisfactory completion of your qualifying jumps, you become an Army Paratrooper and can be deployed to assist in airborne operations.


  • It's important to realize that even if you successfully complete Paratrooper training, you might still be part of a unit that never requires Paratrooper skills. If you want to actively use them, speak to your commanding officer about transferring to a specific unit that has need for Paratroopers, such as the 82nd Airborne Division or a Ranger Unit.

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Categories: Careers in the Military