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Know Your Army Paratrooper

A US Army paratrooper is a highly-trained and specialized soldier who is qualified to conduct parachute jumps into combat zones or other operational areas. Paratroopers are part of the airborne forces of the military, and their training allows them to conduct airborne operations, which involve deploying by parachute from aircraft to quickly and stealthily enter areas that may be difficult to reach by conventional means.

An Army Paratrooper undergoes specialized training in airborne operations known as Airborne School or Jump School. This intense multi-week training includes learning how to exit an aircraft, parachute landings, and various techniques for conducting jumps, including static-line and free-fall parachuting. Paratroopers earn different levels of parachute qualification, depending on their training and experience. The basic qualification involves completing a certain number of static-line jumps. Some may also undergo free-fall training, allowing for more advanced and flexible parachute operations.

army paratroopers

Paratroopers are trained to conduct airborne assaults, seize and secure key objectives, and provide a rapidly deployable force for a variety of mission scenarios. Their ability to enter an area quickly and without the need for established landing strips or roads makes them valuable in a variety of military operations. To accomplish these objectives, paratroopers use specialized equipment, including parachutes, harnesses, and other gear designed for airborne operations.

Army Paratrooper life after training

After graduating from Jump School, Army paratroopers are assigned to airborne units within the military. These units are specially trained and equipped for rapid deployment and often form a critical part of a military’s strategic reserve or quick-reaction force.

Graduates of the U.S. Army Airborne School are typically assigned to airborne units within the U.S. Army. These units are specially trained and equipped for rapid deployment and are often part of the Army’s strategic reserve. The primary role of these airborne units is to conduct airborne operations, which involve deploying soldiers into a combat zone by parachute.

US Army Airborne Units

  1. 82nd Airborne Division: Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is one of the most well-known airborne units in the U.S. Army. It is a rapid-response division capable of conducting a wide range of missions, including airborne assaults, airfield seizures, and other rapid-deployment operations.
  2. 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team: Based in Vicenza, Italy, the 173rd is an airborne infantry brigade combat team. It is the U.S. Army’s contingency response force in Europe and is capable of conducting airborne and air assault operations.
  3. 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division: Based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, this unit is unique in that it is an airborne brigade combat team within the 25th Infantry Division, which is not traditionally an airborne division.
  4. Special Forces (Green Berets): Some graduates of the Airborne School may go on to attend the U.S. Army Special Forces Qualification Course (Q-Course) to become members of the elite Special Forces. Special Forces soldiers often conduct unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, and special reconnaissance missions.

Not all soldiers who graduate from the Airborne School are assigned to airborne units, however. Some soldiers attend airborne training as part of their leadership development path, or to qualify for certain assignments, but they may be subsequently assigned to non-airborne units while retaining their Airborne status.

Becoming a paratrooper typically involves rigorous training, and it is often considered a mark of distinction within the military. Paratroopers are trained not only for the physical demands of parachute jumps but also for the unique challenges associated with conducting operations in the immediate aftermath of landing. US Airborne units are a highly trained, rapidly deployable force capable of executing airborne operations as part of a military’s overall strategy.