Let’s just start with nothing is ever set in stone! My fiancé went through so many changes throughout the process. I had no idea what to expect, as there is such little information online or given to the trainees. Just remember this is what we went through, and it might be very different for others.
“The Pipeline” is basically the two-year training regimen that every candidate must complete to become a PJ. It is extremely difficult to make it through the entirety of training. The steps to become a Pararescueman has one of the highest attrition rates out of all military training. “Indoc” is the first part of training and takes about 9 weeks (at least that’s what I expected!). It does start with a 2 week development course, or “dev course”. See the video below if you want to see what I’m talking about (I’m still in disbelief knowing they have to go through all of this!).
Indoc is held at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. They were unable to go off base, however, they were allowed visitors on the weekends! I was lucky enough to come onto base on two occasions.
Due to water quality complications, they were all pushed to the next class. So ultimately, what should have been an 11 week course turned into a 20 week course.
One thing I really had to get used to was how tired Chris would be and how little time he would have to talk. He would often be surrounded by others and distracted during our conversations. When we would Facetime at least 3 guys would usually walk into his room to ask questions, as he was an element leader. It was sometimes hard for me to realize how busy those guys are but it’s just a learning process. It’s just one of the sacrifices families make when a loved one is in the military.
Be prepared for anything to happen, and remember to be flexible and there for your Airman no matter what. Your support and love helps make the process a bit easier on them while they are undergoing some of their hardest days in the field.