Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Ground Week, Tower Week, Jump Week.
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Will37
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Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Will37 »

Greetings Rangers,

I was wondering if any of you had any guidance for getting into the right frame of mind for Airborne School. Some part of me really wants to do Airborne. If I want to become a Ranger I certainly have to do it. But I'm worried about the possibility of getting psychologically psyched out at the idea of jumping out of an airplane. Back in High School I did JROTC and was selected to go to the summer camp. I knew that part of the week involved going through Ft. Jackson's Victory Tower. As I was afraid of heights I spent the weeks leading up to it making a swiss seat out of some rope I found in my dad's workbench area and repelling from progressively higher points around my yard. When it came time for summer camp I was still shit scared about the thought of repelling from 70ft. But when the moment of truth came I just pushed the fear out and did great. I just got it in my mind that I was not going to hesitate or show fear and somehow that worked (not only did I not show fear, I didn't experience it either) That's usually how I deal with fear. Before it comes to crunch time I may be freaking out internally but when the moment comes I'm pretty much perfectly calm (except maybe an elevated heartbeat and being slightly tense). Based on past experience this is what I'd expect to happen with Jumps. Five minutes before I'd be ready to piss myself but when the moment comes I just become stoic and do it without hesitation. My biggest concern would be letting fear get in my head before it came time for the actual jumps. Honestly, one reason that I would want to do a parachute jump even if I didn't aspire to enlist would be that I hate having something hanging over my head like this. Feeling like there is something out there I can't do just because it scares me. When I was a kid I was scared of everything. Over the years I've pretty well conquered my fears but the idea of jumping out of a plane still freaks me out a little. I've been reading this board and found some great advice already. For example:


Ranger Baseplate
Who cares if you have 2 or 10 weeks hold you have at least 3 years to go in the army. and for the record I was scared shitless on every single jump I ever did

Ranger K.Ingraham
Good sitrep. Good to see that you're rocking right on, unlike some members here who are on a three week hold.

"watch out for that first step, it's a doozy"
If you get past the 34' tower, the rest is a breeze. On the 34' tower, keep those eyes on the horizon to defeat the fear-of-heights monster. That's the only time you might have to man up, and after you've done it once, your only fear is of the bruising on your crotch from the leg straps - so try to get every evolution right the first time! No opening shock is near as hard as the end of slack on that damn tower.

Jumping is no sweat. With 68-90 other almost-paratroopers on the plane, you won't have the guts to be the one chickenshit who unhooks and sits down.

The PJs have a saying that might inspire you during RIP: "They might kill you, but they can't eat you".
Enjoy your time as a private while this is still 'fun'. The responsibility that goes with stripes is tougher than the smokings you'll be subject to a few months from now.


Ranger Looon

Yepper!! Consider the sky to be the canister part of a vaccume cleaner and the plane as the nozel. :twisted:

I never jumped outta shit. I just walked towards the door until I was sucked out. :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Just imagine: The plane takes off.........your heart is already racing..............you then fly around a bit. The door opens and the air is suddenly rushing around inside of the bird and makes you think to yourself "WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?" You then here that '6 minutes!!' and your ass tightens and heart starts to beat a little faster. The next 5 minutes goes so fucking fast, that you think the Jumpmaster needs to buy a new fucking watch.........one that can actually tell time.

The Jumpmaster then tells you something so unimaginable: "STAND UP!!!" and you think to yourself "I dont want to stand up for shit!!!" :shock: "But I had better do it so no one might think that Im thinking of crying 'mommy'. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Then they tell you to 'HOOOK UUUUP' and once again you think about mommy. By this time you heart feels like its going to jump outta your chest and you could swear that everone can hear the fucker, over the rushing wind.

Then, when the fastest 5 minutes EVER comes to sudden halt, that fucking Jumpmaster, that can't tell time for shit, turns to you, seeming to look right at your scared ass............puts one hand in the air with his index finger extended, as if he is trying to show you the bugger he just picked from his nose..............and yells "ONE MINUTE"!! Your asshole, at this point, feels like it is turning inside out and the butterflies are about to consume you. You think about mommy some more.

You then watch that asshole look out the door and turn around and shows you the length of his dick, and yells (at you) "30 seconds"!!!!

This whole fucking time you realize that you forgot about the lights. :x That prick, then tells the first poor bastard to "STAAANNND INNNN THE DOOOORRR!!!" Now, you are looking for your mommy!!! and your heart is about to do it's best 'Alien' immitation.

Then you see the fucking light turn green. You would shit yourself, but can't!! Thats because it would be physically impossible. (see above).

The towers aren't even close, to what actually throwing your body out of a plane is like!!!!


I was wondering if you Rangers had anything else to add about mentally prepping for Airborne School. I've let myself get out of shape in college (relative to Army life) but I'm hitting the gym hard and in a mental mindset where I know that I'll be physically ready for Basic and Airborne school in a year (over prepared, hopefully) but I also want to use the time to get in the right mindset as much as is possible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time, Rangers.

-Will

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RangerX
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by RangerX »

Yeah. Go.

If you actually pay attention during Airborne School, you will be too busy concentrating on not fucking up to even realize you have jumped the first couple times. By the time your brain registers it, you are under canopy. After that, you just have to keep reminding yourself that it sure beats humping to the objective.

Keep in mind that your heart will have already gone through a hardening process during Basic & AIT.
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Slowpoke »

Just keep reminding yourself.....GIRLS DO IT!
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Baseplate »

Well the group of guys that hung out with in the army were like a pack of wolves. If you even thought about showing weakness we would turn on you, kill you, and eat you. So even if you are scared to death you don't say shit about it or face the wrath and become an outcast.
HHC 1/75 mtrs Apr 2000- dec 2003
hang it, FIRE!!!!

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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by mortar_guy78 »

I fucking hate heights. I hate being up in the air. Even going up on the roof of my house to work on the chimney made me queasy.

Yet somehow I managed to jump, fastrope, rappel, and do all sorts of other crazy shit. Mainly I did them because I didn't want to be a pussy and let my buddies down. Just thinking, I mean really visualizing, all of the scary heights related shit I have done still makes my asshole pucker. I was never anywhere near as scared in combat as I was when jumping. But you do what you gotta do.

My advice? Don't be a bitch.
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Lefty »

Just stumbled upon this thread and thinking bwaaahahaha!

When I went thru Jump School (and no, smart guys, they weren't using biplanes) I had some trepidations, but not to the extent I am reading here. On that first flight, everybody was a little apprehensive, the JM was laughing and rubbing his hands together walking up and down between us, shouting "Is everybody happy?" and laughing hysterically. Then he shouted "Awright. How many of you have never been on an airplane before?" And half the guys on the plane raised their hands. All these 17-18 yr old kids who had never been on an airplane were going to be thrown out of it.
THAT was when I relaxed and thought Okay - I'm gonna be fine, 'cuz I've flown before and this is no big deal.
I never flinched or dreaded a jump after that. It was always one of my favorite thrills.
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Lunch »

I recall sitting in the hanger waiting to load for our first jump. As we sat there sweating in the summer heat like helpless, overturned turtles, wondering and worrying all the thoughts one might have while waiting to parachute for the first time, I suddenly noticed a song playing on the radio that I don't recall ever hearing before: "Don't worry, be happy". Worked for me.
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Jim
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Jim »

Lefty wrote:Then he shouted "Awright. How many of you have never been on an airplane before?" And half the guys on the plane raised their hands. All these 17-18 yr old kids who had never been on an airplane were going to be thrown out of it.
THAT was when I relaxed and thought Okay - I'm gonna be fine, 'cuz I've flown before and this is no big deal.
I never flinched or dreaded a jump after that. It was always one of my favorite thrills.
The sixth time I took off in a plane and the first time I landed in one was in San Francisco on the way to Viet-Nam. Damn, that bird made some strange sounds I'd never heard before.
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by ZoneIV »

Okay...my first time up in an airplane of any kind in my life was my first jump in Airborne School. It was not until after 10 more jumps that I actually landed in a plane. I was nervous over the landing because I did not know what to expect. I have a little vertigo thing going on as well and to this day I still only fly when I have to.

I do not know of a "mindset" you speak of. You just need to grab your balls and do it. You are trained over an over again that you get an idea what to expect. The training is VERY redundant so your actions become second nature and you do what you need to do without thinking.

Fear did kick in for me when that door was opened up but it is not as if you can stop because of the inertia of the stick. You are pushing on the guy in front of you because you are being pushed by the guy behind you but you know what? Once I was out the door and I felt the jerk of the risers and looked up at the canopy, I was okay and the ride became rather cool for a little bit until you knew you were about to land but then your training kicks in and your body reacts automatically.

The ONLY mindset you should have is to do all that Sergeant Blackhat tells you to do and you will do just fine.
RS Class 8-83
US Army 82-89

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Will37
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Will37 »

Hello Rangers,

I really appreciate all the responses I have received. Particularly since it seems clear in retrospect that this was a stupid question to ask. I have the feeling that this was a time wasting question and I apologize. Despite how this reads in retrospect, I didn't mean to come off as though I was asking if there was some magic pixie dust solution rather than just manning up and doing what I need to do to get where I want (or the host of other problems contained in this question).

Thank you to Ranger X, Ranger Slowpoke, Ranger Baseplate, Ranger Mortar_Guy78, Ranger Lefty, Ranger Lunch, Ranger Jim, and Ranger ZoneIV who were generous enough to take the time to respond. I have ingested the information and advice you have given me and will remember it as I prepare for enlistment.

Thank you again, Rangers.
-Will

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Jim
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Jim »

Will37 wrote:I have ingested the information and advice you have given me and will remember it as I prepare for enlistment.
All you have to remember is never, never quit!!!
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Will37
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Will37 »

Jim wrote:
Will37 wrote:I have ingested the information and advice you have given me and will remember it as I prepare for enlistment.
All you have to remember is never, never quit!!!
Roger that, Ranger Jim.

I have this (along with a few other refrains that I've seen, 'attention to detail' for example) written on an index card that I've started carrying around in my pocket. I'm trying to live it every day, in everything I do.

-Will

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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Furious George »

Don't worry about jumping...it's not the fall that kills you...it's the sudden stop! :lol:
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Will37
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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by Will37 »

Furious George wrote:Don't worry about jumping...it's not the fall that kills you...it's the sudden stop! :lol:

Thank you, Ranger Furious George! I'll remember that!

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Re: Getting into the Airborne Mindset?

Post by GypsyRoll »

It's the first Sunday recall formation and I'm standing by the plt office waiting for a vehicle inspection form, and there's a private who looks about 17 standing next to me with a fucked up shave and he wants to quit.

This NCO steps out of the office and asks him why he wants to quit and he says "I'm not ready for this."

And I'm thinking to myself "Ready for what? This is a gentleman's course as far as I can tell."

Don't be that guy.
For even those who come short in other ways may justly plead the valor with which they have fought for their country; they have blotted out the evil with the good, and have benefited the state more by their public services than they have injured her by their private actions.

-Thucydides

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