U.S. Air Force: 1st Lt Ted Rajala, Combat Rescue Officer (CRO)


I’m Lt Ted Rajala. I’m a Combat
Rescue Officer. Combat Rescue Officer is the Air Force’s premier personnel
recovery subject-matter expert. Our mission is personnel recovery. Every
Combat Rescue Officer comes in as initially a team commander for a
recovery team, so their job is to employ in a combat environment with a Pararescueman to recover personnel or sensitive equipment. To become a Combat
Rescue Officer, you definitely need to have superior physical and
mental fitness. We have guys that are highly skilled athletes and they don’t
make it through the program. They’re physically capable but they just don’t
have the mental desire and fortitude to do it. It’s a never-ending training
environment. We have to constantly prepare and have to maintain proficiency
in a extremely wide variety of skills, from combat marksmanship to precision
parachuting. If you’re thinking about becoming a Combat Rescue Officer, make
sure you do your research, you understand our mission, and you’re doing it for the
right reasons. It’s never fun to go into those situations, into a rescue, but it’s
always rewarding to complete the mission, to go into the worst case scenario.
Somebody’s in their darkest hour. They need somebody to come save them. You need
to be a cut above to willingly go into those situations and be able to succeed.

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