What is it Like to Go Through SERE School in 2023?

Imagine finding yourself alone in a dense forest, evading capture while trying to survive with minimal supplies. Or facing intense interrogations in a simulated captivity environment, testing your resilience and mental strength. This is just a glimpse of what it’s like to go through SERE school.

Whether you’re a military enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or just curious about the challenges individuals face in extreme situations, this article is your ultimate guide to understanding SERE school.

So, buckle up and prepare for an eye-opening journey as we uncover what it’s like to go through SERE school. From the harsh realities of the training environment to the camaraderie and bonds formed among participants, this article will provide an in-depth understanding of one of the world’s most demanding and unique training programs.

SERE School

SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) School is a military training program that prepares service members for survival and evasion in hostile environments and resistance to interrogation, and escape from captivity if captured. The United States military initially developed it during World War II in response to the need for specialized training for downed pilots and other personnel who may find themselves in hostile territory.

The history of SERE School can be traced back to the establishment of the first formal survival training programs in the 1940s. It aimed to equip military personnel with skills and knowledge to survive in harsh conditions and avoid capture.

Over the years, SERE School has evolved and expanded to cover various environments. This includes the jungle, desert, arctic, and maritime settings and has been adopted by several countries worldwide.

SERE School typically includes classroom instruction, field exercises, and simulated captivity scenarios to simulate real-world situations. It focuses on developing skills such as wilderness survival, navigation, evasion techniques, resistance to interrogation, and escape tactics.

SERE School is popular for its physically and mentally demanding nature. Graduates must have the skills and mindset necessary to survive and resist capture in challenging and hostile environments.

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What Actually Happens in SERE School?

SERE School is like the ultimate survival and spy training rolled into one! It’s a challenging and intense military program where service members learn to survive and evade capture in hostile environments. Think of it like a crash course in being a super-spy or an action movie hero!

Participants go through classroom lessons and hands-on field exercises to learn skills like wilderness survival, evasion tactics, and how to resist interrogation. They might also face simulated captivity, extreme weather, and high-pressure situations that test their physical and mental limits.

But it’s not all serious business. SERE School also emphasizes mental toughness and resilience, teaching participants to stay calm under pressure and make tough decisions. It’s like a real-life escape room, where you must use your wits and skills to outsmart the “enemy” and survive!

However, what happens in SERE School is top-secret stuff. It’s all about preparing service members for the unknown, so the specifics are kept under wraps. But one thing’s for sure. It’s an unforgettable and challenging experience that pushes participants to their limits and prepares them for the unexpected.

What are the Benefits to SERE Training?

SERE training comes with a host of benefits. Firstly, it equips you with invaluable survival skills in the wilderness or a hostile environment. You’ll learn how to build shelters, find food and water, navigate, and evade capture.

Secondly, SERE training enhances your mental toughness and resilience, as you’ll face simulated high-stress scenarios that push you to your limits. You’ll develop the ability to remain composed in high-pressure situations, make difficult choices, and rely on your instincts.

Thirdly, SERE training fosters camaraderie and teamwork, as you’ll go through the training with fellow trainees, forging bonds and building a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood.

Lastly, completing SERE training can boost your confidence and self-reliance, knowing you possess the skills and mindset to survive and overcome challenges.

In all, SERE training provides valuable tools and experiences that can benefit you personally and professionally, setting you up for success in the military and beyond.

Is SERE Training Difficult?

You’d bet it is! SERE training is like a roller coaster ride of challenges. It’s physically and mentally demanding, and it will push you to your limits. You’ll have to learn how to survive in the wild, evade capture, resist interrogation, and navigate high-pressure situations. The instructors are like drill sergeants on steroids, and the scenarios are as real as it gets.

You will face obstacles you’ve never encountered, which can be challenging sailing. You might get dirty, tired, and pushed to your breaking point. But that’s the whole point of SERE training! It aims to prepare you for the most challenging situations as a military service member.

So, SERE training is no walk in the park, but if you can tough it out, you’ll come out on the other side with skills, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment that will stay with you for life. It’s a challenge, but one that’s worth it!

What is the Hardest Part of SERE Training?

The most challenging aspect of SERE training can be the physical and mental demands placed on trainees. The training is to be rigorous and realistic. It can be physically strenuous, with sleep deprivation, hunger, and exposure to the elements being some of the toughest aspects.

The mental stress of evading capture, resisting interrogation, and making difficult decisions can also be daunting. Additionally, being separated from familiar comforts and loved ones can have an emotional impact.

Also, the training aims at pushing trainees to their limits, testing their resilience and mental toughness. However, it’s important to remember that overcoming these challenges is part of the training process and aims to build the skills and mindset necessary to survive and thrive in adverse situations.

And when you come out the other side, you’ll feel like you can take on anything! It’s not easy, but the sense of accomplishment and growth you’ll experience is worth it.

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How Many Levels of SERE Are There?

SERE training typically consists of three levels: Level A, Level B, and Level C. Each level builds upon the skills and knowledge gained in the previous level and progressively increases in difficulty and complexity.

Level A is often the introductory level and focuses on basic survival skills, such as shelter building, fire making, and water procurement. It provides trainees with foundational knowledge and skills to survive in austere environments.

Level B is an intermediate level that builds upon the skills learned in Level A and introduces more advanced concepts, such as evasion and escape techniques, navigation, and resistance to interrogation. It prepares trainees for more challenging scenarios and situations.

Level C is the most advanced and often considered the most demanding. It involves realistic training in evasion, resistance to interrogation, and escape techniques and may include simulated captivity and high-stress scenarios.

It’s important to note that the structure and content of SERE training may vary depending on the specific program or branch of the military conducting the training. Some programs may have additional levels or variations, but the three-level framework is commonly used in many SERE training programs.

What is the Hardest SERE Level?

As discussed above, SERE training consists of three levels: Level A, Level B, and Level C. Level A is typically the initial and most basic level, while Level B and Level C are more advanced and challenging.

In terms of difficulty, Level A is often the easiest, as it focuses on basic survival skills, such as shelter building, fire making, and water procurement. While it can still be physically and mentally demanding, it is a foundational level that introduces trainees to the fundamentals of survival.

On the other hand, Level C is often considered the most challenging. It involves more advanced training in evasion, resistance to interrogation, and escape techniques. Trainees may face realistic scenarios and undergo simulated captivity, interrogation, and other high-stress situations. The mental and emotional stress can be intense, and the training may push trainees to their physical and mental limits.

Level B falls in between, serving as an intermediate level that builds upon the skills learned in Level A and prepares trainees for the challenges of Level C.

What is the Age Limit for SERE?

The age limit for SERE training generally falls between 18 to 45 years old for most military branches. However, age limits may vary depending on the program and unit, and waivers may be available for specific situations.

It’s essential to consult with your military branch for the most accurate and up-to-date information on age requirements for SERE training. Remember that SERE training can be physically and mentally demanding. So, meeting the age requirements is just one aspect of the overall eligibility criteria for this rigorous training program.

How Long Is SERE Training Valid?

SERE training is usually valid for five years for most military branches. However, this can vary depending on the specific program and branch. After the initial SERE training, individuals may need to undergo refresher courses at regular intervals to maintain proficiency.

The skills and knowledge you gain during SERE training are perishable, and staying current is crucial to ensure readiness in case of future deployments or operational needs. It’s like riding a bike – you’ve got to keep pedaling to stay balanced!

So, while the initial SERE training may be valid for five years, ongoing refresher courses may be necessary to stay sharp and ready for any challenges that may arise.

What is it Like to Go Through SERE School?

Going through SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school is like entering a new world. You’ll be pushed to your physical and mental limits, facing challenges you’ve probably never encountered.

Picture this: surviving in the wilderness, evading capture, resisting interrogation, and learning to escape hostile situations. You’ll be tested like never before, enduring sleep deprivation, hunger, and stress. The instructors are tough, and the scenarios are as real as it gets. But amidst all the difficulties, you’ll also gain invaluable skills, confidence, and camaraderie with fellow trainees.

You’ll learn to keep calm under pressure, make tough decisions, and trust your instincts. It’s a roller coaster of emotions, from fear and frustration to pride and accomplishment.

SERE school is not for the faint of heart, but it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Also, it will prepare you to face the unexpected with resilience and determination.

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How Do You Get Selected for SERE?

Selection for SERE training typically varies depending on the branch of the military or organization conducting the training. Generally, candidates for SERE training are carefully screened and selected based on specific criteria.

Typically, individuals selected for SERE training already serve in the military or are in a related field, such as special operations forces, aircrew, or intelligence personnel. They may undergo a rigorous selection process that includes physical fitness tests, psychological assessments, and interviews to assess their aptitude and suitability for the challenging nature of SERE training.

In addition to meeting physical and mental requirements, candidates for SERE training may also be selected based on their demonstrated ability to handle stress, adapt to changing situations, work well in a team, and follow instructions. They may also need to possess specific skills or qualifications, such as survival skills, navigation, or communications proficiency.

However, it is important to note that SERE training is for individuals at a higher risk of facing captivity or hostile situations. The training prepares them for survival, evasion, resistance, and escape in such scenarios. As such, not all military personnel or individuals may be eligible for SERE training. Also, the selection process may vary depending on the specific requirements and standards of the conducting organization.

What are the Requirements to Get Selected for SERE School?

Candidates typically need to meet specific requirements to get selected for SERE school. These may vary depending on the branch of the military or organization conducting the training. Some standard requirements include the following:

  • Military Service: required to serve in the military or a related field, such as special operations forces, aircrew, or intelligence personnel.
  •  Physical Fitness: need to meet physical fitness standards, including strength, endurance, and agility tests, to demonstrate their physical readiness for the demands of SERE training.
  •  Psychological Fitness: Candidates may undergo psychological assessments to assess their mental and emotional resilience, ability to handle stress, and adaptability to challenging situations.
  •  Aptitude and Skills: Candidates may need to possess certain skills or qualifications, such as survival skills, navigation, or communications, depending on the specific SERE training program.
  •  Teamwork and Leadership: expected to work well in a team and demonstrate leadership qualities, as SERE training often involves group dynamics and collaboration in challenging environments.
  •  Ability to Follow Instructions: must follow instructions accurately and quickly, as precise execution of tasks and protocols may be critical in SERE training scenarios.
  •  Security Clearance: may need a certain level of security clearance, depending on the nature of the SERE training and the organization conducting it.

Meeting these requirements is essential for candidates to get into SERE training. The training prepares them for the physically and mentally demanding challenges of survival, evasion, resistance, and escape in high-stress situations.

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What Happens at the End of SERE Training?

Once you’ve completed SERE training, you’ll typically go through a debriefing where you will talk about your experiences and what you’ve learned. It’s a chance to reflect on how you did, share feedback, and see what you can improve. You might also get a certificate or recognition for finishing the training, and you might be issued any gear or equipment you need, like SERE kits or survival tools, depending on the program.

After the training, you’ll usually return to your regular military duties or continue your mission, using the skills and knowledge you gained from SERE training. You might even have the opportunity to pursue further training or qualifications in specialized roles, like becoming a survival instructor or joining high-risk operations.

But remember, just because the training is over doesn’t mean you stop practicing and maintaining your skills. Keeping up with regular training, practice, and evaluations is important to stay prepared for potential survival, evasion, resistance, and escape situations in the future. It’s all about staying sharp and ready for whatever challenges come your way!


What is the Fail Rate for SERE?

The training and the fail rate can vary depending on the specific program and organization.

Do all pilots have to go to SERE school?

Not all pilots must attend SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school. The need for SERE training typically depends on the aircraft type, mission requirements, and the policies and regulations of the specific military branch or organization the pilot serves.

What do SERE specialists do when deployed?

When deployed, they may assist in planning and conducting survival operations, provide survival training to personnel in the field, and advise on tactics to evade capture or escape from hostile situations.


SERE training is a demanding and vital program that equips military personnel with essential skills to survive and evade hostile environments. It provides valuable training in survival, evasion, resistance, and escape techniques. While not all pilots must undergo SERE training, it plays a crucial role in preparing military personnel for adverse situations, enhancing their resilience and readiness to face challenging circumstances confidently.


  • Quora.com – What is it like to go through SERE school?
  •  africa.businessinsider.com – Inside the secretive schools where US special operators learn to evade capture and survive behind enemy lines
  •  mybaseguide.com – What You Learn at SERE Training


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