Many people remember the “Black Hawk Down” military situation that was published, both in a book and in the movie. Well, one of the officers that were involved in Black Hawk down credits the training he received in SERE training and Survival for his return to America after the crash. Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant crashed as part of the UH-60 Helicopter crew that day in October 1993. He survived, and returned home eleven days later with honor.
The SERE advanced Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape course is in truth a code of conduct course. Held at a remote mountain location in the State of Maine, it is a course that teaches initial and advanced instruction and training regarding the code of conduct for soldiers. It teaches the legal and moral responsibilities of a member of the United States Armed Forces if captured and held by the enemy. But this is not the limit of what SERE training teaches, it goes far beyond this basic principal. “We exist to teach soldiers and individuals what to do when the situation goes from Bad to far worse,” said SERE Instructor Harry Haug. Haug is Hospital Corpsman First Class, and assigned to the Aviation Fleet Specialized Training Group in Brunswick Maine.
“The students who come here to train are those that have a greater risk of being caught behind the lines of the enemy,” said Haug. “We accept them and train them, to say alive, to know the values and the code of conduct, and in real life threat situations,” stated Haug. Aircrew Members, Pilots, Special Forces members, Aviators, and Air Force Recon personnel are some of the different types of Military jobs that require the SERE training school course.
“We face a constantly shifting and changing battlefield, most of our personnel in the field are at some time or the other at risk of being captured by the enemy,” said Haug. “We strive to teach here in the mountains the know-how and the courage it takes to survive if ever they are caught in such a situation,” said Haug. The SERE training starts out meekly, in the classroom and focused on real world wilderness survival and application of the training. A lot of attention is given to the military code of conduct, and how it affects moral, responsibility, and the legal requirements of the soldier that is captured. “They view the code in a whole different way after their SERE Training.
Most students believe that, after their SERE training, they have the tools necessary to return with honor if they are ever captured,” said Haug.