When entering hostile territory, the possibility of being taken prisoner is always present and there is no guarantee your captors will follow prisoner-of-war laws to the letter of the Geneva Convention. As a result, all US service members undergo some form of evasion training in addition to preparation to survive inside a POW camp if the situation ever arose. The most rigorous and comprehensive training is reserved for special operations due to the greater risk their missions tend to take on. Since the end of the Vietnam War, all troops have completed the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) course. SERE contains three levels of increasingly difficult training. All enlisted and commissioned troops complete ‘A’ level training. ‘B’ is reserved for those whose job involves a moderate risk of capture and must be completed before entering live combat. ‘C’ is the most arduous course available to a wide swath of troops. Tier 1 operators such as Delta Force or the Naval Special Warfare Development Group do have their own additional training courses.
The Crossroads of Special Operations