Air Force legendary pararescueman Chief Master Sgt. Ivan Ruiz is retiring this fall after a 26-year career
Ruiz was recognized by the Pararescue Foundation and Ones Ready, a podcast run by former Air Force special warfare soldiers, as one of those individuals who have “a life-changing impact.” In order to save soldiers and civilians in grave peril, Air Force pararescuemen have long faced enemy fire and natural disasters. With that kind of mentality, uncommon bravery becomes a common attribute within a group, making it all the more notable that one pararescueman who is retiring this fall after a 26-year career received the nickname “legendary” from other PJs. The most well-known feat Ruiz has (so far) achieved occurred on December 10, 2013, when he stood in the open in an Afghan compound’s courtyard, receiving fire from Taliban gunmen to prevent them from shooting his wounded friends who were nearby. After such a long career, what wisdom does Ruiz have to impart to the younger generation? It’s not much, but it works. ““Don’t quit,” he said. “That’s it.”.