Nick Stanton a 2003 graduate of Yucaipa High School. and Cal State University, Long Beach recently graduated after two years of intensive training as a United States Air Force Pararescue. On Oct. 2, 2015, in front of family and friends who traveled to Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he received the coveted maroon beret, which symbolizes the blood saved and the blood spilled by this elite special ops team. According to the Chief Master Sergeant, over a thousand individuals applied for the PJ training at Lackland Air Force Base. Senior Airman Stanton was one of 26 that completed the military's most grueling combat schools. To quote from William F. Sine's Guardian Angel, Para-rescuemen, also known as PJs, for pararescue jumpers, are ultra-elite commandos whose training is on par with that of the U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. Army special forces (Green Berets), and Marine Corp amphibious reconnaissance. “PJs routinely take on harrowing missions that are beyond the capabilities of other rescue organizations. They can operate in the depths of the sea or at the roof of the world. They have braved withering Iraqi machine-gunfire to scuba dive in filthy canals, searching for casualties and saved hundreds of injured climbers on the treacherous slops of Mt. McKinley. In the 14 days immediately following Hurricane Katrina, PJs, rescued 4,000 victims. PJs have supported America's space program for decades. NASA used PJs to support capsule splash down and space shuttle operations.” “The dropout rate is between 85 and 9S percent. A PJ trainee who survives indoctrination must next undergo a series of challenging prerequisite courses, known as the PJ Pipeline, which consists of a period of hardcore military commando courses: the U.S. Army’s basic paratrooper training (the Airborne School) and high altitude low opening (HALOJ at the Army’s Freefall School, Air Force Survival School, the USAF Combat Dive School, and a six month long accelerated paramedic school.” “Once a candidate successfully completes the pipeline schools, he enters the apprentice course at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The apprentice course: consists of advanced weapon training, land navigation, combat tactics pararescue field medicine, mountain and technical rescue, advanced parachuting, and advanced helicopter operations.” Needless to say, his parents, Kathy and Bill Sellers of Yucaipa, are extremely proud of their son’s accomplishments. Stanton comes from a long line of military veterans. His grandfather served in the U.S. Army during WWII, his father served In the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War, his brother, Chase, served six years in the U.S. Coastguard. From an early age, his family knew Stanton was destined for adventure. He earned a BA in Journalism and a minor in Religious Studies. Stanton spent several weeks backpacking alone in Europe.
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