Before they become Airborne-qualified paratroopers, all students must graduate from Airborne School, a three-week course that teaches the techniques involved in parachuting from airplanes and landing safely on the ground. Chief Video Correspondent Graham Flanagan spent five days at Airborne School inside the Fort Benning military installation near Columbus, Georgia, where we observed various classes at different stages of training.
Airborne School is broken up into three phases: ground week, tower week, and jump week. During jump week, soldiers must successfully complete five jumps at 1,250 feet from a live aircraft. Paratroopers who successfully meet course requirements get to wear the coveted Silver Wings on their uniform, which they receive during graduation. Airborne-qualified soldiers on current jump status receive an additional $150 per month classified as Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay.