U.S. ARMY MILITARY FREE FALL PARACHUTIST BADGE

If earning the Basic Parachutists Badge is akin to getting a driver’s license, then being awarded the Military Free-Fall Parachutist Badge is like being handed the victory trophy at the Indianapolis 500. Originally established in July, 1997, the MFFP Badge signifies the pinnacle of achievement for Soldiers who can take part in Airborne operations.

While members of other branches of the United States Armed Forces can earn an MFFP Badge or equivalent—in fact, they undergo the same training regimen conducted at the Yuma Proving Grounds—only Army personnel can be awarded the Army badge. But it’s not an award that just any Soldier can aspire to. To attend the Military Freefall (MFF) School, which is a component of the U.S. Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS), Soldiers must not only be serving in Special Operations Forces as Commissioned Officers (Lieutenants or Captains), Warrant Officers (W01 through CW3), or enlisted personnel (Private to Master Sergeant), but also must be assigned to (or on orders for assignment to) a position that’s coded for military free fall.

The School teaches both High Altitude-High Opening (HAHO) and High Altitude-Low Opening (HALO) techniques and all associated skills: packing chutes used in free-fall operations, rigging of weapons and combat equipment, employing portable oxygen equipment, and more. The program is divided into three courses—Basic, Advanced, and Jumpmaster—but the MFF Parachutist Badge is awarded in just two degrees, Basic and Jumpmaster.

For the Army Basic MFF Parachutist Badge, candidates must either complete this school (or another training regimen that has been approved by the USAJFKSWCS) or successfully execute a military free-fall combat jump, the latter being extremely unlikely without having first accomplished the former. The only pathway to earning the Jumpmaster MFF Badge is to complete the Jumpmaster course at the MFF School.
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