U.S. NAVY AIRCREW SURVIVAL EQUIPMENTMAN (PR) BALL CAP DEVICE

Upon completion of the roughly 12-week course taught at Class “A” Technical School in Pensacola, Florida, PRs headed for assignments in intermediate-level maintenance also attend a four-week “A” school. More advanced technical and operational training is also available for those with more experience in this rating. Another career path is the Special Operations Parachute Rigger, who works with Navy SEAL Teams and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units.

The PR rating traces its origins to 1924, when aircrew in the Navy and Army were required to wear parachutes during flight. In September of that year, the first class began its studies in parachute rigging at the Parachute Material School in Lakehurst, New Jersey. From that time until 1942 and the creation of the PR rating, parachute rigging was handled by aviation metalsmiths and aviation machinist’s mates.

Making a basic parachute jump was required to earn the PR rating until the early 1960s, when it became voluntary—but an extremely high percentage of students continued to choose do so. In 1965, the designation changed from Parachute Rigger to Aircrew Survival Equipmentman in order to give a more accurate description of the duties and skills involved in the rating, but the PR abbreviation remained unchanged.

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