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Survival and evasion
Most of SERE training focuses on survival and evasion. Skills taught include woodcraft and wilderness survival in all types of climate. This includes what is known as emergency first aid, a variant of the battlefield variety, land navigation, camouflage techniques, methods of evasion, communication protocols, and how to make improvised tools.
Resistance and escape
Training on how to survive and resist the enemy in the event of capture is largely based on the experiences of past US and allied prisoners of war.
How to survive in water is taught at a separate Professional Military Education (PME) course; it takes three days and is typically attended after the main SERE course. In addition to training in the use of aquatic survival gear, more academic skills include first aid tailored to an aquatic environment, communication protocols, ocean ecology, and equipment maintenance.
Code of conduct
SERE training is intended, above all, to provide students with the skills needed to live up to the US military code of conduct when in uncertain or hostile environments. It is:
1.I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
2.I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
3.If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
4.If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
5.When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability, I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
6.I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.