Kevin McCullough

Don't let it be misunderstood. Those who serve in our nation's military espouse values that confuse the left, confound their purpose, and leave them unable to understand, much less resonate with our service men and women. This week I saw why.

Five nights ago I sat at dinner with a United States Marine and an about-to-be winged United States Naval Flight Officer. They have been friends since childhood. The marine served in the South Pacific, Gitmo, and Iraq. The Navy NFO has been learning aircraft, trajectory, and the specific abilities of how to conduct a dog-fight, drop a bomb on a terrorist, and make it back to the carrier safely with a $44 million dollar piece of equipment. The occasion we were all together for on this particular evening was to celebrate the completion of the training for the NFO to take his next step into his days of flying missions into Iraq, Afghanistan, or wherever else the U.S. Navy decides he should.

Between his winging and his access to an F-18, however, rests a little appointment on the calendar. Those in military service know it as S.E.R.E.

It stands for Survive, Evade, Resist, and Escape.

Few in civilian life know much about it because of the intense nature of what it is. Stories have surfaced as to what others experienced in undergoing it, but even these are few as those who do persevere it are expected to not release the details of what happens.

The description as best I could decipher is akin to being caught behind enemy lines. Your objective is to survive for periods without the basics. You are to do so for as long as possible by not being captured (hence the "evade" phase.) When captured you are to react as though those who hold you are in fact the enemy, and as they do things like waterboard you, break fingers, etc., you are to rely upon all your ability as an honorable member of the defense forces of the United States to resist, not give up your information, nor of your mission. The more you resist the more those who run the program are encouraged to hurt you to tempt you to break. The only major caveat they are asked to observe is not to break any major bones.


At some point in the two weeks you are given a chance to plot an escape, attempt that escape, and you likely will be caught and punished for doing it.

The entire point of the exercise is to wear you down, to wear you out, and to test your ability to survive under literally the worst possible circumstances.