An Iowa man looking to serve his country was put through the wringer Monday. Ben Ferreira wants to be a part of the Pararescuemen, an elite combat force that specializes in unique rescue missions for the Air Force.
From swimming to running and more, Ferreira is willing to go through whatever it takes to become a Pararescueman.
"I know it's a really intense program. I know that it takes a lot of physical strength as well as mental strength to do this," Ferreira said.
After high school, Ferreira went through EMT training and loved it. That knowledge combined with an athletic past, make him an ideal candidate.
Pararescuemen are an Air Force elite combat force and some can be found side by side with Navy SEALs during dangerous missions. One of Ferreira's extended family members was actually a part of Pararescue and was killed in action.
"If a Navy unit deploys there's probably a pararescue, one or two folks with them, so that they can administer trauma care if something happens to them," Galea said.
"It's weird but I just love trauma. I wanted to serve my country and I'm a good swimmer so I figured I'd give it a shot," Ferreira said.
Today's test is just the beginning. 81 weeks of elite training are ahead including tough diver, airborne and survival schools.
"I know this is my end game and this is where I want to be. It's just like kids going to college, they've got to put everything into it. This is where I'm going," Ferreira said.
Ferreira has lost 34 pounds since June as he continues to work to sharpen his physical strength and endurance scores. If he is approved, his journey will start with Air Force Basic Military Training.