Survival Equipment Specialist ... (Military - Enlisted)  What They Do

Just the Facts


Survival equipment specialists in the Military inspect, fit, maintain, and repair survival equipment, such as parachutes, aircraft life support equipment, search and rescue equipment, and air-sea rescue equipment, along with survival kits, medical kits, flight clothing, protective wear, night vision equipment, aircrew oxygen systems, liquid oxygen converters, anti-exposure suits, and G-suits.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster National Security pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Inventories, cleans, receives, stores, and issues all equipment used in airdrop operations
  • Installs, inspects, and tests extraction and release systems
  • Performs technical, routine, and in-storage rigger-type inspection on cargo, extraction, and personnel parachutes as well as other airdrop equipment before, during, and after each use
  • Uses and maintains machines and tools for fabrication, modification, and repair to parachute and other airdrop equipment
  • Inspects, maintains, and repairs parachutes, seat pans, survival equipment, and flight and protective clothing and equipment
  • Troubleshoots oxygen systems, repairs and tests oxygen regulators and liquid oxygen converters removed from aircraft
  • Operates and repairs sewing machines
  • Plans, directs, organizes, and evaluates AFE operational aspects, such as equipment accountability, personnel reliability, mobility readiness, and other activities necessary to meet operational readiness
  • Inspects, services, maintains, troubleshoots, and repairs: cargo aerial delivery systems, drag parachute systems, aircraft oxygen systems, helicopter emergency flotation systems, portable dewatering pumps, air-sea rescue kits, and special-purpose protective clothing
  • Inspects, maintains, packs, and adjusts aircrew flight equipment, such as flight helmets, oxygen masks, parachutes, flotation devices, survival kits, helmet-mounted devices, aircrew night vision and other ocular systems, anti-G garments, aircrew vision and respiratory protective equipment, chemical biological protective oxygen masks and coveralls, other types of Aircrew Flight Equipment, and aircrew chemical defense systems

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Seeing clearly at a distance

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel