Jason Starcher, Cal State-Northridge ’21, has committed the last five years of his life to becoming a United States Air Force Pararescueman, a skilled operator tasked with recovering and medically treating personnel in humanitarian and combat environments.
A highly selective role, the passing rate for the Pararescue Indoctrination Course is less than 20 percent. According to Starcher, the biggest leap forward toward attaining his dream job and beating these odds came after making the decision to sign up for SigEp’s free nationwide Career Coaching opportunity. “I’ve made more progress pursuing this job in less than two months than I have in my five years of being in the military,” said Starcher.
Starcher enlisted into the military after completing his first year in college, taking time away from school to complete basic training and a deployment to Turkey. He’s now studying kinesiology with a focus in sports studies, aiming to graduate and use his skills to help others as a Pararescueman. Months from graduation, he didn’t think Career Coaching would be useful for his military career, saying “I thought there was no way they could find some guy for me. There is no way they can find someone in time.”
“To my surprise, within a couple of days I got an email back saying ‘Hey, we found someone for you!’” Starcher said.
He got a text a day later from his career coach reaching out with questions to help better understand Starcher and his career goals. Within days, Starcher’s coach connected him with several Combat Rescue Officers who would be able to put him in contact with individuals responsible for managing the pipeline of potential Pararescue men.
“The connections I’ve made have been invaluable,” said Starcher. “It warmed my heart and it has made me so happy to be able to finally move forward in this career field.”
For older members or those with less common career goals wondering if Career Coaching can be a resource for them, Starcher shares this advice: “Just do it. I was on the fence about doing it. Career coaching set my career path in motion.”
SigEp Career Coaching is available for free to all undergraduate members. To take advantage of the nationwide Career Coaching opportunity or become a career coach yourself and support undergraduates like Jason Starcher, visit sigep.org/careercoaching to learn more.