Army Jump Master: 10 Things You Should Know

army jump masterAny United States Army soldier who holds the title of Jump Master has gained a level of expertise that many others are envious of.

With that title, there also comes more responsibility.

Some of you may be somewhat familiar with the Army Jump Master while others are shaking their heads dumbfounded.

Let me just start by telling you that an Army Jump Master is an expert parachutist. And in today’s post, I am going to share 10 things you should know about the Army Jump Master and their job.

#1: Army Jump Masters Are Teachers

Part of the responsibilities of Army Jump Masters is training the proper techniques for jumping from airplanes. They train soldiers who enter Army Airborne School as well as managing airborne operations.

#2: Must Be Proficient At “Rigging”

Not only must the Army Jump Master be an expert at parachuting, he/she must also be an expert at rigging parachute equipment and door bundles.

#3: Army Jump Masters Have An Advanced Parachutist Badge

In the majority of situations, during jumps, Jump Masters can be identified by either a red or a yellow armband. The red armband denotes a Jump Master who is current and active. The yellow armband denotes a soldier who has earned the title but is not current and must complete a refresher course before he/she can perform the duties of a Jump Master.

Another sign of Army Jump Masters are the fact that they have advanced parachutist’s badges. The Senior Parachutist has a Star over their Wings. The Master Parachutists have both a Star and a Wreath over their Wings.

#4: Army Jump Master Duties And Responsibilities

I slightly touched on this subject, but let’s look even closer…

  • Procedures for rigging individual equipment containers and door bundles;
  • Understanding and identifying personnel parachute components by their specific nomenclature and characteristics;
  • Procedures and standards required to conduct a Jump Master personnel inspection;
  • The duties and responsibilities of the drop zone safety officer;
  • Presentation of the Jump Masters’ briefings and pre-jump training;
  • And the execution of the duties of a Jump Master from an aircraft during a day/night combat equipment jump.

#5: More Money

Any and all airborne soldiers who stay up-to-date on their jump requirements are entitled to $150 extra pay each month.

Army Jump Masters will receive that plus, they can receive $100 more each month to keep current on Jump Master requirements.

The Army did this to keep at a constant state of readiness. So an Army Jump Master can get $250 extra each month on top of their normal pay.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. The Top 20 Army Airborne Soldiers of All Time
  2. The MT1X Parachute: Top 10 Cool Facts
  3. The 82nd Airborne: 22 Cool Facts
  4. Army 92R Parachute Rigger MOS
  5. The Role of the 101st Airborne in World War 2: What They Did

#6: What’s Right Instead Of What’s Wrong

During Jump Master training, candidates are taught something that seems odd… They are to look at everything that is right in the jump scenario. And since the Jump Master is responsible for each and every person about to jump from that plane, you would think he/she would be looking for anything that is wrong.

It has been found that if an Army Jump Master is completely focused on looking for everything that is right, when there is something wrong, it will be obvious!

#7: Requirements To Attend Army Jump Master School

A soldier can attend any 1 of 3 schools to attain Jump Master status:

  1. United States Army Jumpmaster School at Ft Benning
  2. U.S. Army Advanced Airborne School at Ft Bragg
  3. or U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Jumpmaster School Mobile Training Teams

These are the requirements to enter any of these schools:

  • Must be E5 or higher
  • Be qualified as a parachutist and have a minimum of 12 static line parachute jumps
  • Must have been on jump status for a minimum of 12 months.
  • An Airborne physical no older than 5 years
  • Must be recommended by Battalion Commander or officer Lieutenant Colonel or higher
  • Must have a static line jump within the past 180 days.

#8: Jump Masters Wear A Knife On Lower Leg

If a jumper gets entangled, the Jump Master has that knife to free them.

#9: Three Weeks… But Actually 6 Weeks

Jump Master school lasts around 3 weeks. For most attending, they will have to attend the school for 6 weeks.

30% or less are able to pass it the first go. Every grade must be 70% or higher. The main exams are:

  1. Nomenclature Exam
  2. Pre-Jump Training Exam
  3. Written Exam
  4. Practical Work In Aircraft (PWAC)
  5. JMPI
  6. Safety Exam

Every soldier should be proficient in:

  • Day/Night Combat Equipment Jump
  • Parachute Safety
  • Parachute Deployment
  • Parachute Control
  • Airplane Procedures
  • Static-Line Jump
  • Landing Techniques

So, unless you are an absolute natural, just prepare for 6 weeks of intensive training.

#10: The Honor Jump Master

Each Jump Master course honors the highest scoring soldier by presenting him/her with the Harry “Tug” Wilson Award.

Tug Wilson was the most experienced paratrooper in World War II.

Final Thoughts

Each and every airborne soldier puts a lot of trust in their Jump Master. That person must be both competent and confident. The safety of the troops counts on it!

So let’s hear from current or past Jump Masters. Please tell us more.

And if you have any questions, just post them below.

Thank you.



About The Author

Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at

5 thoughts on “Army Jump Master: 10 Things You Should Know”

  1. Great write up; JM’s are truly an expert in their craft. As a current and qualified JM I wanted to clarify a point on #3: the red armband or patch denotes current and qualified Jumpmasters that are pulling duties during an airborne operation; ie PJ, AJ, Safety, DACO, DZSO Etc. These positions form the JM team for each operation and individual chalks of paratroopers. Yellow armband or patch denotes current and qualified JM’s that are not pulling duties on the airborne operation but may assist the JM team in performing JMPI and rigging of paratroopers within their respective chalks. As for the additional $100 for JM’s mentioned in #5 I hope that’s true and have yet to see it someday; I could use some extra beer money each month lol AATW!

  2. Great and helpful post. Everyone can understand about Jump master roles and duties. Now only I came to know there are two types of jump masters within US army. I feel happy to know about these things.

      1. Jeremy Cummings

        A few corrections. JM’s wear the red band if they are assigned as a JM on that jump. JM’s wear the yellow band if they are not assigned JM duties. This allows the PJ (primary JM) to task them with helping during JMPI or other duties if needed.
        JMs don’t get any incentive pay.
        You don’t automatically get master rated after passing Jump master. You have to baseline and do a night hang as an AJ, 2 mass tac’s and 12 jumps with combat equipment.
        JM is 3 weeks, the pass rate hovers around 50%.
        Finally, the USASOC course is only recognized in the USASOC community. You can’t serve as a jumpmaster unless you have been to Benning or Bragg or one of the MTT’s.

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