I have a friend who was an Army Airborne guy in Viet Nam. Great guy. We usually go to an Army football game each year. Love watching them jump the gameball into Michie Stadium and so on.
Recently, it came up about “how do they pack Military Parachutes?” Does the Airborne trooper do it himself? So I asked him, and his response was interesting:
43 years ago The Army used “Riggers” to pack parachutes. There was a rigger school but I don’t know how long the course lasted. Back in 1970, a rigger must be Airborne qualified and after rigger school, they were awarded a specific rigger patch just like jump wings. I did visit the rigger warehouse when I was going to jump school and watched them pack chutes but I really did not pay attention to detail. My only question to the NCOIC of the detail was, “how do I know these guys are not hung-over or hacked-off and doing a less than spectacular job when packing MY chute?” The answer was refreshing: “…because throughout the day I will come in here and grab a chute from the pile and then pick a rigger and tell him to go jump with that chute.”