Retraining Help

I am currently in the process of retraining into SERE and I have ran into a few roadblocks along the way. I am hoping we can use this post to help any others as they go through the process themselves.

My idea is to have those who have completed the process or those going through to be able to get together in a centralized location and find the answers to their questions.

I think it would be best to keep it to SERE related information only as the general retraining process has been covered plenty of times on this site as well as countless others (gosere, Mypers, etc...)

It should go without saying to be wary of OPSEC as you post but I would like to be able to get peoples questions answered so they may be able to move the process along as smoothly as possible.
I'll start by asking a the question regarding a Psychological evaluation.

I recently went in to complete said tests and there was mention of a polygraph, however the Mental Health Clinic did not know what that consisted of nor where to go for answers. I am looking for any information that can be used to help me complete this step of the process.

I have contacted Gosere, OSI, and finally the SERE Psychologist attached to the 66TRS and have not gotten answers or heard back yet. I understand he is a very busy man and understand it may take some time for him to get back with me. In the meantime if anyone can share some helpful information it would be appreciated.


Staff member
OSI wouldn't have any answers for you. Use of polygraph by OSI completely lacks psychological interpretation testing for health and wellbeing purposes.

Mental health/fitness determinations don't utilize polygraph testing. Polygraph testing or examination has no means to measure or predict ability to perform in stressful and sometimes life-threatening environments. Polygraph testing or examination is primarily a criminal investigative and special investigative tool.

Polygraph screening use is mostly connected to Personnel Reliability Program purposes connected to certifying the person as trustworthy. There is no SERE entry or award of and retention requirement for those preforming SERE duties to be above and beyond trustworthy. SERE personnel are normally not assigned into critical personnel reliability program positions that require individuals to undergo a polygraph test.

"If" SERE uses Polygraph for psychological or mental health purposes the line of questioning would be significantly different than a criminal investigation or personnel reliability program line of questioning.

There are very few, less than five, enlisted AFSCs that require polygraph for entry, award and retention of AFSCs, SERE is not one of these AFSCs. The requirement is directly connected to day-to-day duties normally or routinely involving access to certain programs, information, equipment, devices, or materiel having such validated security access requirements.
Thank you for the information, sir. I was confused as the paperwork from MYPERS had mention of a Polygraph and stated it was attached but did not provide any forms or guidance. I believe the Mental Health package is complete and just pending approval. As long as the information you provided is correct. I will verify just to be safe but from what I have found in AFI's and speaking to others I trust the information you have provided. Thank you.
There is a polygraph form to be filled out as part of your retraining package.

It is just a form that you answer truthfully and sign an attestation at the end of the form. Just general questioning.

You do not actually take a polygraph, they just call it a polygraph form, and it should be provided to you by AFPC once your retraining package is initiated.
Just to follow up, I heard back from the SERE Psychologist, Maj Doti, this morning and he said they no longer use the polygraph form. There is "a new, quicker, simpler process they use." So the form is no longer needed. Apparently the change is very recent so there may not be any others that have to deal with the polygraph form. They will probably all fall under the new process. Thanks for all the input.


Staff member
What you are referring to is unsupervised deterrence paper and pencil question and answer screening without a known allegation or incident and no physical measurements. Such tests are intended to add incremental validity to risk management decisions that are made in the absence of any known problem. Further the science of polygraph testing/examination is directly connected to observing and recording physiological indicators (respiration activity, electrodermal activity, cardiovascular activity) known to be correlated with deception in structural decision models.

As the SERE and BA AFSCs risk management purpose is less determining trustworthiness and more about diagnosing resilience and mental toughness ( temperament/personality) the screening is about determining the applicants Emotional Quotient.

The Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS) is used during the recruit enlistment process to determine if applicants for several AFSCs are compatible and trainable for the AFSC they are interested in. No prior service enlisting applicants is the largest input of students into the SERE and BA AFSC training pipelines.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Although Army info-- Personality test helps ensure civilians are compatible for Army life

While the ASVAB has been a good measure of cognitive ability and trainability since the early 1970s when its use became widespread, TAPAS can predict other important elements of Soldier performance, she said.

The unique thing about this personality test and the reason it is such a good predictor of success is because of the way it is designed. <span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="color: red">It is "fake resistant.</span></span> It's good for high-stakes testing in that when Soldiers are trying to present themselves in a certain way, this test is resistant to that," she said.

"You can get a better representation of a person's personality as opposed to just what they want to show you about themselves," she said. In other words, "you can get a more valid predictor of their actual performance because of the way the test is designed."</div></div>Fake resistant means an applicant can fool the test as there is "NO" observe performance of the applicant stress test. Consequently why implementation of TAPAS never impacted number of training days and curriculum of the Pararescue Development and Pararescue Indoctrination courses.

I'm not aware of any TAPAS model that is validated for testing prior service and cross training applicants.


SERE-Minimum score of 40 required on SERE selection model completed in Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS).

TACP-Minimum score of 30 required on TACP selection model completed in Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS).

SOW-Minimum score of 30 required on SOWT selection model completed in Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS).

EOD-Minimum score of 30 required on EOD selection model completed in Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS).

No longer identified in current AFECD, but previous AFECD identify:

Combat Control-Minimum score of 30 required on CCT selection model completed in Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS).

Pararescue-Minimum score of 60 required on PJ selection model completed in Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS).
What is the average TAPAS score or is there even one? Are there benchmarks or standards on how they calculate? TAPAS sounds like it is such an unknown.


Staff member
The TAPAS as a screening tool is supposedly occupation specific which means the score demarcation is determined by testing all who start training and then determining the demarcation by determining the statistical norm for all who successfully completed training. The demarcation norm is different for each occupation composite score derived by some combining of more than one factor. They are generally calculated a bit differently for each AFSC.

How TAPAS is currently being relied upon to screen no-prior service applicants for entry classification purposes is not known to me as TAPAS is no longer specifically identified as an entry classification requirement for some BA AFSCs, whereas some AFSCs previously not having a TAPAS requirement now apparently do. A review of current AFECD will reveal TAPAS requirements currently only being prescribed for Air Traffic Control (50), TACP (30), Fusion Analyst (46), SERE (55), SOWT (30), and EOD (30).

Most of my familiarity is with how it was initially used by pararescue where the TAPAS score by itself was not a disqualification factor for getting the GTEP enlistment contract. It was used primarily to determine what to do with students reporting to day 1 of BMT and day 1 of the PJ Development Course and subsequently what to do with students who where not adapting to the training environment and struggling in meeting go/no-go training evaluations. What to refers to decisions to set back or completely remove the struggling student from training. Completely remove from training refers to options of entry level separation or reclassification into a new AFSC.

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