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US Army Veteran Keith Caraway on his Swim Test

April 17, 2020

Keith Caraway, a 20-year US Army military veteran and guest on “The David Johnson Show”, laughs about the time he had to pass the swim test to achieve a guaranteed station of choice. 

“The David Johnson Show” is a national voice that talks about points of interest in the American military and veteran subculture. Each show episode showcases a different guest with a different story. Sign up to get notified of new episodes at and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Video Transcription:

Keith Caraway - After we were done with the recruiting program, they gave you guaranteed station of choice. In the process of that, I found out about the 160th (Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), and the lady was like, You know, the success rate is 41 percent. I was like, But it says if I do recruiting, I get guaranteed station, with a pinpoint assignment. She was like, Well, you know, they're swimming. Hey, I'm black and I can swim. I took care of my kids too, you jive turkey son of a...haha … anyway.

Well, the thing was, they thought that black guy can't swim. It did eliminate a lot of people, later on when I got there. Oh man, it was like all my black buddies “It was swimming that got us.” Bad day, bad look. You talk about it, we owned that stereotype right there, man! It was us, and then there was me. I almost didn't make it either. It was the first time I had to swim with equipment on. You know how you do the 10-foot drop? You swim to the next instructor and then you do the treading? I was about to quit. I put my head back and I was like, "F***!." When I did that, my head floated. A guy said, "Time." I said, "I made it, yes!

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