GORUCK? What is it, exactly?


You may have heard this word in passing among fellow athletes or various training partners. Simply put, GORUCK is “teamwork, leadership, camaraderie, smiles, and a gut-check worthy of Special Operations training.”

The beauty of GORUCK, or a Challenge, is that it isn’t about you. It’s about ALL of you. Every event begins the same way; awkwardly, amongst people you’ve never met, standing around just waiting, not knowing what to expect… and then your Cadre shows up. The Cadre is your “tour guide”, your “leader” for the event. He will usually tell you a little about his missions and experience, and the suffering and discomfort he went through in the process. He’ll check your pack to make sure you have everything you need. He will even smile and laugh, almost like he’s laughing at you… and then you realize that maybe he is. Because he’s the only one who knows the amount of suck that you’re going to face in the next 8-10 hours.

How are the Cadre picked? “It’s smiles and pedigree. The smiles mean you’re a character, that you can entertain 30 strangers who respect you while you build them into a team. The pedigree is a background in Special Operations, a mindset of mission success via unconventional solutions.”

The Welcome Party; how every GORUCK event begins. The point of this is to break you down. “Everything we do has a purpose, everything we do builds a team. And being a team is a mindset, and the mind responds to a good welcome party.”

“Good Livin’ is what you call it when life is actually tough but you love it, your attitude is great, and you smile.”

The most important aspect of this event is the team building. Any separation amongst the team indicates that the team is not functioning as a team. All the classes are always reminded that “all rules matter all the time.” The most important rule in GORUCK? WORK TOGETHER. Everyone has different weight, some have more, some have less. Guess what? Life isn’t always fair, and this Challenge is going to reinforce that. The people doing better should take more weight more of the time, expecting nothing in return. Because they can. Because they are a team and the goal is to start together, finish together.

The coolest thing about GORUCK is that it brings all sorts of people together. “Military and civilian, runners and lifters, men and women. No matter your size, smiles and a sense of cool will always get other people to follow you.”

So what do you get for finishing? The GORUCK Tough patch, only earned. Never bought. The only way to get one of these is to pass a GORUCK Challenge. And when you earn one, trust me, you wont be giving it away.


“The bottom line is that people, when they work together, are capable of infinitely more than they thought possible. And that’s a powerful thing to know, and even more powerful to experience.”


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