In March of 1906, in one of his final acts as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Lieutenant General John C. Bates signed into effect General Order No. 44 which dictated, “Throughout the year all companies, troops, and batteries will make at least one practice march each week, which for the infantry shall not be less than 12 miles.” Bates retired from active service in April 1906 having reached the mandatory retirement age of 64. He was the last Army Chief of Staff to have served in the American Civil War.
In subsequent historical documents, there are numerous attempts to decrease the mileage requirements of War Department General Order No. 44, citing that it was essentially too hard and “discouraged enlistments”. Fortunately, for those of us who yearn for a challenge, the 12 mile ruck march remains the standard in Special Forces and in the military on a whole.
Following the footsteps of our infantry ancestors plus our own Special Forces inspiration, here’s a challenge for those of you who seek such things - The GORUCK 12-Miler Star Course, the first rucking series of its kind:
Rucking is the foundation of Special Forces training and the GORUCK Rucking World Championships is the pinnacle of Rucking. You show up with your ruck and you get a lat/long to your next waypoint. You plot your route, then you start rucking: point to point, mile after mile.
For a lot of miles.
Top three finishers in the Men's Individuals, Women's Individual's, and Teams Open division (Men/Men, Woman/Woman, or Co-ed) of the GORUCK Rucking World Championship will earn the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place patches. All others who finish under 11 hours will earn the Rucking World Championship patch, which will never be for sale.
In order to qualify, you must have successfully completed one of the following:
You as an individual or your team of 2 (including you) show up at the Start Point. The route you and/or your team choose will be your own, so choose wisely. The minimum distance possible will be just over 12 Miles. You can expect to see the best sites in Nashville and you can expect at least one long movement taking you to the outskirts, and possibly beyond.
Prior to starting the clock, we’ll ensure that you make a successful comms check with our remote support team. At each waypoint, you’ll link up with a Cadre and receive your next lat/long. Don’t stop or slow down until you cross the actual finish line, remember to be prepared for anything.
Ranger Bat, endurance events, and the life of a Green Beret made Mocha the million dollar man. As in, that's how much hardware he has in him. He loves his family, long walks with the four legged kids and 8-shot mocha's!
Hand is retired US ARMY and served as a Ranger with 3/75 in Somalia and was on one of the first ODAs in Afghanistan after 9/11 as an 18E with 5th Special Forces Group. He has deployed to Africa, Asia, Central America and Europe. He likes the mountains, hiking, mountain biking, beer, bacon and classic rock. He loves the American flag, freedom, football and family. He is dedicated to building better Americans through teamwork (and pain).