Fort Knox, Ky.,– Advanced Camp Cadets tested their endurance during a vigorous 12mile ruck during the wee hours of the morning as part of their Cadet Summer Training.
With the finish line in sight, Advanced Camp 3rd Regiment Cadets race toward the end of their 12mile ruck at Fort Knox, Ky., June 30, 2017. The ruck tests both physical and mental endurance as Cadets are expected to complete within four hours. (Photo by Emily LaForme).
The 3rd Regiment Cadets began the ruck at 0300 in the morning, testing both physical and mental endurance as they trekked across Fort Knox. Cadets were given four hours to complete the ruck, and those still in the running for the Recondo Badge needed to complete it within three hours.
Cadet Samuel Nichols, student at the University of North Alabama, native of Mobile, Alabama, completed the ruck after two hours and 51 minutes.
“It tests your physical endurance and your willpower, because everyone is hurting, especially coming out of the field, and no one feels 100%, but if you get out there and push yourself, it really shows your true character,” said Nichols.
Nichols believes this endurance training will prepare him for his future as an Army leader.
“As an Army officer, things aren’t always going to be easy and you are going to be stressed out in almost every branch and job there is. Something simple like just putting a rucksack on and walking twelve miles can show stress that you can’t simulate elsewhere,” said Nichols.
“I felt like I paced myself pretty well, I kept in my time limits for every mile. Something I could do better is to practice more, because I’m hurting real bad.”
Cadet Andy Woo, student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, host school is Johns Hopkins University, native of Potomac, Maryland, is one of the remaining Cadets for 3rd Regiment still in the running for Recondo.
An Advanced Camp 3rd Regiment Cadet flashes a thumbs up during his 12mile ruck at Fort Knox, Ky., June 30, 2017. The ruck tests both physical and mental endurance as Cadets navigate flat and hilly terrain. (Photo by Emily LaForme).
“This just really tests your endurance, especially after not resting that well, or hydrating, or eating because of camp. You just have to motivate yourself and your peers that are rucking next to you,” said Woo. “I think it’s great because it gives Cadets motivation to push through and to excel in their performance. It gives me
motivation to do better. Stay mentally fit, stay motivated and hydrated.”
During the ruck, other challenges and obstacles can naturally be present to test endurance.
“I just motivated myself, ran on the down hills, jogged up the up hills, walked on the straight ways. The thing I could have done better was to probably put on anti-fog wipes, because my glasses were all foggy. I actually fell at one point going down hill, because I ran into the gravel on the side of the road,” said Woo.
Cadet Baylee Kennedy, student at the University of Miami, native of Davie, Florida, fought to stay motivated during the ruck.
“The main thing tested here is endurance. It’s all mental here, because we can actually do it, it’s just mental,” said Kennedy. “What I personally did was, every mile I hit, I told myself I was another mile down. Once you turn around, you’re going home, so just countdown and look to your battle buddies and know you are all going through this together. It was fun, I definitely got closer with people.”
Kennedy says the challenging test of endurance is a great reward after it is over.
An Advanced Camp 3rd Regiment Cadet near the end of his 12mile ruck at Fort Knox, Ky., June 30, 2017. The ruck tests both physical and mental endurance as Cadets navigate flat and hilly terrain within a four hour time constraint. (Photo by Emily LaForme).
“It just shows that you are headstrong and that you can definitely push through something that is, ultimately, not the most fun thing in the world. If you can do it, then you are pretty mentally tough,” said Kennedy.
Cadets will continue on with the remainder of their training, continuing to test both their physical and