Cadets of the 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp made the eight-mile ruck march this morning, June 24.
Foot marches are hard work, there’s no question about it; 35 pounds on your back, decked out in full battle attire, marching for eight miles straight. They’re hard work, indeed.
“Every ruck has its challenges,” Cadet Connor Sloan, from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and attending Michigan State University, said.
These Cadets all train in different environments when they are back at their home university. From hills to flat land, training on a different type of land can increase the difficulty of that ruck, but that’s still not the hardest part.
“The hardest part of rucks in general is the mind, it’s finding something to think about,” Cadet Justin Siegel, from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and attending Rutgers University, said.
For Siegel and many other Cadets, that “something to think about” is their friends and family both at camp and back home.
“I just keep a positive attitude, I think of home,” Cadet Nathan Rolling, from Salt Lake City, Utah, and attending Norwich University, said. “I think of the boys and everything.”
Siegel, like Rolling, seeks comfort in thinking of home and those waiting there for him. With their first anniversary happening just after the end of camp, Siegel finds himself focusing on his girlfriend to get him through his days.
Home has given these Cadets motivation, a light at the end of the tunnel. With the end in site, there is one thing on each of their minds.
Getting through it
“I’m coming home soon,” Sloan said excitedly after being asked what he wanted people back home to know.
It was a statement that echoed, that sentiment of returning to those they cared about. Whether it’s family, friends, what-have-you, these Cadets are ready to go home to them.
“I miss everyone, I’m doing great,” Cadet Lauryn Thomas from Riverside, California, and attending the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, said, hoping to get that message to her family.
“I’ll be home soon,” Thomas said with a laugh.
Cadet Joseph Evelo, from Carmel, Indiana, and attending Purdue University, who has found camp to be quite the “interesting” and “surprising” experience, also has his thoughts focused on home.
“I’ve got a girlfriend back home that means a lot to me,” Evelo said after being asked what gets him through a ruck. “I always carry a photo of her, it’s a reminder that I do have something home to come back to.”
To Those Back Home
Every Cadet sends their well-wishes home. To their families, they want them to know that they’re okay. They are thriving here, and though the work is hard, they are succeeding.
And, they’ll be home soon.