FORT KNOX, KY – Eleventh Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets pushed through the streets of Fort Knox for 6 miles with a rucksack on their backs on Friday morning.
The 6-Mile Ruck March takes place at the beginning of Cadet Summer Training (CST). This ruck will eventually prepare the Cadets for the 8-Mile and 12-Mile rucks that are later on throughout training.
The ruck march commenced at 4 a.m., Friday morning. The time limit that Cadets must complete the ruck march is set at two hours. At each mile marker, Cadets were given a number of how much time had surpassed.
The standard ruck weight is set at 35 pounds but most Cadets rucks ranged through 35 to 45 pounds.
Most Cadets had a positive experience with their first ruck of CST.
“It [the ruck] went pretty well. Being down in Florida, I was able to get used to the heat very well. The only thing I was not used to is hills… My lungs just are not used to the steep inclines,” said Cadet Darryl Gerow, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, who usually trains and rucks on the beach of Daytona Beach, Florida. Gerow finished with a time of 1:23, earning him Recondo status for the 6-Mile Ruck March.
The Recondo status for the 6-Mile Ruck is reached by completing in 1:30 or less. Recondo was a big goal for Cadets as Cadet Rory Marshall, University of Maine, stated, “Most of our platoon, had the largest number back first… we had a lot of people get under that Recondo mark.”
“We paced ourselves really well, trying to save a little bit of energy for the training to come today but still trying to get under that hour thirty mark,” stated Cadet Liam Lacey, from the Virginia Military Institute.
Coming in at 1:20 and earning him Recondo, Lacey expressed that to have a successful ruck, “You definitely have to have a little bit of perseverance or mental toughness. You just need to put your head down and go.”
Marshall stressed mental toughness as well saying, Cadets have to be able to push through these rucks and to get over those personal barriers they set for themselves. These future Cadets are eventually going to ask their Soldiers to do this same thing, so they have to be able to do it and do it better than they can, so that they can lead.
“You need to be prepared to lead your Soldiers, and to be able to do everything you are going to ask them to do,” stated Marshall, who also earned Recondo status coming in at a time of 1:25.