**This post is intended to get the message out about the GRC 815, and we are going to add to it as we go. Please send me your thoughts and pictures (to Shawn.Kelly@windstream.com) so I can insert them into the Post so the PAX can see images of what is outlined below. My photos are blurry.
01:00 Inspection Line Up
Cadre Dakotah / Cadre Greg
And 11 Shadows (Dora, Culkin and Angler were among the 11)
Coupons: (8) Military Water Jugs – filled up, (2) 55LB KB’s, Fire Hose, 40LB Sand Bag, 120LB Ball, (2) 80LB Sand Bags….AND a 1200 LBS Pole.
31 brave souls (18 of them from F3) were nervous and excited to embark on what would be a life changing event. With over 20 of the 31 admitting to never doing a GRC before, this was definitely something that would become a defining moment for many in the GORUCK class 815.
Cadre Dakotah addressed the group by mentioning that he and Cadre Greg were both active duty Special Forces Green Berets. Dakotah told the group that he joined GORUCK in June, but has been a GRC Cadre every weekend since, and was well accustomed to dishing out the pain. He also mentioned that he joined up with the Army in 2002 and was thankful to have the chance to serve our country in Iraq and shortly thereafter, was selected to be in Special Forces riding along with the 182nd as a medic.
Cadre Greg also added in that he joined the Army in 2003, with 10 years of service and was selected to be in Special Forces and served overseas. Cadre Greg currently is a specialist in training soldiers for the Special Forces selection process and he had recently completed his first GRC. The 815 was to be his first opportunity to Cadre for GORUCK.
Needless-to-say, these fine warriors were more than ready to give the PAX a taste of what life is like during the selection process for The Green Berets. What the PAX was about to go through was quote, “Exactly what we do during the first day of the selection process to assess where our candidates are physically and mentally” – Cadre Dakotah
Once the introductions were made and Rucks inspected, Cadre Dakotah called out for our Team weights…almost our First infraction since only 1 person brought a fire hose and we were lacking a team weight. Not thinking totally through it, I (The Hoff) realized that I had an extra Kettle Bell in the trunk so offered that up. Cadre accepted and asked us to get the KB out for our team weight…again, poor decision on my part as the KB I had in there was 55LBS, 30LBS heavier than then what was required – Trust me, there was a lot of chatter during the 12 hour and 30 minute Ruck about how terrible that bell was.
Welcome Party 01:15-03:15 Lower Field
Most of us were thinking there would be a similarity to the 707 with the Tunnel of Love and Dip in the Creek, but boy did the Cadres have other plans in mind. Formation and Teamwork were the key here. The Cadres were solely focused on breaking us down as a unit and forcing us to work as a team while performing perfect reps. Dakotah even told us they wouldn’t be talking to us for the first 3-4 hours and we needed to talk to each other instead. The Welcome Party consisted of Pushups, Lunges, Squats, Thrusters, Overhead Ruck Press, Flutters, Six Inches, Jumping Squats, Jumping Lunges, 100+ Arm Raises, “On your Belly-On-your Back-On your Feet, Planking, Duck Walks, Frog Jumps, Bear Crawls, Team Sprints with 5 Gallon Jugs, Leaning Team Merkins, and much…much more.
Mosey to Playground for Pull-Ups, Hill Sprints
Fountain Time 03:15-03:30
In the fountain, after we were all smoked from the PT, some were actually looking forward to cooling down…for the most part. Burpees, Push Ups, Flutters…then came the song that would resonate through our heads for the remaining 10 hours:
“On your belly, On your back, On your feet” – Cadre Greg singing as the PAX had to go from belly fully submerged, to your back then squat jump to your feet – exhausting. Followed of course by a roll through the sand just to make sure we were uncomfortable for the upcoming Ruck.
Time to Ruck…Cadre selected the youngest person in the group to be our lead and told us that we had to pick up a package at Veterans Park. Funny thing was no one had a clue where the park was and we were told that we has 1.5 hours to get there. Along the way and a few wrong turns, the Cadres began killing off many of the PAX. The first incident was because one of us accidentally stepped into the street and the others to follow were punishments for not being in formation (infractions began piling up…check back later about the infractions…ugh)
Veterans Park 05:00
At this point it was clear the Cadres were becoming frustrated with our lack of teamwork and decided to take us to the baseball fields for more punishment. Bear crawls, Jump squats, etc. to get the PAX back in the right mindset. Once completed, our mission was to find the package that was waiting for us and what was to follow was one of the most horrific items that would haunt us for the remaining journey…a 1200 LBS Telephone Pole. This thing took 12 men to carry and was awful. No hiding from the pain and with us packed in so tightly just to carry it our steps were much shorter than we would have preferred, which in essence doubled the amount of pain we were in under the log.
When we got the Log up, Cadre announced that we needed to find the Holiday Inn in Center City. Off we went…
About ½ mile in and WAIT..FLAG TOUCHES THE GROUND! The punishment for this was devastating. Those on the log had to press over head in cadence alternating from one shoulder to the other, while the others pressed Rucks and Jugs in the same fashion until shoulders were completely smoked. We learned the hard way to never do that again!
Along the way, the rain started and the sun began coming out. Many spectators were asking us what we were doing, but the PAX was not allowed to say anything other than, “GORUCK”…we couldn’t even ask for directions.
Holiday Inn 07:30
PAX gets a nice history lesson, water break learns about what it is like to be a new recruit staying in the Holiday Inn the night before going to boot camp. Cadres then give us orders to find Fraiser Park and we have 1 hour to get there. If we don’t get there in time, more penalties in store.
Fraiser Park 08:45
At Fraiser we were met up with a local and learned that in war time, the Army takes time to train the locals there to aid and assist in the War efforts. These brave people act as our allies and help the soldiers fight during wartime. In addition, we offer them back some assistance in supplies and transport. It is here that things got really tough for the PAX. 3 more coupons of epic proportions. (2) 80lbs bags and (1) 120lbs ball. Time to move out! Orders are to move out to the 5 point intersection off Morehead Rd, then to the Met. We have 2.5 hours to get there.
After 8 hours in, a strange and unforeseen thing started happening. The PAX became 1 team. We moved more efficiently and move faster with the extra weight. Since we were all at this point carrying something, there was no relief at all. Everyone had to dig down deep and work together. The pain turned to focus as we made our way to the Met.
The Met 12:30
DROP LOG OFF. 6.5 hours of carrying that enormous pole was over. Drop Ball and Extra Coupons.
Cadre called out “20 minutes to get back to Independence Park” and we all double-timed it. But the Cadres had other plans…killing off the big guys. For the last mile, 8 of us were killed off and it took everything we had to move those bodies through the streets. Dead guys’ arms were around 2 people’s necks while legs held up by 2 more. At this point, everyone was carrying a human. We almost didn’t make it on time, but dug deep and made it back to the park.
Independence Park 12:50
Could this be? We finished 10 minutes early…NOT!!!!
INFRACTIONS – Cadre called out our 15 infractions, therefore we owed him more time.
Infraction Exit Party:
15 rounds, 15 exercises with sprints up the hill in between each round. If we didn’t perform in perfect cadence or rep range, we start all over!!
Rounds (Squats, Push Ups, Squat Thrusts, Lunges, Mountain Climbers, Ski Abs, Flutter, Burpees, Overhead Press, Arm Raises, Belly-Back-Feet, Frog Jumps, Jump Squats, Thrusters, and Slow Squats in Cadence) – Basically did an intense F3 routine at the end of a 12 hour Ruck.
I’ve never been so proud to be a part of something in my life. It didn’t hit me until Cadre Dakotah shook my hand and handed me the patch when I realized the true meaning of what we were doing. I became overwhelmed in emotion as I thought about the team…the guys that I trained with at SPEARHEAD for months and the new friends I made from the class of GRC815. Finally, I realized what it all means…it isn’t about 1 person, but the team. I looked over at BLC, Iron Horse, Sweetness, Check Point, Culkin and the rest of the group and was a moment that will stay with me forever. What we accomplished was unreal. Our bodies were physically beaten down to a point of complete failure. Our mental stability and strength was tested the entire time as we would not give up. We would help our brothers in need regardless of how sore or tired we became. We were there for each other no matter what. It is with great appreciation that I thank everyone who was involved and moving forward recommend this to everyone looking to achieve what we did that day.
For a link to photos from the GRC Class 815 click: https://sites.google.com/site/spearheadf3/photo-gallery
As always an honor to be able to be a part of something like this!
Shawn Kelly aka The Hoff