Behind the Scenes: The Cadre of GORUCK Selection

As we reflect on Selection 021, we wanted to share with you firsthand experiences from the GORUCK Cadre themselves, the men behind the pain.

“The people. That’s the reason I continue to come back and do this. We go overseas and come back and see what the normal populous is concerned with – the Kardashians and Miley Cyrus and whoever’s the hottest rapper, but they have absolutely know idea or care what’s happening in the world. It almost feels like we move back into a pool of ignorance and there’s a whole bunch of our brothers over there doing work for almost nothing. The benefits aren’t really appreciated, and it’s almost to the point now where it’s taken for granted just because that’s what we are supposed to do. Finding a group of people who are willing to throw down their time and effort for some shared pain and misery is truly the only way I’ve been able to form an actual camaraderie. Even more so than just hanging out on the weekends having a beer, but putting yourself out on a limb. Realizing when you need help and have someone step up and help you. Or you being that person that’s willing to step up and help a person you may not even know. Seeing that when I came back from the states made me realize this is a group I want to tag along with.” – Cadre Cody

“My favorite part of GORUCK Selection is seeing all the people who want to be better – showing up here with hope that they will achieve something like this. I love seeing them train all the way to get here and see it all come together when they arrive. The PT test in the beginning and the repacks are so simple but it’s crazy how they get nervous and everything they trained for goes out the window. So my favorite part so far has been the beginning. Then again this is my first GORUCK Selection, so ask me afterwards and maybe the ending will be my favorite.” – Cadre Ricky V


“My favorite part about GORUCK Selection is the end, when somebody finishes. Truth be told there’s a fair part of me that doesn’t like Selection. Because everything about GORUCK is team-centric. I really like that team building experience, but the people wanted Selection. So they got it. There’s a small part of me that kind of hates it cuz we just crush them. But even though we do, there are a few people that still persevere. And it’s pretty amazing to see somebody to have that intestinal fortitude and make it through.” – Cadre Rick

“This is the ugly side of GORUCK. Most of us are about building better Americans, and team-building. But here at Selection we are required to be very neutral and standoffish. We want them to succeed deep in our hearts, but when they go astray or go wrong, while we are screaming in our heads for them to do something right, the words we have to say are to antagonize and push them, which is hard. These participants are coming out and challenging themselves. Especially the ones that show up. It’s hard to see people that are doing really well fail at simple things like the PT test, or worse, they’re doing so well and they have some self doubt and that gets them. But the effort these participants put in is simply amazing and that’s the coolest thing for me to see as a Cadre.” – Cadre Mocha Mike

“What I enjoy most about Selection is getting with with other Special Forces Cadre. Since retiring from Army SF, I don’t get to hang out with guys that have my same background. We can talk about the hard times and the good times and exchange war stories. I don’t get to talk to folks at my regular job about stuff like that because they don’t fully understand the things that I’ve been through. It really makes me happy and helps me out mentally to be a part of something bigger at GORUCK.” – Cadre Mike Rock

“I like to see the human nature of the candidates come out. I like to see them reach down inside and find things that they never realized that they had. That to me is enriching. It’s enriching not just to me — because I’m big into education, I love education — but it’s enriching to them to learn more about themselves, to push themselves beyond limits that they thought they had. To be able to work with the participants to get beyond that point, makes me feel good about being a Cadre at GORUCK Selection.” – Richard Rice


“GORUCK Selection is like the first 2 weeks of the Selection I went through, but condensed in to 48 hours with all the same physical demands and requirements. The first 2 weeks are all individual just like here today; nobody is talking to each other, they don’t tell you what the standard is. They just tell you to go out and perform. At least here we tell them the standard. This is like some weird sociology experiment where you get to just look at people and start judging them and figuring them out. Whoever is left standing at the end you really get to know them throughout the event, all through non-verbal communication for the most part. It’s fun to watch how the human mind can either overcome the stress or not. Those who don’t overcome it are usually the ones who fail.” – Cadre Ragnar

“I don’t have a favorite part of Selection. This is not the type of GORUCK event where you get to help people break barriers. This is the one where you just have to beat them down. You find yourself cheering internally for the contestants, but outwardly we are taking them to a point where they want to quit and actively trying to get them to quit. We recall all of the shit we went though in military school to come up with the most awful mix of rucking and PT to break them down. Selection is arguably the toughest endurance event in the world and it’s an honor to see the best GRT’s in the nation come out and show us what they have to offer.” – Cadre Bo

“I enjoy being a GORUCK Cadre because I enjoy working with great Americans. Individuals who are willing to step up and put themselves out there and take on a challenge that they might fail at. No matter who you are or how prepared you are, you have no idea what you are getting when you show up to GORUCk Selection.”
– Cadre LDB

“Everything worth doing in life has to begin with your why. When I was a kid, I thought life was about what I was able to do. Me me me. Some part of that is a normal part of growing up, I suppose. But going through the Special Forces Qualification Course taught me on terms not my own how to sacrifice the I for the we, even as the Q-Course demanded more of me as an individual than anything else ever had. A couple years ago, Rich summarized this paradox perfectly: “To be a great teammate, first you have to be a great individual.” That means not just with words, but with actions. You have to prove it at the highest levels — then and only then do you get to join the team, where even more is demanded of you. And the team becomes your why, and you become theirs. It’s far more powerful, and far more rewarding than the hopes for individual glory, even if sometimes that’s where the journey has to begin, in your own mind. With hope. But at some point the real question becomes, what do we, what do you do with that hope? We’re about to find out what all the Selection candidates did with their hopes, and how deep their why runs. Selection coverage kicks off tomorrow, where we’ll be testing individuals at the very extreme end of human potential, where the human spirit burns brightest. We salute all who show up, and we look forward to seeing how their ‘Why’ holds up to The Standard at this, the toughest endurance event on the planet.” —Jason

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