Service Action Update for GORUCK Challenges

GRTs and future GRTs,

We recently tasked you, as members of your community, to organize and perform a “Service Act” as part of your GORUCK Challenge (that means Heavy, Tough, and Light).

We got a lot of positive feedback and some questions for more clarity. Points brought up centered around the process of organizing the Service Act (on Facebook), or the impact and role that such an act has as part of an endurance event. We even got a few Cadre who sent notes in to say, “old news, I already do this at every Challenge I lead.” Good on you, too. I’m happy to be late to that kind of party.

Some pushback did center around, hey I don’t want to do community service as part of an endurance event. My response to that is twofold:

  • There are a million other endurance events out there. OCRs and road races – take your pick, they’re all about you inherently. At GORUCK, we’re founded on service and we want to stand for a way of life that involves more service. The GORUCK Tough (GRT) Community is the best part of GORUCK, and the strongest community outside of what I was a part of in Special Forces because it’s about selfless service to something bigger than yourself. Membership isn’t about what you did or hope to do, it’s about what you actually do and what we do together.
  • If you’re expecting a “Service Action” to cannibalize the physicality of the Challenge, as if we’re going to replicate Habitat for Humanity in 5 or 12 or even 24 hours, you’ll be relieved to find out we’re not. Btw, Habitat is a great organization, pounding nails is rarely so rewarding.


Expectation Management for the “Service Action”

  • These are quick impact Service Actions. As opposed to a “Service Project”, which would be something like building a house with Habitat or digging wells to bring fresh drinking water to an Afghan village. Those are outside the scope of the limited time we have at any GORUCK Challenge.
  • Cynics or skeptics or both will say, what’s the point to something small? To that I say, the point is to do something. You’ll be surprised where that can lead. Hopefully to bigger things in your community, that you all organize and execute. That’ll be up to you, and please send us some pics when you do.


All May Events – Specific Tasking

  • No doubt many teams have already begun coordinating for their events this weekend, and this month. Charlie Mike (Continue Mission), we’re excited to see what you come up with.
  • Additional tasking for all – please bring one canned good, add it to your packing list. Based on where your start point is, research and find a suitable collection box, shelter or organization in the vicinity of the Start Point. You will present these drop-off options to your Cadre at the Start Point of your event.
  • I can hear the question already, is the Challenge now a food drive? Not that that’s a bad thing, but no. It’s not just a food drive. We are aware of the operational difficulties associated with organizing many people, several of whom are not on Facebook, at the last minute. While it’s a breeding ground for good ideas that will bear fruit over time, and that was our intent, we want you to be set up for success. Action > Words and Service > None. Our expectations for this community have never been higher, and I have no doubt you’ll exceed our expectations, as you always have.



  • If you’re registered for a May event, please bring one canned good to your event. Luckily you’ll already have a ruck, it’ll go great in there.
  • If you as a team have other Service Actions planned, keep planning, brief your Cadre, and execute them.
  • If you’re expecting to be short-changed on the physicality of the GORUCK Challenge, your next event will assuage those fears.


The GORUCK Challenge might not be for everyone. It’s scary (or something) to venture into the unknown with strangers and a Special Forces guy. But we believe in conquering the unknown, including our fears, and in doing it together. This is how you emerge on the other side a stronger, more confident person – ready to take on any and all of the biggest challenges in your life.

And we believe in making a difference in our communities, no matter how small or big we can do in the time we have. Service begets more service and that’s how we ensure that our best days are in front of us, which they very much are.

So here’s to what was, to what is, and to what will be.


  1. Phillip G says:

    Doing my first GORUCK today in Midland, Tx. Kudos to you for adding the service aspect. I was drawn to this event for the group and team work atmosphere, and now adding in community takes it that much further. Thanks for all that you do, Jason!

  2. jason says:

    Your first GORUCK Challenge, you’ll have a blast in our kind of way, Phillip 🙂 – (and thanks for the kind words).

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