A Ruck, Bricks and You: TRVLSQD offers Special Forces inspired challenges

By J.M. Simpson on July 11, 2014

Two months ago a group calling itself the Travel Squad began a workout at Thea's Park on Tacoma's Foss Waterway.

A few more than a half dozen assault packs, an American flag on a short pole and a log lay on the ground.

The small group ran through a number of intensive calisthenics, threw on their packs, secured the flag and picked up the log and headed out of the park.

The squad - sometimes identified with the letters TRVLSQD and the motto "Team First, Beer Always" - headed out toward Ruston Way.

Begun by former soldier Fergus Hyke in 2011, TRVLSQD works with those individuals to develop training methods to complete the Special Forces inspired GORUCK Challenge.

"It's a good way to maintain the camaraderie of having served," Hyke's said at the time.  "It's also a good way to remain in great shape."

So what is the GORUCK (verb go + verb ruck) challenge?

The idea behind the challenge belongs to Jason McCarthy and Jack Barley, it is a variety of training scenarios designed to facilitate teamwork and communication.

The challenge offers a slice of Special Operations training.  The foundation of all GORUCK events is the wartime experience of the cadre, veterans of Special Operations who are now tasked with building a team based on unity of purpose.

GORUCK's signature events require bricks, a ruck and an attitude to work with others in order to prevail.

Part of that attitude gets you very long ruck marches with a group of about 30 people, a telephone pole in the midst of some very uncomfortable and miserable conditions.

You will be pushed past your limits.

If successful, you walk away with a GORUCK patch and more knowledge about yourself than you realized.

For example, if you weight less than 150 pounds, you carry 20 pounds of bricks in your ruck.  If you weigh over 150 pounds, you carry 40 pounds. 

"Life isn't fair," GORUCK's website proclaims.

Pretty black and weight - no questions, no excuses.  It's all about attitude.

The events - from the most introductory to one that is a very realistic 48 hours of the selection process faced by SEALs and Special Operators - bridge the gap between all walks of life: military/non-military, men/women and young/old.

Comprised of former special operations personnel, the cadre teaches teamwork and communication.

The events are held nationwide throughout the year.

For more information about the Travel Squad, visit www.trvlsqd.com.  For more information about GORUCK, visit www.goruck.com.