What is GORUCK Selection? (and other FAQs)

GORUCK Selection is the toughest endurance event in the world. It lasts 48+ hours and covers over 80 miles. Participants are required to carry a rucking backpack with a minimum of 45 lbs in it at all times. It is run by current and former Special Forces Cadre.

To date, 577 people who have attempted to complete GORUCK Selection. Only 32 have finished (here’s a list).

Why would anyone do this?

Everyone attempting Selection has their own “why.” I can’t speak for any of them.

But, speaking generally, the men and women who sign up for Selection are the types of people that want to face adversity and conquer it.

Why is there so much yelling?

Adversity. Nobody cares what you can do in an air-conditioned gym listening to k-pop. What can you do when the shit-hits-the-fan? When chaos descends? When the unknown and unknowable is unleashed? Do you have the mental and physical fortitude to take the beating and keep on going?

Are the Cadre trying to make the people quit?


This is the toughest endurance event in the world. You must endure physical and mental duress the entire 48 hours.

As Special Forces Cadre, these men have all expereienced some form of Selection process and they did not quit. They will hold these men and women to the same standard.

What all do they do in Selection?

There are a few known variables in Selection. All participants will need to pass a PT Test. The standards are:

2 minutes: minimum 55 push-ups*
2 minutes: minimum 65 sit-ups.*
5-Mile Run: maximum time allotted is 40 minutes.*
12-Mile Ruck Run: maximum time allotted is 3 hours 30 minutes.**

* Push-ups, sit-ups, and the 5-mile run are done without a ruck. ** For the 12-mile ruck run, your rucking backpack must weigh at least 45 lbs. at all times, not including water or food.

Other than the above, Selection often includes a welcome party, a long walk, and a shark attack.

What the hell is a welcome party, long walk, and shark attack?

A welcome party is a 2-4 hour party from hell. Chaos and pain rule the day. There is non-stop yelling and physical output. In a welcome party (and all of Selection) “it pays to be a winner” meaning if you perform well, you’ll get breaks. If you perform poorly, you’ll get more work and yelling.

The long walk usually takes place on day 2. It is a looooooong walk. It is lonely, painful, and mentally exhausting as the candidate is simply rucking until the cadre say stop.

The Shark Attack is usually the last part of Selection. Like a shark feeding frenzy, any remaining participants will experience all of the event cadre unleashing one last burst of chaos and physical difficulty. It is brutal.

What do you get if you finish?

A patch.

Really!?! A patch!?!?

Yup. Though, I’d assume there are some intangible benefits of knowing you completed the toughest endurance event in the world.

Are all GORUCK events like this?

Nope. GORUCK has a number of different events. They are team events designed to push you physically and mentally, but it is not like Selection. It is hard, yes. But nothing like what you see in Selection. Here is a more full explanation of “what is GORUCK?

If you want to learn more, check out the GORUCK Light, GORUCK Tough, and GORUCK Heavy. They also offer some of the best firearms training in the world.

If there are any Q’s you have or FAQs you think we should add, post them in the comment section below.

6 Replies to What is GORUCK Selection? (and other FAQs)

    1. I did not know that. GORUCK uses the “Special Forces Cadre” terminology on their website, though they also use the terminology of “Veterans of Special Operations.”

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