What Boston Marathon? For the University of Delaware’s Army ROTC program, the real 26.2-mile race in Boston this month was the annual Tough Ruck competition to honor fallen service members and first responders and raise money to support military families.
Members of UD’s program finished with the three fastest times and took seven of the competition’s top 10 spots.
Tough Ruck, a project of the Military Friends Foundation, takes place each year on the weekend before the Boston Marathon. Participants cover a marathon distance of 26.2 miles while carrying a military rucksack weighing 35 pounds.
This year’s event drew hundreds of participants on April 15, including 12 cadets and two cadre members from Army ROTC at UD. All participants who complete the course receive the official Boston Marathon Finishers Medallion.
The UD Army ROTC members finishing in the top 10 were: Garrett Burnett, first place; Angel Ortiz, second; Lindsey Baryluk, third; Capt. Mac Walker, sixth; Alessandro Chiodo, seventh; Claudia Bacon, eighth; and Ellie Blake, 10th.
ROTC, the Reserve Officers Training Corps, is the largest officer-producing program for the U.S. military. At UD, the Army program is part of the College of Arts and Sciences but is open to any student in any major. It is an elective that combines courses in leadership, military science and practical exercises with a regular academic course load.
The University’s Army ROTC program’s cadets are students at UD or at its partnership schools: Delaware State, Salisbury and Lincoln universities; Wesley College; and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Article by Ann Manser