From Class 054 and the “Old Days of Jason Running” to GORUCK Today…..Jason in the Pacific Northwest!


Tuesday night, 30+ friends and family gathered at the Schooner Exact Brewery in Seattle to enjoy some great conversations with each other, and to hear the Founder of GORUCK, Jason McCarthy, talk about the experiences that led him to create GORUCK and how the Challenge created what GORUCK is today. Jason was joined by Christian Sbailo and Son Vo, part of the Seattle GORUCK Team.

The last time Jason was here in the Pacific Northwest, was to run Class 054, Portland, OR. That was so many classes ago that Jason did smile when he was reminded that I had shadowed that GRC with now Selectee David Thomas. “Shit, that’s right! David was there!”

David and I remembered Jason’s desire to run that class into the ground. “If it wasn’t for someone needing to catch a military flight out, that Portland Class was going to be running for a lot further than they did!”

It’s always great to hear stories, and Jason didn’t disappoint. “I remember when I was able to source some folks to help with the rucks, and was connected with folks in Bozeman, MT from a Craigslist ad I placed in NYC!”

And the stories from the Tough Mudder days, and knowing that it wasn’t going to last. “Yes, there were golf carts and getting chased and building huge bonfires…it was awesome!”

Jason dove right into the stories of how GORUCK came to be, from his desire to create a great gear company, and ended up with something far more important – He created a company based on people, and “..doing right by people.”


“In the end, all of us here can have a closet full of gear…but what’s really important? It’s the people in your lives that are important.”

After touching on the different levels of gear, etc., a question came up about the classic THREE RULES that many of those involved in GORUCK Challenges have seen and have heard about.

“It’s a Special Forces thing…you say Rule #1 and everyone knows what you’re talking about. But I’ll tell you what it REALLY means.” (For those of you unable to make it out last night, here you go:)

1. Look Cool  – Most people think that it’s about how you look, and it is. But it’s much more that that. It means when “…Hell descends down on you….slow it down…and be cool. When shot’s are being fired, don’t lose your mind, don’t lose control….just be cool.”

2. Never Get Lost – Be confident, be smart, learn your trade. Whatever your job is, be skilled at it. If it’s Land Navigation, then learn EVERYTHING there is about Land Navigation. Be passionate about what you do.

3. When You Get Lost / Look Cool – “Simply means this, when the world  descends upon you, and it will…Look Cool. You need to look cool because inside you’re not going to feel cool. It’s much easier to take control of a situation and the folks around you when you “look cool”.

Everyone took away from the evening just a little bit of insight into a company founded in American patriotism, passion, and perseverance. There are so many lessons that can be learned from what Jason has accomplished, and more importantly – from what the most important thing is in life – the people in our lives.


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  1. David /

    Shadowing the class seems SO long ago! GORUCK and you have come a long way in a short time Fergus! Glad I am lucky enough to be a part of it. Great write-up as always!!

    1. Fergus /

      The funny part was watching Jason light up when I reminded him that you were there:) I know he’s had a million memories created since then, and it was just fun telling him about our perspective of the Class while we shadowed. And yes – the Team has come a long way:)

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