Fighting Eagles Cadets Earn the Norwegian Foot March Badge

norewegian foot march badges

A Friday night is usually when college students are ready to wind down after a busy week. However, for Cadets in the Eastern Washington University 🦅 Army ROTC program they instead found themselves on bus to Ellensburg, WA to complete the 18.6 mile long Norwegian Foot March.  The foot march is one of the few foreign service badges that U.S. Army personnel can compete for and wear on their active duty uniforms.

Cadets stand in line to complete registration and weigh their rucks prior to the start of the Norwegian Foot March.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets and Cadre pose before the start of the Norwegian Foot March at Ellensburg, WA.

The foot march has to be completed before sunrise on a dirt trail.  This year’s foot march hosted by Central Washington University Army ROTC was held on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in Ellensburg and began at 9:00 🕘 PM.  During the ruck each Cadet had to carry 25 pounds of weight in their ruck. See below for more details about the standards for the Norwegian Foot March:

norwegian foot march standards

Cadets that could complete the march within the required times based off of gender and age received the Norwegian military’s Marsjmerket badge to wear on their uniforms.

norwegian foot march times

The late start, unimproved trail surface, and windy conditions during the march made for a challenging competition.  The teamwork and shared motivation during the march allowed the vast majority of EWU Army ROTC Cadets to meet the required time to earn their badge.

Cadets Everett Kuhnel, (left) and Destin Garcia (right) stand next to EWU Army ROTC Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford (center) after the completion of the ruck march.

norewegian foot march badges

Great job by the all the Cadets that earned their badge and big thanks to CWU Army ROTC for inviting us to participate in this great event.  EWU Army ROTC plans to host the next Norwegian Foot March event sometime in the next academic year in Cheney for Cadets, active duty, National Guard, Reservists in the Spokane region to attend.  Monitor our EWU Army ROTC social media channels for the latest information on when the event will occur. Eagle Strong! 🦅💪


Yearly Train Up Event Challenges EWU Army ROTC Cadets on Mt. Spokane

On September, 21 2020, the MS-III and IV Cadets from the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program conducted their annual train-up event at Mt. Spokane State Park. The train up is used to get the Cadets refocused on ROTC activities before that start of the school year.  You can watch a video of the train up below:

The train up began with an early morning bus ride from EWU campus to Mt. Spokane State Park located an hour away.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the Cadets sat one person per seat with their masks on and windows cracked on the bus:

Cadets load on to buses at Cadet Hall to travel to Mt. Spokane State Park.

The Cadets began their hike up to the summit of Mt. Spokane at the Lower Mt. Kit Carson Trailhead.  The Cadets were divided up into three small groups, remained spread out, and wore their masks during the hike:

Cadets arrive at the trailhead to begin their training.

From the trailhead the Cadets hiked on a steep trail through a lush and beautiful forest.

During the hike the Cadets stopped at pre-designated training stations along the way to conduct Cadre facilitated classes on skills they need to become proficient on for the upcoming academic year.

Cadets stop at Saddle Junction about halfway up Mt. Spokane to conduct training.

SFC David Ratliff leads Cadre facilitated training on the slopes of Mt. Spokane.

While the Cadets conducted their training they also got to take in expansive views of Eastern Washington:

Looking down a ski slope with Day Mountain visible in the distance.

A panorama view of Mt. Kit Carson (left) and Day Mountain (right).

Once the Cadets reached the summit of the 5,883 foot Mt. Spokane, they took a break to each lunch and enjoy the views:

Summit panorama.

The Summit House on the summit of Mt. Spokane.

MS-III Cadet, Everett Kuhnel enjoys the view of Northern Idaho from the summit of Mt. Spokane.

Final picture before departing the summit of Mt. Spokane.

After departing the summit the Cadets stopped again at pre-planned spots to finish their training before returning to the trailhead.  Overall the Cadets hiked 9.5 miles with approximately 2,000 feet of elevation gain during the day.  The Cadets received great training and an even better workout. The weather was also phenomenal and was a great break from the smokey days we had recently in the region due to forest fires.

MS-IV Cadet, Michael Beier takes in the views of Eastern Washington during the hike back down Mt. Spokane.

All of us Cadre members were happy to conduct in-person training with our Cadets for the first time since winter quarter. EWU Army ROTC is approved to conduct in person training for our leadership labs, field training exercises, and physical training that all occurs outdoors. For our classes that occur normally inside a classroom, they will continue to be conducted virtually until the COVID conditions improve. We are committed to providing the best training we can in the safest manner possible to ensure our Cadets all remain Eagle Strong!

Note: You can view more pictures from the train up on our Flickr page.