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Scott Air Force Base Airmen participate in Bataan Memorial Death March with ruck march


  • Published

  • By Senior Airman Violette Hosack

  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

A small team from the 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron participated in a 26.2 mile ruck on April 6 as part of a Bataan Memorial Death March.

The Bataan Memorial Death March commemorates the 78,000 American and Filipino Prisoners of War who were forced to trek 65 miles through harsh conditions in the Philippines in April 1942, with many perishing along the way.

Master Sgt. Kyle Rogowski, 375th LRS First Sergeant, encouraged his Airmen to join this memorial march as a tribute to the resilience of those who endured challenges on their journey, stating that “it’s a true story of unimaginable cruelty and unimaginable resolve.” 

To prepare for carrying weighted plates while rucking 26.2 miles, the LRS Airmen trained for months in advance to ensure they were prepared for the rigors of the ruck. 

Senior Airman Joseph Holliday, a vehicle operator in the LRS, noted that “It’s something we had to train for since we weren’t used to doing something like that. It’s not something you can just get off the couch and do.”

Maintaining high motivation was a key focus during the preparation phase. The Airmen supported each other consistently to ensure everyone stayed on track and prioritized self-care. 

With months of preparation and hours of practice, including weekends, the experience provided not only physical and mental endurance but also personal challenge, competition spirit, and camaraderie.

“What’s good about us doing this ruck is not only is it a personal challenge, a spirit of competition and camaraderie,” said Holliday. “It’s also remembering and putting respect on what they went through.

Rogowski added, “A bond is formed faster and stronger than any other way I’ve seen in my experience. You proved to yourself that you can conquer an extremely difficult task and you know now more than ever that you can trust the people that did it with you because of the shared suffering. You know that the people with you aren’t going to give up or run away from the hard problems you’ll face in the future. They will be right there with you.”

The team hopes to participate in the annual nationwide march in New Mexico, where people from around the world gather to march and honor the sacrifices made during the Bataan Death March many years ago. 

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Caleb Alexander

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