Story by U.S. Army Spc. Cheyne Hanoski
The 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade conducted a 42-kilometer ruck march honoring legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson in Houston, Texas on April 15-16.
The legacy of Robinson paved the way for future generations and inspired the promotion of diversity and inclusion within all areas of society.
“This ruck march gave me an opportunity to be with Soldiers within the brigade that I typically do not get to work with and get to go through a rigorous and growing experience and draw us all closer together,” 2nd Lt. Phillip Bertovic, 15th Finance Battalion, said.
The ruck march, saw members of the “Wagonmasters” carrying a rucksack weighing 42 pounds in honor of Robinson’s number. The event tested the participants’ endurance, strength, and resilience while symbolizing the importance of teamwork and support in achieving shared goals.
“The importance of withstanding hard times as teams ruck march 42 kilometers with 42 pounds is an opportunity to build cohesive teams founded on trust; that are ready to fight, as they are fit, disciplined, and well trained,” Col. Christopher Jones, commander 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, said.
The event was organized as part of the First Team’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among its ranks. As a military organization, the 1st Cav recognizes the importance of creating a culture where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background or identity.
“Doing what’s right in 1947 in the case of MLB is a reflection of how the Army led efforts to integrate before civil society and the MLB did,” Jones added.
By completing the ruck march, the soldiers demonstrated their commitment to the mission and their willingness to endure adversity for the sake of their team and their country.
“We’re using the example of the MLB and Jackie Robinson, to reflect on personal and organizational courage and resiliency to do what’s right,” Jones, said.
Through their actions during the ruck, the Troopers demonstrated their readiness to face any challenge while simultaneously uplifting each other, regardless of their differences. By following in the footsteps of Robinson, the Army continues his legacy and promotes a brighter, more inclusive future for every Trooper.
“Using the example of what Jackie Robinson stood for and accomplished is a vehicle for discussion and learning for every Wagonmaster Trooper. Rucking 42 for 42 for “42” is an opportunity to do this,” Jones said.