MILRUCK is best described as the Swedish equivalent to GORUCK. They have been around for a few years and have run some pretty intense events.
In this episode we have the opportunity to interview Cadre Dennis who is both a cadre for MILRUCK as well as the founder. We get into the different types of events MILRUCK runs, how MILRUCK got started, and what’s planned for 2018.
Cadre Dennis took a ton of time out of his evening to chat and if you’re interesting in other companies that put on ruck events then you should surely listen to this episode.
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Brian: So, I’m talking with Dennis who is the founder of MILRUCK, which is a company that runs ruck events led by Cadre that have either a ranger or a soft background in Sweden. I’m just really excited that Cadre Dennis has taken time out of his evening to chat with me today. It’s a nine-hour time difference so definitely not the easiest thing for him. But I’m just honored that he is on here, this is very cool.
Dennis how is your evening going so far?
Cadre Dennis: Oh, it’s good. Thanks for having me. Time difference is to my benefit right now because I usually sit up late and work with MILRUCK since I have ordinary or not that ordinary to be honest, day job. You know, I spend evening working on the side job.
Brian: Perfect. Well, I’m glad it’s working out for you then. So, for those who are listening and have never heard of MILRUCK before. How do you describe the company and what you did to someone?
Cadre Dennis: Well, to someone who’s totally new to MILRUCK or even GORUCK. I would say it’s a non-conventional challenge based on assessment and selection on military elite forces. But to someone who’s familiar with GORUCK. Let’s say we are a Swedish equivalent, I guess. To GORUCK we are, I mean I haven’t been inspired by GORUCK and being in contact with Jayson, the CEO of GORUCK, since the beginning.
Brian: That’s very cool and I’ve seen familiar website that you recommend GORUCK gear and your GORUCK affiliated partner as well, so it definitely seems like you guys have some ties right there.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, that’s right I don’t have any gear and we are searching for X factor you know. We are an endurance event company right now and we need something more to broaden our spectra and also financially to be more profitable. So we need something more we’re not looking at gear at all because the best rucking gear is already out there. We are looking at something else, so I guess we are made going to speak about the online boot camp coming out next year and maybe that would be it, the online maybe it will be something else, we don’t know yet we are just an endurance company.
Brian: Awesome. I’m very excited to talk to you about the online boot camp. For those who are listening we will be touching on that and probably half an hour or so but a MILRUCK’s got an online boot camp coming out. The first class starts on the 7th of January 2018, so if you’re listening to this before that you can definitely self-time to check it out. Before we get in to MILRUCK, the events that you’re running and the online boot camping just everything that you’re doing with the company, I’d love to hear just a little bit about yourself and your background.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, sure. I joined military back in 1999 or did selection back in 1999 and joined marine rangers in the year 2000. I have no immediate interest in staying in the military and so I just got my trident and I wanted to get out and around the university and show off my trident like most of us. But the regiment at that time was setting up a deployments to Kosovo because they have conflict there which is pretty fierce and had been going on for just about one year since NATO went in. Sweden is not a NATO country but no with all these different corporations, Sweden tagged along like we done ever since.
And during my time in Kosovo, I was deployed with not, with fellow marine rangers but with rangers and that’s a platoon leader there who convinced me to join the army, join the army ranger reconnaissance with that of Kongsberg as an officer and during that time something very special happened, actually 9-11. And, when 9-11 happened I was in the upside down world of Kosovo, of course upside down because we were getting support from the Muslims ever the Kosovo Albania Muslims and they were putting out candles, painting American flags from the walls and the Christian serbes – they were burning American flags and they were sharing on that Al-Qaeda guys that we had never heard of before.
As a real blessing to me to see the Taliban’s go down, really motivated me to stay start screenshot from the Taliban’s driving their Toyota Land Cruiser’s and I knew that we are going to war and, yeah, that conflict played a really large part in the rest of my military career on the ranger reconnaissance which I’ve stayed for about 10 years and including the military academy. I was six years as a commissioned officer ranked captain. Brian and – I was in Afghanistan at the time and a friend of mine asked me about one come work for a private security company in the same company, a Swedish company.
They were doing embassy protection down in Caldwell and living in a small city like Carlsberg I didn’t like it socially. My career was fine, I love the work, I love the team but socially it didn’t work out. I went back – funny enough I went back to Afghanistan directly off to I came home It’s a work of a private contractor for your that will also open up a new roll to me with civilians getting jobs so.
After that year, I found another security agency in Sweden, a homeland security actually where I started to work for and during that time I was seconded to, I don’t even know if that’s a real word maybe that’s a Swedish word but they sent me to New York to work for the United Nations, the headquarters and that’s where I found God.
Brian: That’s incredible, that’s quite the history then I mean who would have – did you imagine that you would get to where you are now from where you started out? I mean it sounded out like you’re pretty excited to get your trident and then be done but here you are. You spent 10 years in there and ended and then private work afterwards, that’s quite a career.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, I know I didn’t see it coming. My plan was to go to San Diego to study at a small university in there. I think it was a community college even because they had diving classes so I figured that would be great, go there and you know. In America, you can dive. We can do that until then, so I found that sounds is awesome.
San Diego starts hot and that is warm so that makes sense but Kosovo happened, 9-11 happened and so many things I couldn’t foresee and yeah, one job led to another and it didn’t really end there during my time in New York when I got back I got a new job in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a security advisor and that’s where I am working in North Africa section and this is purely back from a different protective and I deploy bodyguards who want or personal security operators now. I love deploying myself and on my spare time I run MILRUCK because I guess I miss the fee of time and I miss the stuff we do and I work to the tough mentally exhausting, endurance, the teamwork, the camaraderie; I miss that part from the military now I get it so I know it’s a great time.
Brian: That makes total sense. So, when you were in New York how did you stumble upon GORUCK?
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, I went to New York with a couple of suits, briefcase to work at UMHQ and once I was there and I just looked around I realized all the vulnerabilities of such a metropolitan area with about 10 million people living on basically a couple of islands in a city that had been attacked before in that crazy world. So, I started buying Vortex clothes again. I started to train on land navigation again and I was browsing the web for a rucksack backpack and I found a backpack that looks really sleek. I could tell the quality was great just from the pictures, just from ho it was made and that it was really smart and obviously I’m talking about GORUCK and the GR0 or 1 as it’s now called so I ordered it. I didn’t really reflect on the price because in dollars everything sounds so cheap to me. I can tell now it’s probably not but you know.
So I just bought one it was twice as good as I thought it’s going to be and also found the events. There weren’t that much information back then but I found this really, really good. I think you’ve seen it. I think it’s famous even – I can’t find it anymore and after actual review done by a pretty fit black guy sitting – I think he’s talking about an event in New York even not sure and it was about 15 minutes long. He just talks about the GORUCK challenge and how crushed he was and that really motivated me, so I thought it was a crazy idea, stupid idea even so I signed up and after a couple of them I fell in love with company like many of us, right?
Brian: Absolutely and I know what exactly what video you’re talking about. I ‘ll try to dig it up, I haven’t seen it in ages but it’s a good one.
Cadre Dennis: Oh it’s awesome I hope you find it because I can’t find it anymore and it was great. I hope he puts it back on.
Brian: Absolutely, so you’ve done a couple GORUCK events then.
Cadre Dennis: Yes, I have to fulfill the story of MILRUCK we ran these network of former marine and the parachute rangers and they were all civilians here in Stockholm. Emotion Stockholm and they are very successful in their post military work life: doctors, lawyers, bankers, whatever, traders, police, fireman, they were everywhere. They kind of have this romantic memory of the military and they were talking about it a lot when we met and we went to have cigars at the club and stuff. Typical man stuff. You meet up in clubs and sit and talk and brag about which year was tougher.
And, we figured we would start a company who do all the cool stuff like the rib boats, like in fill, ex fill. Infiltration, exfiltration, insert and extract missions, teambuilding missions for CEOs, bankers, lawyers and we tag this with really, really high price and we call it the Project Lunar, being lunar is the moon and we’re thinking there will be night time events like a 12-hour extract mission or insert mission whatever.
As teambuilding, and you’ve never realized obviously and when I went to New York and from GORUCK I think it was during my first heavy I just drifted off in my mind and as you do journey the night time and I came up with – this is what I was looking for. It’s not the cool expensive exclusive stuff for former rangers it’s the heavy lift and tough stuff or people out there who are not typically rangers or personnel. I kind of pivoted in my mind and just realized this is it. I need to talk to Jason, I didn’t know his name was Jason. I need to call whoever runs this business and learn how he did it.
Brian: That’s wild, so the idea from what we see as MILRUCK today came from your mind during the GORUCK Heavy event.
Cadre Dennis: Yes, in San Diego, yeah.
Brian: So, you made it to San Diego.
Cadre Dennis: I was traveling all over the place. I did events every time I could and it was a great way to see America. I don’t understand GRT’s who just do events on their own city. The best way to do events, I even stop doing events in New York and did New York big events everywhere else because otherwise I wouldn’t have been to places like Buffalo, Baltimore, obviously San Diego and even if you’re in Normandy – I would probably go to anyway. But a few other small places where there are interesting American cities, I wouldn’t have seen. So those actually are my best memories and I jumped on a night bus after work and ended up on a day bus or whatever coach were in a flight –
Brian: That’s awesome. Yeah, you can really get a good feel for a city at a GORUCK event and I don’t think enough people travel for events. I know I certainly I don’t travel enough for events, there is nothing like getting out to a new city that you’ve never been to before and seeing places and eating at places you never knew existed and experiencing that all through a GORUCK event.
Cadre Dennis: Especially those small cities you wouldn’t go to. People probably go to San Diego anyway but you know maybe you don’t go to Buffalo for instance.
Brian: Absolutely, Cadre Ronnie runs a yearly event called Snow Drop Out in a smaller city in Wisconsin so hoping to make it out there sometime but there’s tons of little spots like that, that you probably never get to otherwise.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, absolutely, I love to see Denver some day and I’ll probably do it if there is a GORUCK event there or Colorado anywhere really. I just have this romantic picture of Denver, might not be true but, yeah.
Brian: Only one way to find out right?
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, exactly.
Brian: So, how did you get in contact with Jason, you’re at the heavy, you’re envisioning MILRUCK in your mind and you still have to talk to that person who started GORUCK. How did that process go?
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, I did look him up at social media, I think. He was pretty quick on coming back to me. We were talking about possibilities on me applying as a Cadre. I didn’t know that time if I was going to stay in America or maybe head back, whereas my contract going to be continued or discontinued, it was off and on. I faired it would take too long to setup a European business, I mean a GORUCK a business if that would have been the alternative. So I wanted to get a running start and I wanted to test the market here because I wasn’t sure it was going to fly. I’m still not – we’re almost three years in and I’m still not sure it will work out because we only have a few clients, that’s the truth.
And, it’s hard to be a small business owner for sure. But I wanted to get a flying start so I didn’t have time to wait and Jason was supportive. He said, “If you want to go, if you want to tag along with us, you probably have to wait and we’ll pick a time to get John if you want to go for MILRUCK, you should go for MILRUCK full steam ahead.” That’s basically what he said and I took his word for it. I’ve checked our standard similar to GORUCK for a reason if the possibility will come in the future to transition MILRUCK to GORUCK Sweden or whatever happens.
I wanted to make a smooth transition, I didn’t want to – you never know.
Brian: Absolutely, you never know and that must have been nice to hear positive words of encouragement from the person who runs GORUCK. He could have just easily said, “No I run rucking events.” GORUCK is the rucking company but instead what he said was, “If you want to do MILRUCK then by all means that sounds great.” So I think that’s pretty cool.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, he’s a humble guy and him being supportive of this enabled it. I probably wouldn’t have done it if he would have just said, “No don’t do that, that’s for us”. Then I would’ve waited, I would’ve waited and I would apply for GORUCK Cadre as soon as they reach Europe but since they didn’t really have a plan for it. I don’t know where their stand is right now. We honestly speaking about six months I think on facetime.
So, if that happens I’m ready to speak, yeah.
Brian: You’re there and you’re ready.
Cadre Dennis: And as I have said before they’re leaving the rucking revolution and we are tagging along with and we discussed me and my Cadre if we should. I’m the only one who has done GORUCK events within my Cadre, out for additional Cadre, and we were discussing if we want to keep a similar standard or do something different in terms of distance and time basically how we setup the events. We came to the conclusion – took us about four or five hour, a 12 hour and a 24 hour, that’s well thought out.
Everything GORUCK does is well thought of. You can be really better, so we couldn’t come up with anything better. This was just the way, this is the standard, it’s great it’s really well thought of. It’s not a coincidence, nothing is. I mean it’s very smart.
Brian: So, when you’re getting MILRUCK off to ground it sounds like you got the support from Jason and the support from GORUCK. Where there are people who said that you shouldn’t try and start MILRUCK or giving you a negative feeling towards it?
Cadre Dennis: Not for that reason but for a million other reasons. Running a company, coming out of the shadows, being public person, taking the financial risk, taking I don’t know other risks there might be, yeah absolutely. I was also being cheered on and encouraged by people close to me and acquaintances, yeah both sides I didn’t listen to none of them. I was totally focused.
Cadre Dennis: This is really what I wanted to do and I’m pretty sure it will lift off, actually I’m confident. Even the market here is really small compared, especially. I’m very confident that this is going to work. The events are great, people who do our events just like in America, they’ll love it and they come, they really come back so – for more and for more.
Brian: So when was the first MILRUCK event?
Cadre Dennis: Well, it was summer of 2015, so I get heavy that we’re talking about San Diego – it was in February of 2015 and I launched a company, I came home in April and launched the company in May. I opened the Facebook page in May and did all the paperwork in April, May, June to there and we ran the first event in July. It was a break which is equivalent of light and a month later we did the tough the equivalent of
Brian: That’s wild so you got back from the states, hit the ground running, it sounds like and ran an event nearly as soon as the company was formed. So you have the first brave event, how was the turnout and the response to that?
Cadre Dennis: The turnout was, we had six people who signed up, one was Gabriel, one of my Cadre to be and I was mainly happy about every person signing up but I was a little bit – I expected more, I don’t know why. People haven’t heard of this. People have been doing and they didn’t know what rucking was, right? But even that I expected more people to sign up but I had six people sign up and only five showed which have turned out to maybe pretty normal about 20% don’t show up.
They sign up but they don’t show up, you know, that’s one important rule in life. Always show up and of course it was brave, everybody finished even though I mean the standard there was to turn in to a selection pretty fast. We went wild with my Cadre, me and Chris and it was a tough walk. So, we learned a lot, we learned a lot. It was five tough hours and I’m glad almost all of them have come back but you know.
Brian: So did any of those five individuals come back for the second event a month later?
Cadre Dennis: Yes, three of them I believe, yes, Cadre, Gabriel and two more, yeah, even three more, actually four out of five came back, so that’s pretty good they came back for the tough.
Brian: That’s great, I think that’s where GORUCK season was a lot of success too is the repeat, people are coming back for their second, third, fourth, tenth events.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, the repeat defenders, yeah.
Brian: So, that’s awesome that four out of five came back. So that was 2015 so it’s been a couple of years since then, we’re chatting right now it’s the end of 2017. How many events have you run between those times?
Cadre Dennis: That’s a good question, I think it’s 24 now.
Brian: Somewhere around that, that’s awesome, congratulations.
Cadre Dennis: Thanks, yeah. We have fewer events next year that we didn’t have. We had to cancel some events as well. I don’t count them in that 24ish events but I would probably have around 28 posted, we had to cancel a few because we didn’t have people showing up. I know people don’t know what that is. We do events if it’s five people are coming obviously but –
Brian: It makes total sense. So, from the website it looks that you have a couple of different tiers of events. You’ve got the rucking events which kind of mirror GORUCKS, there is The Brave which is the equivalent of The Light, then there’s The Tough, and there was the Elite which is the heavy equivalent-ish. Have you run any Elite events yet?
Cadre Dennis: Yes, we have done one and it was a 27 hour event, it turned out to be because of land navigation problems in the team which they have to suffer for and take the consequence for it. It was a great event, I mean being a participant is obviously worse than being a Cadre. But when you plan a 01 first event. You tend to over plan, that’s what we did. So, I think we’re up and away for about 55 hours meaning Cadre Chris who was running a big event and it was a good night sleep after that, that’s for sure.
Brian: Oh, I bet.
Cadre Dennis: We had I think we had twelve or thirteen signed up which was actually our biggest event which shocked me a little bit. Yeah, you have some few people showing up who haven’t done an event before. That’s pretty impressive. I’ve seen that in GORUCK as well. People showing up to Heavy as their first event.
Brian: Yeah, some people are just crazy like that. One of my good friends his first event was the first HTL and he did all three of them.
Cadre Dennis: Impressive, well done. Because he didn’t know what to expect so –
Brian: That’s the thing right, if you don’t know what to expect you keep on pushing on because you don’t know what’s coming, yeah, shout out to Harvey Doti for that, that was pretty crazy. So you’ve had one Elite event so far and it sounds like it was quite the time. Are there any components of the events that separate them from each other besides difficulty and time?
Cadre Dennis: Yes, the standards of course. We have our selection part of the elite and that’s why it’s called the elite and it’s the first four hours where you can actually be performance dropped if you don’t meet the standard. The standard are derived from the ranger standard in Sweden which is very similar to the American soft standard. Obviously it’s the same, yeah, a 12 miler and we have a 20k and that’s about the same.
And, we also have a callisthenics test, essentially previously similar to the patient that had to go to GORUCK Heavy, you had to do pushups and situps. The numbers are a little different but basically I’d say the Swedish one is a little bit easier I think you had to do 40 pushups, 40 situps, 8 pullups, we just took a range expander.
Brian: That’s awesome. So you can be performance dropped on your lead events which are the equivalent of the GORUCK Heavy, good to know for those signing up.
Cadre Dennis: Yes, as for now, that’s where we keep it right now because I wanted people.
Brian: I like it.
Cadre Dennis: Well, I’m not going to say too much about our next one but our first one we did that because we went into a pretty rural area. There was no way you could drop out of the event once you got in to the woods to be honest and we also we have a very maritime theme to it being marine rangers who lead the event. We did a lot of thin work, swim, surface swimming and zodiac carries, zodiac paddles a combination of both swim, paddle, and boats. We wanted to make sure that they reach a certain standard to maintain short distance security during the whole event. So, we would pick with the selection part.
Brian: That makes total sense if you’re going to be going out in to a location where people can’t physically quit because there is no next to no way to get home or back to the start point. You want to make sure that we are taking people who are capable of completing it.
Cadre Dennis: Yes, and even though we had our drop out in the 25th hour obviously the person didn’t know it’s the 25th hour and I had to carry the person’s ruck blades because the person just dumped them in the woods. I took them off. I had to carry six kilometers back to a bus stop where I gave the person the ruck blades back, because they’re pretty costly.
Cadre Dennis: So two hours later it was over. That is horrible decision. We couldn’t convince the person to stay, me and Cadre both tried, there was no way.
Brian: That is rough to watch to see someone quit when they’re that close to the end and you know that, that close to the end and they’re just, their minds are not in it and they’ve checked out.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, I was still going back in to the water and it was a pretty cold summer. Summers here are usually pretty cold. I think just like in Washington State maybe and so the last time that we’re going in to the water for a swim was a pretty long swim with Vince and also with vests, you know what I mean, safety vests. It was a cold, I didn’t go in, refused to go in to the water no way.
Brian: That’s if for some people sometimes, that wild. So, when you complete one of your events the brave, the tough, or the elite you get a patch similar to the GORUCK events that you get a patch at the end. I saw in your website in addition to those patches you have a MILRUCK silver standard patch and a MILRUCK gold standard patch. Can you go in to details about how you get those or earn those, I guess you would say.
Cadre Dennis: Yes, absolutely. The silver standard is when you have completed all three events and you don’t have to complete within timeframe, not a year or so you just to have done all three events, that’s a silver standard. You’ll be handed out this year as well I think we will discontinue it from them. Next we now have the gold standard. Once you have a gold standard you don’t need a silver standard. A gold standard is the HTL, it’s that you start with elite event back to back in to the tough event finally in to the brave event and we are doing that in August next year.
So, if a gold standard and you also have to meet certain standards, which is there are 20k ruck run and in under three hours. You have to complete the ranger PFT test to its standard. Well, there is some more informal things about being living up to our three rules. Our three rules are essentially do your best in all situations, be a good teammate, never give up so if you are sort of gray man, that’s a phrase that you probably come ever with and the GR community or the gray man or you being a dick. That’s not gold standard.
Brian: That’s awesome, so I think most people here listing notes what being gray man means but for those who don’t it’s trying not to blend in to the group and not put forth your best effort. So, if there is eight people on the log and then, eight people who are rotating in and out, it’s just hiding within that eight and trying to hide in with the eight who rotate off the logs, so that you can avoid it at all costs.
Cadre Dennis: Exactly, actually in the reconnaissance regiment when we are referring to gray men it was positive. It was blending in it was, we always refer to it said, “Be the gray man” but that was in our reconnaissance mission where you are operating in a civilian clothes. Don’t walk around looking like a hockey player or a ranger, look like a normal person, don’t show your abs or your biceps, or dress down, dress casually, act normal, don’t sit around in a bar like James Bond with your back facing the walls staring at the exit. Sit with your back towards the exit and look like a drunk in a bar, be a gray man.
Brian: That’s funny how that words kind of changed for the GORUCK community because it’s up until this point when I heard it involved with rucking and GORUCK events. I’ve always heard of it as well as other positive thing. You don’t want to stick out, you don’t want to be the one who has noticed and those types of situations where you’re the person everyone is looking at but at a GORUCK event or your job is to complete the mission with the team and help the team. I guess it kind of it makes sense that in those cases you do want to be the one who’s stepping up and doing as much as you can.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, it definitely ask different meaning to if you are being a gray man in your own team or you’re being off, being out gray man in a third party environment, that’s way different.
Brian: That’s a great way to describe it, your own team versus a third party environment. So far how many people have earned or has anyone earned their MILRUCK silver standard or the MILRUCK gold standard patch yet.
Cadre Dennis: The silver standard we handed out I think around five patches after last elite’s class and we are on a so far not, gave anybody to opportunity to earn that gold standard but it’s the first elite, tough, brave will be held in August next year.
Brian: So for those who are listening and might be looking to take a trip in August from the United States to Sweden or just anywhere around Sweden, that might want to take part in these events. When they are doing the event is it mostly spoken in English or is it in Swedish. I mean all my Cadre can speak English, they are at least bilingual some speaks up to six languages, so they will adjust and adopt the situation for sure.
I’ve had foreigners from Finland and Denmark, they are urban survivor events for instance and also rucking events and haven’t been a problem. If we speak Swedish at some point the team will forward to mouth and translate.
Brian: But it’s not a limiting factor?
Cadre Dennis: If there is foreigners and their Cadre should be able to speak in English, absolutely yeah.
Brian: So, if you are speaking to this and you speak English, it’s okay to sign up for events, you’re not going to get turned away at the door.
Cadre Dennis: No we won’t turn anybody anyway not even if you can’t if there’s somebody who shows up and we speak French, it will be very interesting especially Cadre Gabriel is not there because that would be just very interesting. But the Green Berets they are very similar to that. They are very familiar with that so they would vote the Americans from the Green Beret Community they know all about that so – you have to be working with those, dance off.
Brian: So you briefly mentioned the urban survival MILRUCK event. I definitely want to talk about that. Is there anything else you want to talk about within the rucking events before we move on to those urban survivor events.
Cadre Dennis: We also have an event called the Evolution or Evolution Event, which is we had so far have done it for corporate events, custom events and it’s not a rucking event it’s more like a long, long welcome party. The name Evolution comes from to evolve as an athlete, to evolve as a man, as a woman, to push your limits, to push your boundaries toward beyond your comfort zone and really know what you’re really about. It’s a really tough event and we custom and incorporate events. They don’t have to gear up for rucking. They haven’t had time or the possibility to do a build up training for rucking event. We don’t want to unfold on the heavy ruck sack and throw them out there.
So, this is an event where you start basically in your plain clothes.
Brian: So, you’ve run a couple of these so far?
Cadre Dennis: Yes, there is on the Swedish page you can actually find some movie clips or on YouTube channel from those who dance. We don’t call them Evolution there, they have different names but they are essentially evolution and balance. We had ruck sacks at some part of the event just for shorter time just to try out a test rucking for the first time. Maybe for one or two hours instead of the full event and then we just, we do PT, we do physical, emotional and mental stuff.
Another thing that I didn’t mention earlier about separates especially elites from the other two events that we use to something that we call Special Skills. We always seem to review some rappelling or we use both for things or something that is derived on our background that is a little bit more unusual for a civilian to try. Or has a special skill case in the elite event and a lot of the Toughs as well because we have to time there and Brave we don’t have time to do that.
Brian: Very cool.
Cadre Dennis: And it’s usually something on water, if it’s somewhere at marine ranger or if it’s army ranger especially we have two arctic rangers in our Cadre that usually do some kind of mountaineering rope, special rope skills stuff.
Brian: So the special skill you learned and work with is mostly dependent on the skill set of the Cadre.
Cadre Dennis: That’s right.
Brian: That’s really cool. Awesome. How long do the corporate run in The Evolution?
Cadre Dennis: It’s a 12 hour event but you also have a shorter, it depends on the customer but we – there are meant to be 12 hours because you really need some time, you’re going to push people above and beyond their limits, you need time. I mean you could do it and you can put so many in plank position for an hour and they will push their limits and you really want to push them worth beyond that so we need time, so it’s a long event like in Tough.
Brian: Very cool, that’s awesome. So, the survivor events, when did those come on to the scene for MILRUCK?
Cadre Dennis: They came on exactly a year ago and we launched them on the web page about same time as constellation came out. I have of course I don’t have any insights in the GORUCK HQ. So I had no idea that they were working on similar to them and for me survivor came from that. I’m an officer in the reserves so in order to remain in the reserve and to upheld my status as a ranger officer I have to do this kind of repetition training in SERES survive, evade, resist, escape, every five years.
So they pulled me in one and a half years ago for a shorter SERE training and it will also take seven days long and they tweaked it a little bit.
And, as I did it I was just like wow, this is an event. This is so great so I have been doing it in the woods, and people see it’s really hard from a safety perspective. How are you going to get in control with people being under well in the middle of nowhere that’s really a complex event and you want to avoid complex for simplicity to speak.
So, when we did this urban and I have a lot of training from urban warfare, especially urban reconnaissance working the same post operations on my military background, so I felt that was on tandem and fit like a glove and took it home and started working on it ASAP and launched it. I saw a constellation came out. What I think is great minds think a like and of course I understood that at some point they would do this as well because it’s a great idea.
Brian: It is and it definitely looks different. The MILRUCK Urban Survivor looks slightly similar to Consolation but they’re definitely some differences there. First off your event is it 15 to 20 hours, is that correct?
Cadre Dennis: Yes. It’s 15 to 20 hours.
Brian: And I’m just going through the map on your site and there’s some pretty cool stuff there it provides weapons in traps, use a live and dead butter boxes or water crossing, there’s some really interesting skills that you’re going to learn at that, it sounds like.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, we have a pretty big grip on for this one and we don’t have the time to do everything at all events and we’re also keep a lot hidden from this event. So, some things essentially are not on this theme that you’re looking at but it’s essentially a SERES of events and I think you’ve heard of this acronym before so initially we have a training phase where we focus on how to survive and if you’re isolated in an urban hostile area and in order to survive you need to need to be able to keep warm or to remain warm in an isolate from the cold and to isolate from the rain or from being wet.
We focus on those things in training. We also focus on how to hide things in plain site. How to move undercover essentially in an urban setting. How you move technically and without being compromised by legal armed groups or anybody that could be looking for you. We have to hunter boars, we had hunter boars from our crowd model and that’s an Israeli. I think you know about it.
Cadre Dennis: Hand to hand combat club or training box. We haven’t hunter boars from them seeking out the teams that were evading him in central Stockholm during the nights. I know at some point they got caught and the set up is you will get caught and you will end up in a basement and you get beat up and in order to do this in a safe manner, we really need professionals, that’s why we do this in cooperation with a krav maga team, as they are expert in beating people up in a safe manner and also get beat up in a safe manner.
They have all the equipment, all the training and right mindset to do this, even though as an elite Cadre of this event, I was nervous about interference from court, being sued at whatever and it’s internal to us. Absolutely great and this was probably our biggest success and we need to do it again. I wasn’t sure when we did over the phone that I was going to do redo it but this will come back, we already have it on the page with that as a success.
And the last, was the resistance part of it. That’s resistance of being able to withstand the psychological and physical adversity that happens during capture and Cadre Gabriel was also a khaki, which is a conduct after capture instructor. So he’s a SERE officer, he’s our man in this area he totally goes in to this role character and it will be great after the most are caught. They are all former elite unit police or elite military personal. Absolutely crucial to have such professionals to conduct such a complex event. There are some risks to it you know and plan for everything, mitigate all risk, that is the motto we build on when we are doing this urban survivor. Finally it ends with basically a Lighter Brave or a Light Light escape phase.
We finally escaped the urban area which is a place that you don’t want to be in if you’re are isolated.
Brian: That’s incredible, that sounds like just some amazing event, it sounds like you’ve got, I mean just a ton of true professionals that are supporting you and supporting MILRUCK survivor. So what was the response like from the participants.
Cadre Dennis: That’s what I said it was probably our biggest success. People were absolutely, I think it’s the same with – I haven’t done a constellation or I haven’t read any AAR surrendering but I’ve seen people go crazy about them and a lot of them are not even GRT threats. We have the same that a lot of people will show up or a urban survivor hadn’t done a rucking event and I was especially worried about them because we didn’t know what’s personal. We didn’t know about what kind of persons we were and they might just be absolutely crazy. But, after this resistance phase, which is the toughest part essentially.
There will be a lockdown in the basement and you’re actually getting beat up and I had a short debrief with every single person participating. Ask meet Cadre my other Cadre Gabriel the khaki instructor, we had the same just you know, “Can we find anything here that is being misunderstood or being wrongly interpreted or a little bit too harsh?” But they actually asked for even more. They were like, “I think it’s really great but it should have been harder.”
“You should’ve gone harder.” which well I understand that you get a feel for it, you might want to go the whole way but this is not a SERE course, this is not the necessary training. We want to keep feet on or the overview not in depths level and we also did theoretical training for the resistance phase in an abandoned apartment. Where we had a typical Powerpoint presentation about how you should mentally prepare and also how you should work as a team if you’re being captured and how you should cooperate. How you should report the capturers. How you should find ways to escape and to daydream and to keep physically motor active and to ask for water and to ask for food.
Brian: Makes sense.
Cadre Dennis: Repetitions, yeah.
Brian: So you’ve taught them the skills, you didn’t just round up the sucky boost sign up in Muslim city, capture them and beat them up. You gave them the skills that they would need the encounter and escape it, so that’s awesome.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, I think almost 50% of this 15 to 18 hours will be theoretical, not maybe 40% we spent a lot of time on training just on training to prepare them for events. That’s absolutely crucial, somethings are really good learned the hard way but if you don’t have any theoretical tools or any tools to deal with it and cope with it. It wouldn’t give you as much.
Cadre Dennis: It won’t make any sense.
Brian: Especially the people who signed up who had never done another MILRUCK event. This could’ve been the hardest thing, the most difficult thing that they’ve ever signed up for, so they would have nothing to fall back on and they would just be a chicken with its head cut off the entire time.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah exactly.
Cadre Dennis: I was especially worried about them but no we dealt with it.
Brian: That’s incredible. So clearly you guys haven’t done as many events as GORUCK. You’ve done roughly 24 to date but just the gamut from The Brave events to the corporate events, the Elite event, to the Survivor event – I mean you guys have been all over the map of this, that’s amazing.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, were moving pretty fast and, yeah, but we have so many ideas and we’re actually trying to face down where 2018 will be a little bit to regain control and we’re not bringing as much new out to the curriculum but we are improving what we have done so far. The other thing that we’re actually introducing is the x-factor or the online boot camp because we need more people to our offline events. We need people to go offline but in order to get them off line, to turn off their cellphones and show up to our events and for the training, they need discipline and we need to mentally prepare toward events.
We need to do something and it’s an online world whether you like it or not and so we need to get people to start rucking remotely. Even if you don’t live in Stockholm where we upgrade from you need to get some rucking all over Sweden. So, we’ll bring you this, an access all over the world online event to get people out there.
Brian: That’s awesome. So, the online boot camp the first one starts on January 7th, 2018. What languages is it going to be provided in?
Cadre Dennis: It will be provided in English because the Swedes are bilingual, so the curriculum is essentially crossfit and functional movements derived from crossfit and rucking. So, most workouts already have English, everybody knows what a squat is even if you don’t say the Swedish words very often even here. So, push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges these will be in English and also the video materials that we have prepared have been in English. As well we will probably provide a Swedish version in time when we have on board. But the one we made so far is in English.
Brian: Very cool what kind of equipment do you need to take part on this online boot camp.
Cadre Dennis: The equipment you need is essentially a ruck sack, you needed weights, you need boots or shoes that is as usual, you need GPS watch or a smarphone with an application. I don’t know if I can do mention any specific apps but Runkeeper or something equivalent that can measure distance and time, if you don’t have a GPS watch that is. You need your water bladder or something to carry water and you need an additional coupon – different if you are a man or a woman.
Brian: So when you say weight at the beginning, you say there is ruck sack and there is a weight, is that the weight for the ruck sack or is that a weight like a bench press or a squat bar?
Cadre Dennis: Oh, you need – the weight is for the ruck sack.
Cadre Dennis: And you also need an additional weight, it could be anything it can be a bag of sand, it can be a bag of flour or whatever and we recommend our standard weights which are pretty equivalent with GORUCK but this is one thing about the online we can’t control. We can buy pictures and films and online coaching we actually have control that they’re doing and at least part of the workouts but it’s hard to really see how much your rucks are being weighted. How much they weigh but accountability and ownership that’s on a personal level.
Brian: Right and if they’re going to be cheating themselves on the training then there’s a good chance that they probably never would have survive one of the events to begin with. So, what prompted you to start this online training program. Well as I said early it was two things, one was we need more people to show up to our events and we were thinking about training all the time but it’s very limited it’s the Stockholm is our biggest city even if we open up a crossfit box or anything here locally we won’t get people from the other side of the city to travel to go to our location.
So, we were actually looking for this. We were searching for HQ with a training facility but also very inspired by SEALFIT which I haven’t mentioned yet but I’ve been there as well. I’ve been training with Mark Divine and doing some of his events Seal-X and academies and that’s also an amazing company which on there the inside film but the online part here is give people training and give them to prepare for our events. Introduce rucking to everybody no matter where they live with our way and get people to train with a ruck sack and get people who hate running to start doing endurance by rucking. That’s a lot of people.
And also to introduce, roughly people who haven’t been in the military because military everybody knows rucking and maybe you are in the inventory unit, or maybe you haven’t rucked that much or you know about the basics. But this will give you a little bit more of a deeper comprehension or understanding about the rucking as a way of training, endurance and mental toughness.
Brian: That’s awesome, I mean you can’t knock that trying to spread rucking to more people and around the world. So, I’m excited, I’m excited to see what this brings.
Cadre Dennis: Yes, and also we are looking for an x-factor. What Jason said was the event when he was trying to push his gear who started the events right and to promote gear, take pictures, and slight of word. Events uses x-factors. We are searching for that as we already have the advantage, we don’t have the gear and we’re not interested in what the latest gear provides and also we don’t want to compete with GORUCK brothers.
So we are looking for our x-factor this might not be it, we don’t know. We might be in security consulting, some kind of security consult work and who knows right now I’m limited to doing that it’s the work in the government. As we stir it up as soon as we can do that and no work I need my job refund to start to do that. I don’t what our x-factor is, this might be it, I hope so.
Brian: I hope the best for you too. I mean it sounds like just everything you’re doing, you’re incredibly dedicated and involved with, so I truly you guys find the x-factor. I’m just so excited to see what 2018 brings for you guys. It sounds like there will be some great events, the start of the online boot camp and who knows what else.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, absolutely. We also have – we’re using a software as a service to do online boot camp. It’s essentially an application on your phone or on your computer where we can learn to do training from and also to deliver the program. It was made for online coaches and suits us very well. It suits this idea very well. I think it’s an American company I’m not even sure maybe Canadian and so the only limitation it has, it’s limited spots so for every class there’s only 20 aka two zero so and it’s filling up fast.
Brian: So if you’re listening before the 7th of January and this is something that you’re interested in. There were only 20 spots to start so check it out. Where should people go to learn more about MILRUCK and to find this online training program?
Cadre Dennis: It’s MILRUCK.com or MILRUCK.se whatever you prefer and you just hit boot camp and interesting word boot camp, right? My Cadre absolutely hates it and but in the end Chris made a logo for it with the boots and I think it’s starting to change minds a little bit. But the idea of boot camp is not really our base of values but, everyone knows what it is and there’s a lot of boot camp companies out there already.
So, if we want to event or invent another word like ruck camp or whatever people wouldn’t understand – we are already fed up with people not understanding our ideas and it took something that people know about. So this is online.
Cadre Dennis: We’re not going to stand there as drill sergeants screaming people on the face and that is what my Cadre don’t want to do, they want to lead and push people. They don’t want to drill sergeant or drilling instructors. The online gave us the remote part of coaching. I think that they’re now happy with the word boot camp, I’m not sure, they might hate me for it but yeah, it’s MILRUCK ONLINE BOOTCAMP, that’s the name and the practice and it’s already here. So, if you’d like to try it.
Brian: Very cool and so in addition to MILRUCK.com and MILRUCK.se if you’re listening you should check out MILRUCK on Instagram because there are a ton of pictures there and you can definitely see the feeling behind MILRUCK on that account.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, that’s right and Facebook as well that’s where we are.
Brian: Perfect, so before we get going are there any other shout outs that you want to give.
Cadre Dennis: Shout outs, to all my Cadre, all my participants, all the GRTs that I’ve been in doing events with. Jason McCarthy and Mark Divine from SEALFIT both as entrepreneurs and as Cadres or instructors, they are role models. Those are my shoutouts and to you Brian for bringing me around the show.
Brian: I’m so glad to have you on Cadre Dennis, I mean it has been just awesome talking to you for – it’s already been 80 minutes which has been so time flies it must be pretty late over there now. But like I’ve said at the beginning I’ve been following you guys since roughly around the time you started and it has been so cool to see all the pictures come in and it has been so much fun to hear the story of MILRUCK and your history and the history of the events and just the wide range of events that you guys are running over there, it’s truly incredible.
I’m beyond thankful, men that you took the time out of your evening to chat with me about this. This has been really fun for me. Thank you.
Cadre Dennis: Sorry Brian and if I don’t see you at the MILRUCK event maybe I’ll see you at the GORUCK event, maybe even in Washington State to set on every Tuesdays I haven’t been to yet. I’d love to go.
Brian: Well, I love my email address if you are coming in to United States for an event send your schedule over. I can’t guarantee I’ll be there but I would at least would love to have the opportunity to meet you in person.
Cadre Dennis: Yeah, absolutely. Great.
Brian: Alright, take care Dennis thank you so much again.
Cadre Dennis: Thank you Brian.