Video: Army Captain Finishing 12 Mile Foot March Goes Viral


Video of Capt. Sarah Cudd picking herself up and finishing the 12 Mile Foot March required to earn the Army’s Expert Field Medical Badge has been viewed over 1.2 million times since a fellow soldier posted it on Facebook last week.

The video shows soldiers lining the course cheering as Cudd dropped to her knees and then used her rifle to pick herself up and complete the course. Assigned to Army Public Health Command at Fort Knox, Cudd was one of 46 to earn the badge that day.

Candidates must complete the 12 mile march in 3 hours in order to earn the badge. Below is the video. Here’s a link for mobile viewers. I won’t give away what time she completed it in.

  • lyinfan

    Oooo Rah! Semper Fi, Captain!

  • IronV

    Great job, Captain!

  • tiggersbounce

    Can someone help me out here? What’s the yearly requirement for a forced march in the American Army?

    • Jose

      It depends on the Unit. 12 miles were monthly/quarterly for me (Infantry), then at least one 25 miler per year. But then again, we walked any chance we got. But standard in 12 miles under 3 hours. Said Capt, probably didn’t ruck every quarter or for PT, but she was determined to earn here EFMB, so mad props for the Capt, for sucking it up and rucking on.. That is what the real Army is about, embrace the suck and make it happen: Jr. NCOs, NCOs, Officers..

    • Parabellum36

      The actual Army Standard IAW FM 21-18 is just over 4 hours for 12 miles.
      “For a foot march, the normal pace is 30 inches at a cadence of 106 steps per

    • Rick

      Back in 1973-75 when I was a company commander of a basic combat training company, basic trainees made a 20 mile forced march toward the end of each nine week training cycle.

  • 11CP5

    Good for her. Was there any other requirement after the road march or was that all? Would like to know how many tested for the EFMB. Forty something seems like a high number. I know when I was in it was rare to see a medical person wearing one. Much like the EIB us to be. Good to see the other members supporting her and seeing that she did not quit. To me not quitting is the true victory. Hooha!

    • MAJ.D

      For her sake, I sure hope that was the last event of the day.

    • Sanitized

      I don’t have the cite to share, but if you’re saying the 46 that passed is a high number to pass, normally you would be correct but the number attempting to qualify for that cycle was well over 100, and IIRC was actually over 200.

    • CharlieKing1

      Motivated! Good to see her comrades motivating her to press on! I agree, the real, true victory is not quitting!

  • Michael McBride

    This is feel good story but it shows whey most women should not be in combat roles. Even thou women are as tough or tougher than many men the physical difference cannot be denied. How many lives will be lost in wars to come due to political correctness?

    • WallyB

      Millions of lives have already been lost in politically correct wars.

      • CPTCHUCK

        The problem is that the political leadership want to direct the fighting of the wars, the political correctness problem is with the civilian leadership. I never question, why I went to war, if I had I would have left the service. What I question was a civilian, who has no training in how to fight telling me, the professional, how to fight. Tell me what you want done, I will tell you how it can be accomplished if the politician does not like the war fight methods, do not go to war.

      • marianna1968

        Exactly. Thank you.

    • Tribulationtime

      Nassis who fought at Ostfront Dumbs Up!. From my point of view fitness is good for combat, even indispensable, for some aspects or operations. Nevertheless, resilience, stamine is a desirable quality in long term. Examples: D-day Fitness mandatory. Guadalcanal after 5 weeks (sleepless, thirst, sunburn, half-starved) no one was fit. So, Wars are extremely varied in nature and maybe women have their combat niche inside it.

    • Mark

      She is not in a combat role. She’s a veterinarian. She did it because she wanted the challenge. She’s not going to be going to the front lines to rescue a combat dog with 70 pounds of gear on her back.

      It’s unfortunate that I see the same kinds of sentiments here that were used to keep the military segregated in the 30’s and 40’s.

      • 11b20

        the fact that she is a veterinarian doesn’t change the fact that she was competing for the expert field medical badge. I am certain she would be useless treating a gunshot wound or placing an IV At the end of that movement. Women do have their place in combat and it is in support roles were biology doesn’t give the enemy an advantage. Anyone serious about fighting wars( ie. Killing a whole lot more of the enemy than they kill of yours) wants every possible 1/10th of a percent of an advantage in performance, size, strength and what have you. If you see the military as a social experiment or a place were everything should be fair you are inviting a disaster at the hands of a foe who believes unfairness (in their favor) is the way to go. Btw I finished my EIB road march in 1 hr 49 minutes and worked the rest of the day.


      agree,great for her the captain ,but the facts are women cannnot and never will be as men are,its sad in this day and age that many men and people have and are blind.the true test will be war.and that day will be here very soon .as always i say to all the rude comments that will follow ,kiss my ass.

  • Leon Suchorski

    She had better learn how to do it in better time from now on. She knows that she can do it, now just do it better. Her job, will require it.

    • sanitized

      Capt Cudd is a veterinarian.

  • flighterdoc

    Kudos to the Captain for gutting it out….

    But, what the hell was she carrying in her ruck? The test only requires (afaik) a spare set of clothes and MOPP suit…that ruck looks stuffed.

    • usmc-fo

      News just said she was carrying 70 pounds….

      • Jason

        There is no way she was carrying 70lbs. The standard is 35lbs in 3 hours. The news is trying to make this a hero moment when she is not even capable of performing the task without being a casualty herself.

        • Emmett


          How about you give us your qualfications to make these judgements? Would give you a lot more creditability. I own the Air Assault Badge, which has the same 12-mile requirement. I did it in my 30s, and while I didn’t smoke the course, I completed it. What have you done, besides hurl insults at an esteemed member of our military.

          Emmett Wayne
          101st ABD

          • Jason

            I am a member of the 82d Airborne, completed Jump School, combat tour in Afghanistan, completed RASP, currently on jump status, and have completed plenty on forced marches, in fact one last month with 45lbs and 12 miles while being able to work a full day. I never once insulted her rather the Army should not be about just completing a single task without being able to conduct follow on missions. If she was to do a combat forced march once we got to the OBJ she would not be capable. This is the issue and why are we not celebrating the soldiers who completed the task and able to perform their MOS skill set. Read my posts and you will see I never once insulted her.

            Thanks for your service Emmett but not every veteran believes that political correctness has a place in our military.

        • MAJ.D

          Maybe 70 lbs total? Video is not great quality, I can’t tell if she’s in IOTV or just wearing the web gear; the IOTV alone weighs in around 30 lbs.

          Or the news got it wrong. The one story I saw wasn’t specific on weight.

  • Doug

    Carrying pillows is hard work, phew!!!

    • Mark

      Doug, there is a saying that goes like this: It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt. Have a friend explain it to you.

      She was carrying 70 pounds which is probably close to or more than half her body weight.

  • Mark

    Capt. Cudd is an Army veterinarian. She isn’t a medic and more than likely, passing this course isn’t a requirement for her to be successful in her career in the Army. She’s not going to be on the front lines, providing medical care to troops. She probably not going to march 12 miles to provide veterinarian services to military dogs. Yet many of the people posting here think this was a stunt or use her performance at the end of the march as proof that she can’t do her job. She was one of 46 candidates who attempted to achieve the Army’s Expert Field Medical Badge. The success rate is just 17 percent,

    • bbabbitt

      70 pounds is a lot of dog food.

    • Ol’ Soldier

      In the Army or any branch, your FIRST MOS is SOLIDER… Veterinarian second..

  • Kenneth W Finley

    The Hell with all the naysayers. I say give her credit, she deserves it. I would welcome her by my side in combat.
    K Finley USMC 69-75 oorah



    • Joshua

      You want her next to you in combat? Did you watch the video? She is unfit to engage in combat or provide medical aide to the wounded, and she is so tired after 12 miles that she is collapsing. If that was combat she would need a medic to watch after her and soldiers to get her to safety.

      She is a combat liability.

    • Steve

      You’re crazy, if she had to go another mile you’d end up carrying her, mission ineffective! Political correctness is out of control…..I’ve got it…good job captain…if you were my daughter I”d be proud of you, but I’d also tell you to never join the infantry because even if you made it you’d be a liability.


        Another Dog and Pony show by the CLUELESS brass.

    • ParaRX

      You must be kidding, gutting it out lol, she stopped before the finish, only the motivation from other people got her going again.

      I wouldn’t want her next to me in combat, nor any other female!

  • notevenalittlebit

    I’m not impressed.

    If this was a guy or even an enlisted female it wouldn’t even be a story.


    next topic?

  • 1SG, Gray, retired

    I want everyone of you young soldiers to understand, if we are to keep up with the worlds (other arm forces) then we better change our way of thinking. I expect a female to be a soldier first, not a female first. I joined the army in 1972 when their was the WAC. This is not 1972, this is 2015. Get with the future or get out of the way. I served on active duty, reserve, national guard, IRR for a total of 38 years. I am seen men quit in the Q course, pathfinder, air assault, airborne school, and Drill Sergeant School. If this Captain kept on going and past the course. Then take note!! Other woman should do the same no matter what course it is. Oh and if we ever go to war with other real threats to our freedom. There will be some women that you will have to deal with that are trained warriors.

    • ISDAMan

      99% of all run drops and hump drops are females! The trucks are always loaded with them. While there are a few odd women who can take the pressure, 99% of women don’t belong on the battlefield. This isn’t about advancing with the times, it’s about winning wars. No war has ever been lost by not keeping up with the times! It’s about keeping up with the basics! Even a woefully inferior force can defeat the superior power by sticking to the basics. One of the basic rules is that people need to maximize their ability to operate within their capabilities. Females, DO NOT have the same capabilities as males! Stick to what you’re good at and let the men do the fighting! And, yes, anything that puts you on the battlefield can put you in the battle.

      • Aman

        “99% of all run drops and hump drops are females! ” – what’s your source?

  • Jango

    If this was a male, in my day, he would have been punished for poor performance. Why is this news? Are we supposed to applaud someone flapping like a fish across the line? Maybe Kit it will post this reply since they didn’t see my other one as worthy.

  • shocked

    I do not mean to discredit female soldiers who are great soldiers. I speak of them as soldiers and not just females however, this captain did nothing of greatness in my book, especially to be public recgonized. I have female soldiers in my unit I would die next to, thats how confident I am in them… Want to know what a warrior is 1SG Gray? The soldiers in my unit that do not wish to have public recognizition just because they are females. They fight as hard as we do, they train to the same PT standards or they feel like they failed. Those are warriors, those are soldiers….Captian here, is a public stunt man.

    • Steve

      What a load of crap…what sort of friggin unit are you in! No one is saying women don’t belong in the army…they do… And there are plenty of jobs they can do. If I’m travelling along route Irish and some women wants to run top gun on a convoy I don’t give a toss….get some. But don’t think for a moment I want them on a 30 dal infil into a jungle base camp or a 10 day combat patrol across a mountain range. Oh and by the way most guys that try to become Rangers or special forces will fail, and some of those that make it will later quit batt and group because the life style is just too much. If you support women in combat roles you’ve either never been in combat or you’re crazy! Being shot at on a convoy or morterd on a FOB isn’t what I’m talking about, again if they want to crap in a slit trench and piss in a bush I don’t care, but don’t think for a minute you can compete with a hardened foot soldier. He’ll go and fly a gunship or an F 16. I’m certain you could that but carrying 100lbs day after day, digging fighting positions every night and then storming a hill top isn’t for women….period. Oh yeah don’t tell me about the Israelies…I lived there for two years and theyre not commandos. And don’t tell me about some crossfit chick who’s fitter than most guys…..when the food, sleep etc…is taken away she will fail!!!! And let’s just say you get 2 women who pass a selection course and make it into some type of commando, ranger, SOF unit…what then? When we grapple and I slam her on her head? Run her into the deck three days a week with a 50lb ruck? Wash my dick or crap in a bag in a 2 man hide site while conducting reconnaissance, is it all sustainable? And what about if she can hack it all…what happens after five, ten or in my case a thirty year military career….what will her body be like….will she be able to have kids, walk without her knees buckling ? The military said they wouldn’t change standards…we shall see, if a guy can’t climb a fat rope with 90lbs of kit he can go and be a great American elsewhere. Being a patriot and wanting to be a commando doesnt qualify you to be actually be one, it’s not a friggin badge or something to put on your resume…its a friggin life style and a hard hard life!

  • Jack

    she will go far in life…because shes not a quitter….Never give up

  • galloglas

    I’m proud of you Captain, good to go!

  • Randall

    While assigned to the 2nd ID as well as the 10th MTN, we had to also complete a 12 mile march within 3 hours. Our standard was 35 pounds if I remember correctly. I had been in the Army 20 years when I completed my last march and it was a bear even though I could pass the PT test at a 17 year old standard. The trick to this whole equation is YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE THE MISSION or else the whole evolution is pointless!

  • MiTT

    This is an example of the change of course that the Army has said would not occur. When a male Ranger student comes in looking like she did the RIs are yelling that he needs to quit because he won’t make it as a Ranger.

    You already know that they are not going to make a female carry a 240 in mountain phase.

    • Joshua

      Yet the smallest guy always gets stuck with the 240.

  • SLH

    As a civilian female, not a soldier myself but my husband is in a combat MOS, I did a half marathon, 6 weeks after having 2 children in a 13 month period. I got a T-shirt for finishing. That does NOT mean I should be a soldier, and I don’t see why this is so amazing. Its great she finished in the time required and didn’t need assistance but I don’t think this deserves any attention, at all.

  • ISDAMan

    So, now we celebrate abject failure in our forces just to promote females. Any male would be ridiculed for bringing up the rear on an easy 12mi hump. War is life and death. Keep standards high.

    Letting your muzzle hit the dirt is not grit. Losing energy when you see the end in sight is not grit. A war fighter who struggles under such a minor challenge is useless! You’d better fall face first into a pile of jagged rocks before you let your muzzle hit the dirt! You have two eyes. You can afford to lose one. Foul your muzzle and you could lose your life. Men to the left and right of you could lose theirs. Have fun cleaning your weapon in the middle of a fire fight! All I see in that poor showing is weakness. She reminds me of the guys who get punched out in boot camp. Their drill instructors prop them back up and scream the punch drunk wrecks into continuing when they have no business being there.

    What kind of medic is going to help someone in that lousy condition? How can a captain so decrepit command warriors? As she points her weapon at her own head for several seconds, we, in this day and age of every child gets a trophy, reward the pestilence and the effrontery of the mediocre who portend our destruction, pretending to be what they are not, with our accolades. We should be ashamed for not sending her to remedial PT.

    • ParaRX

      Couldn’t have said it better

    • JESullivan

      Mediocrity seems to be the goal these days. INDEED!!

  • colin

    Back in the day an officer had to twice as much in half the time as a ordinary soldier or they would not be given the job of leading from the front as said officer. So just scrapping in ,in a bad shape behind everybody is no way shape or form as an officer to be proud of ! An officer needs respect to command. An officer supposed to be the best!!!

  • Joshua

    Congrats, now you are a liability to yourself and your team. You are unfit to engage in combat, you are unfit to provide medical aide to the wounded, and you now have to be cared for by everyone else thus distracting them from the important part of combat…you know the whole shooting bad guys.

  • Wes

    This just shows how unprepared she was. The events of the EFMB are not a secret so she elected to not properly train herself for this. I applaud her for not giving up but as an Officer, regardless of her branch, she should have trained herself to be the first across the line.


    When I was in the Infantry, all of our officers could run circles around us. In the old days, officers had character and guts. They led by example, they were not promoted because it was politically correct or part of some politicians public relations schedule or agenda. This is another example of political correctness run amok. And it will get lots of good men killed. If women want to be equal, then they will perform the same standards as men. I know lots of women who can smoke plenty of guys on a run or a hike. Lowering the standards not only insults women, it is dangerous for all troops.

    This officer should have prepared for this march better. Dropping your weapon in the dirt multiple times is an example of how the Upper Echelon dog and pony show is more important than actually being qualified.. The “everyone gets a trophy attitude” is total B.S. Mediocrity should never, ever be celebrated.

  • joe

    we did a 12 mile ruck march every 6 month when i was at fort campbell, ky. and it was also a requirment for air assault school when i went through. if we would have dropped our rifles like she did, they would smoked us after crossing the finish line.

  • brsinai

    Wow, people are making much more of this than they should.
    The standards are difficult and many fail, including men…many, many, men. This really has little to do with combat, or going to combat, but rather a difficult test in order to achieve an Army badge. Rather than fail, she chose to gut it out and cross the finish line. Just as one would gut out a marathon or other difficult challenge. She deserves credit for finishing with a body that was completely tapped out and betraying her desired movements. To me, a 22 year careerist in combat arms, she displayed the type of character that good Soldiers should, and I applaud her for it.
    Why did this go viral? Because many people appreciate that she was able to make herself continue despite her lack of coordination. It amazes people because instead of simply giving up, she kept going again, and again. Pretty cool stuff.

    • Yes many fail but since men outnumber women in the military 4-5 to 1 this situation likely happened many times to male soldiers.

      Where is the video and out of proportion reaction?

      I’m glad the CPT finished but this doesn’t bring credit upon her, officers or the Army. A 12 mile road march with a puny 35lb ruck is not a difficult task and especially for someone that knows it’s coming.

      The whole reason this story got the traction it has is because it involved a woman and a public largely ignorant of how routine and nondemanding a 35 mile/3 hr roadmarch is. You got one thing right, “people ARE making much more of this than they should.”

      • brsinai

        I’m not going to argue your inaccuracies with regards to road marches, but I will defend the captain and say that her will to complete the task does bring credit upon her, and the Army. She is the type of Soldier, regardless of gender, that I WANT to serve with, and that I WANT as an example to subordinates and peers alike. It is a shame that you can’t simply feel proud of, or at least admire, a Soldier that refused to quit until her mission was complete. Supportive Soldiers are want I WANT in my unit, not some old and angry individual that can’t see courage for what it is, but simply must push an agenda at any opportunity regardless of applicability.

        • Old and angry? I guess to some in the “everyone gets a trophy” generation “I’m glad the CPT finished” doesn’t mean the same thing…

          Feel free to point out any inaccuracies. Maybe you think you’ll get a trophy for that also?

          • brsinai

            You’re confused. Not everyone gets this trophy, it has to be earned.

          • You’re confused. I’m not speaking of the EFMB.

            I’m speaking of the expectation by some that every effort/participation has to be recognized, especially, if it comes from a certain group.

          • brsinai

            So, a comment that really has nothing to do with this particular issue. Gotcha.

          • No, this is all about the “everyone deserves recognition” phenomena.

            Your “old and angry” comment had nothing to do with this particular issue. ;)

  • Steve

    We are all equal… But we are not all equal in strengths and weaknessess… We should be more focused on exploiting a persons strengths, than covering or ignoring their weaknessess. Women/Men who do not display the strengths needed for particular MOSs, should not be allowed to waste everyones time, and be allowed to pursue that MOS.

    I imagine this woman, when allowed to drop the pack and given a brief rest, would be able to perform her duties.

    Gotta give her credit for picking herself up an finishing… Many would have just laid there… Though the video is only remarkable because it’s subject is a woman… Which is sad and sexist…

  • J Yeaton

    a few points for the naysayers- only 17% even pass for this badge so out of 46 in ,only 7 or 8 finish…..
    – she completed it ,even though hers is not a combat field mos- she a animal vet
    – she completed it with NO help- i’ve seen seasoned warriors need help to finish a 12 mile ruck and truck…..been there myself- 362nd Engineers/FT Bragg
    – and the whole thing is out there to show Women can DRIVE ON with the rest …..

  • Ryan

    The only reason anyone should watch this is to see how not to complete a 12 mi ruck. Collapsing under the weight of a 35lb ruck??? This is pathetic.

  • Dennis Herdina

    I am a retired 8404Field corpsman for Marines (26 years). First thing congratulations to the Capt. Second falling into dirt twice with your muzzle going in first…totally unacceptable. Third 12 miles is a walk in the sun…her ruck was way over loaded and no doubt improperly loaded as well. And any medical person knows darn good and well that the only thing that matters is that you have your medical gear with you at all times…..where is her medical gear.?

  • James mcfarland

    Good job,just to try is something.