By |Published On: September 5th, 2019|Categories: Training Section, MFTF Training Series|

Action Item: Please let us know your trip details so we can support you as much as possible.

We are a little over 3 weeks away from March for the Fallen (#MFTF).

NOTE: There is a monster training event occurring simultaneously to MFTF this year so be prepared to dodge humvees and watch out for stray artillery shells. I’m joking. But seriously, we are anticipating potential logistical issues so be prepared to go with the flow…

Here are the links to prior updates if you’d like to review:

What to Bring?

This can get tricky depending on whether or not you are doing the pack version of the event.

I recommend that you review the following post on gear.

Minimalist gear list:

  • Event gear (shorts, t-shirt, shoes, socks, pack, etc.)
    • trail running shoes preferred but solid athletic shoes work too
    • Merino/robust socks preferred but standard athletic socks work
    • Avoid cotton, but won’t kill you if that is all you have on hand.
    • Non-ruck participants don’t need a pack. A refillable water bottle is fine or bring a small pack to carry random things.
  • Warming layer (can get a bit chilly in the evening)
  • Pillow and light sleeping bag or light blanket (highly recommended this year since linens will be limited)
  • Earplugs (avoid people who snore)
  • Toiletries (Dop kit) / Towel
  • Government-issued ID and a cell phone
  • Crocs/flip-flops (something to wear besides shoes)
  • Light breakfast for before the March (including, if you need your morning caffeine, instant coffee or a pre-bottled iced coffee)
  • Great attitude

NOTE #1: You do not need to bring food/water for the March. The event is fully supported with nutrition/water throughout.

NOTE #2: The event has a food drive at the finish — so if you need weight, you can buy canned food or bags of rice to reach the 35lb weight for the ruck. No need to fly with weight.

Here’s a detailed timeline and logistics plan. Updates to follow as additional details become available. The official site has the most recent updates.

Printable schedule is here.

Thurs 9/26: BBQ at AA HQ World Headquarters

What: BBQ/Chow @ 1730

Where: Alpha Architect Global HQ, 213 Foxcroft Road, Broomall, PA 19008


  • Be sure to allow at least 15 min to check in with security and pick up your visitor ID. (joking)
  • Wes/Katie have offered up the great hall at Stately Gray Manor for overnight stays.
    • Warning: Don’t be frightened if you wake up and see a taxidermy leopard hovering over you and/or a 4-year old playing Legos on top of you.

Action Item: Please let us know your trip details so we can prepare for your arrival.

Fri 9/27: Pre-Event Day

You are heading to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Training Center.

  • Plan to arrive between 1500-1800 (later is okay).
  • Registration pick is available from 1000-1800 (can pick up on race day if you can’t make it).
  • Chow (pasta/spaghetti) will probably be served 1700-1800
  • Pre-event outline and speakers: 2045-2130 (At the USO auditorium room)
  • Lights Out: 2200

The military base location:

  • 87 miles from Broomall
  • 147 miles from the White House
  • 152 miles from the New York Stock Exchange

Here is a link to the location from AA HQ. Or enter Howitzer Ave, Grantville, PA 17028 in Google Maps. (Near the USO).

We’ll carpool from Broomall HQ (~every hour on the hour past 12pm EST) and I should have the barracks open by 1500. Folks will be coming out NYC area as well.

If you need supplies, there’s a Wal-Mart sort of on the way in Lebanon, about 25 min from the Gap.

Here are some images to help orient you to the location once you are close (which is in the middle of nowhere!):

Figure 1. Ft. Indiantown Gap Overview

Here are the details on the specific location:

Figure 2: Zoom in on the location of barracks and March for the Fallen start.

We have Barracks 12-75, 12-79, and 12-80 (female). Look on the buildings for the “address”.

Here is what the barracks will look like (may not be exact):

We will only have one key for the barracks. We are expected to keep it locked if we are not in the barracks. We also have to lock it when we head out on the March.

What you see is what you get. Think Full Metal Jacket, or Stripes, depending on your mood. We get a mattress and we are trying to get pillows and sheets (supply is impacted because of the simultaneous training exercise).

***Recommendation: Bring a pillow and a sleeping bag.***

If you regularly frighten children and small animals while sleeping, or you’ve been kicked out of bed by a significant other, or said significant other has filed a noise complaint against you, please select a bunk on the second floor.

If you snore…hit the second floor.

Sat 9/28: Event Day

Note: Times subject to change.

0530: No official wake up. No official breakfast. No pre-made coffee. No official pre-march inspections. Control your sector and get yourself and your gear squared away. Feel free to keep things in the barracks since you will be returning to them after the March.

0600: Team photo outside the barracks. Head over to Strickler Field to pick up registration and/or last-minute preparations.

0630: Opening Ceremony, Strickler Field. We don’t have to be standing in formation at 0630, but last year the opening ceremony was pretty cool. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on the larger purpose of the event and thank the people who put it all together.

0700: Event starts:

  • It’s a loop course so we finish where we start. Everyone starts fast and the first few miles are on pavement. Eventually, people slow down and the real course begins. Slow and steady wins the race. The course has 15 water points spread out over 28 miles. Your choice on how much to carry and how often to refill. Medical stations are also located along the course. Portable toilets are available along the course as well. Lines may form at the toilets. If you decide to step off the course, stay professional and keep in mind there are plenty of women on the course. If you reach your personal finish line prior to 28 miles, you can request transport from one of the water points or aid stations and they’ll get you back to Strickler field. Easy day.
  • Carry a rucksack of your choice or none at all. Official Heavy Division is 35lb, plus food and water. Only the top 3 finishers will have their pack weighed.
  • With ~150+ people on our team, I expect we’ll get spread out along the way. Enjoy the adventure.

1400 – 1700: Likely finish for most participants. Head back to the barracks and get cleaned up, shower, rest, etc. You can take all day if you want. Here is the official stance:

“As long as there is continuous movement, participants will be permitted as much time as necessary to complete the course. So keep moving!”

Course elevation map is posted below (h.t. T. Patton):

Mike Lecours has prepared an excellent visual chart of the course (will be finalized with KIA names soon). The graphic is below and here is the pdf version.

1700-1730: Refreshments and snacks.

1730-1800: Post-event recap/speech by MG Gronski

1800-2000: Chow at the barracks (We can’t get the Fort Indiantown Gap Community Club this year due to logistics constraints). So the good news is we won’t have any “short walks to the chow hall” this year. I know Andrew Miller will be satisfied with this situation. Also, Be prepared for Mike Philbrick Little Johnny stories. You’ve been warned.

Note: Corey Hoffstein and Mike Philbrick are in charge of post-event chow this year. They deserve all the credit (and/or hate mail) for the post-event chow.

2000: Rest and recover. Tell incredible stories of your pain on the course.

Sunday 9/29:  Break Camp

0700: Wake up. Clean out barracks.

1000: Fail barracks inspections. Clean them again.

1030: Turn in barracks keys. Head back to respective locations.

This is going to be an incredible experience and I’m looking forward to hearing a ton of stories over our 28 miles. Sometime during the weekend please find me and introduce yourself. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.

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About the Author: Wesley Gray, PhD

Wesley Gray, PhD
After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama. Next, Wes took an academic job in his wife’s hometown of Philadelphia and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management firm dedicated to an impact mission of empowering investors through education. He is a contributor to multiple industry publications and regularly speaks to professional investor groups across the country. Wes has published multiple academic papers and four books, including Embedded (Naval Institute Press, 2009), Quantitative Value (Wiley, 2012), DIY Financial Advisor (Wiley, 2015), and Quantitative Momentum (Wiley, 2016). Dr. Gray currently resides in Palmas Del Mar Puerto Rico with his wife and three children. He recently finished the Leadville 100 ultramarathon race and promises to make better life decisions in the future.

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For informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as specific investment, accounting, legal, or tax advice. Certain information is deemed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Third party information may become outdated or otherwise superseded without notice.  Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) nor any other federal or state agency has approved, determined the accuracy, or confirmed the adequacy of this article.

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