CWU News

CWU Army ROTC to Hold 19-Mile Nighttime Norwegian Foot March

ROTC March

More than 120 soldiers will compete in a Central Washington University Army ROTC-sanctioned Norwegian Foot March on Friday, June 4. The 18.6-mile nighttime march will begin at 9 p.m. at the John Wayne Trailhead near the Ellensburg Fairgrounds.

Participants, including CWU Air Force and Army ROTC as well as representatives from numerous other organizations from Washington and Oregon, must march the near 20-mile hike within 4 hours and 40 minutes while carrying a 25-pound rucksack to earn an official Norwegian Foot March badge. Called Marsjmerket in Norwegian, the badge can only be earned through official events such as this one.

Ordinarily, a representative of the Norwegian Armed Forces must be present for Norway to recognize this achievement when completed by non-Norwegian service members. This rule was suspended during the pandemic to allow events and training to continue despite ongoing travel restrictions. To ensure the legitimacy of the event, Chief of Cadet Operations and graduating CWU senior Kai Covey contacted the Norwegian embassy for their approval, which they granted.

Professor of Military Science and U.S. Army Major Joseph Paolilli hopes the event will serve as a way to introduce new people to CWU, and Ellensburg as a whole.

“CWU is honored to sponsor this event and make it available to so many service personnel,” Paolilli said. “I want all those coming, many who may be potential students, to have a great time and think about when they can come back to Ellensburg.”

The public is encouraged to spectate the event, though only military personnel may earn the Marsjmerket. 

Media: This is a highly visual event and will make for great photos, video, and audio coverage.

Media contact: Rune Torgersen, Department of Public Affairs,