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President Promotes 50-Mile Hike

Feb. 5, 1963 - At President Kennedy’s suggestion, 20 Marine officers will attempt a 50-mile hike next week. The exercise, to be conducted at Camp Lejune, N.C., was suggested by the recent discovery of a long-forgotten executive order issued by President Theodore Roosevelt. General David M. Shoup (right), the Marine Commandant, sent the 54-year-old document to Mr. Kennedy. The President responded with a proposal that General Shoup find out “how well our present-day officers perform the test.” At least 10 captains and 10 lieutenants, selected to provide a sample of personnel, will take this test: walk 50 miles within three days (some officers of 1908 covered the course in a day). Upon reaching the final half-mile, the officers must double-time 200 yards, rest 30 seconds; double-time for 300 yards, rest a minute; and sprint 200 yards to the finish line.


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