The 2021 Bataan Memorial Death March will be held as a virtual event. The details listed in this section were established based on a live, in-person, event and will be applicable when we are once again able to safely host an in-person event. For more information on registering for the 2021 Virtual Edition of the Bataan Memorial Death March and for instructions on how to do a virtual march click button below:
Below, you will find a togglable list of rules that apply to the Bataan Memorial Death March.
These rules are set in place for your safety and the organization of the event, which draws in over 6K participants.
Please review the event rules thoroughly. It is your responsibility to learn the rules. Some rules that are not followed may lead to a participation delay, disqualification or keep you from participating completely.
Feel free to contact us for any additional information by filling out the form below.
- Non-military categories are open to anyone, whether you are military or civilian. If you are in the military, but wish to enter a non-military category you are allowed to do so.
- Military categories are only open to certain military ID card holders. Eligible cardholders include Active Duty Military, Reserves, National Guard and Retirees.
- Family Members may not enter military categories unless they themselves also fall into one of the previously mentioned groups.
- All individuals in a military category must comply with AR 670-1, “Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia.”
- Participants will wear BDUs, ACUs or their service equivalent uniform. Non-standard T-shirts may be worn in place of the regulation T-shirts.
- Participants must be in full uniform during the opening ceremony and at the start of the march. Only uniform tops and headgear may be removed along the route as desired.
- Boots may not be exchanged for any other footgear along the route. Anyone caught violating this rule will be disqualified. Footwear is limited to military service recognized boots. Consult your service regulations. Hi-Tech style boots may be worn only if authorized by individual service regulations or commander.
- Military light divisions require each participant to wear Load Bearing Equipment (LBE)/Load Carrying Equipment (LCE). Combat web gear or their service equivalent of individual load carrying equipment with at least a pistol belt, suspenders and one canteen or a hydration pack (Camelbak) may be worn in lieu of the LBE/LCE with canteen.
- All participants in these divisions will have a full quart of water at the start of the march.
- No LBE/LCE or helmets are required in the heavy divisions.
- Pioneering poles and hiking sticks are not authorized in any Military division.
- Numbers will be attached to the front chest of the uniform only or risk disqualification. There will be checkpoints along the route.
- You can show your unit pride and participation by contributing your unit coin to Bataan. A specially designed coin rack will be displayed with all of the donated unit coins during in-processing. After Bataan, the coins and coin rack will be moved to the White Sands Missile Range Museum where they will be displayed in the special Bataan Memorial Death March section of the museum.
- All participants will wear footwear.
- Participants registered in any non-military category may wear any footwear or attire, (except a complete recognized military uniform), appropriate for road marching through the desert.
- Individual components of military type clothing (i.e. BDU trousers, military boots, military headgear, etc.) may be worn, but the participant must be easily distinguishable as a non-military entrant by finish line personnel.
- Teams representing their organization such as police or fire units may wear uniforms. Uniform fabric should be appropriate for a march through desert terrain during possibly warm weather. Distinctive unit T-shirts are encouraged in lieu of uniforms made of inappropriate, heavy or dark-colored material.
- While all mandatory water requirements for this division have been lifted, it is recommended each participant carry at least one quart of water along the route at all times.
- Pioneering poles and hiking poles may be used while marching.
- Junior ROTC team category uniform is civilian footwear and trousers or shorts with a distinctive team T-shirt. Team members will remain in uniform throughout the duration of the march.
- ROTC /JROTC may enter in the non-military or their respective ROTC categories only.
- In the JROTC team category, instructors may march with the cadets as a team member.
- All participants will wear footwear.
- Marchers in the heavy division must have a minimum of 35 pounds including their rucksacks/backpacks, which will be weighed and verified at the finish line.
- The frame of the ruck/backpack will count towards the 35 pound limit.
- Alice Style, Blackhawk, Molle or Military issued packs are authorized.
- Weighted Vests are not allowed in any category.
- The 35 pounds cannot include rocks, sandbags (unless securely taped shut), logs, water or other items which could be picked up along the route. Marchers with less than 35 pounds will be disqualified from the competition.
- Please consider using food to use as weight in your backpack: beans, rice, nonperishable items, cans, macaroni, pasta, etc. You will be able to donate this food to the Roadrunner Food Bank when you reach the finish line.
- Teams will consist of 5 members, no more, no less.
- All teams are required to march single file for the first 2 miles of the march. This allows faster marchers and runners room to pass.
- All members must cross the finish line within 20 seconds of each other. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Any team finishing with less than 5 members will be disqualified. No team will abandon or leave behind a member. If a team member cannot continue, it is the team’s duty to ensure that they are left in the care of an aid station. Leaving a comrade behind is not in the spirit of Bataan or the military service of the United States of America. Once a team member is left in the care of medical personnel, the remainder of the team may choose to complete the course; however, the entire team is disqualified from placing.
- Coed teams must have at least one member of each gender. Any team not meeting this requirement may face disqualification. Only team captains will report to march officials with any discrepancies or grievances prior to the conclusion of the march. March officials will make final decisions on all discrepancies or grievances.
- Uniform requirements are ACU uniform or organizational Improved Physical Fitness Uniform (IPFU), US Army shorts, white calf length socks, running shoes and organizational T-shirt, (warm-up, cap and gloves if needed).
- Minimum age to participate is 9 years old, providing the individual is registered and marching with a parent/ guardian or a member of the family 18 years or older. (Child MUST be with parent/ guardian at all times when on the route)
- No pets, wheelchairs, knee scooters, bicycles or strollers are allowed on the route. (Unless Service Dog w/Documentation)
- CD players, boom boxes, etc. are allowed only if headphones are used.
- March route will close at 8:00 p.m.
- Removal of signs or other markers is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification.
- Military PT uniforms are not authorized when competing in a Active Duty Military category.
- Refunds will NOT be authorized once registered nor will they be issued due to inclement weather or cancelation of the march. Specific situations such as military deployment or medical emergency will be taken into consideration, however the individual must contact us directly and provide appropriate documentation.
- Good sportsmanship is expected at all times!
- Timing discrepancies must be made known NLT 1 week after the event. After 7 days all times are considered official and results stand. Those placing first or second will receive awards 4-6 weeks after the event.
- Lost and Found bins will be placed near the start and finish lines. The U.S. Army Family & MWR, DOD, Bataan Memorial Event Staff, and Volunteers are NOT responsible for items discarded on the Bataan route or left in the lost and found bins. Items that are not claimed within 7 days of the end of event will be donated to local area shelters. Items discarded on the Bataan route will be picked up, if noticed, by staff and volunteers and placed in the lost and found bins throughout the day on Sunday. Please note that staff and volunteers will NOT be sent to search for any discarded items and marchers will NOT be allowed back on the course to find lost items.