The history of Outward Bound serving veterans dates to 1971 and the “Spartan Pathfinder” program run by the John F. Kennedy Center for Military  Assistance.  The purpose of the program was to use Outward Bound techniques to reorient soldiers with drug and disciplinary problems and “promote self-confidence and self-awareness through controlled stress in a wilderness environment.” From 1975 - 1981, the Dart-mouth Outward Bound Center and the Department of Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School began serving veterans working through  Post Traumatic Stress and other mental health diagnoses.
In 1981 Dartmouth Outward Bound Center merged with Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and by 1983 Outward Bound for Veterans was born.

Since 2006 Outward Bound has served close to 10,000 Veterans and Active Duty service members. While the majority of the participants are veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, we welcome veterans from any era to attend one of our courses.

The founder of the Vietnam veterans program and a guiding hand through many iterations of Outward Bound for Veterans was Army Colonel Bob Rheault. Colonel Rheault commanded both the 1st and 5th Special Forces Groups. He became an Outward Bound instructor after he left the Army, “because it was the closest thing to Special Forces that he could find.” For 32 years Colonel Rheault served as an Instructor, Program Director and President of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, retiring in 2001. Colonel Rheault passed away in 2013.