How To March

Maintaining a steady heel beat and cadence is what marching is all about.Marching is an important part of military life, and is also important for marching bands and color guard formations.You can learn the basics of marching, drill, and ceremony if you know the rules.

Step 1: Stand at attention.

“Fall In” can be used to either assemble into formation or return the marchers to their original lineup.”Attention” is a command given during rest.Standing at attention, you should respond to both commands.Bring your heels together evenly, with the toes pointing in a 45 degree angle between your feet.Balance your weight across both feet.Keep your legs straight and don’t lock your knees.You should keep your shoulders square, your chest lifted, and your upper body level with your hips.Hang your arms on both sides of your body.Your fingers should be curled, with your thumbs touching the side of your index finger.With your index fingers touching your pant legs, keep your thumbs in a straight line.Don’t speak unless you’re told to, and remain silent while standing at attention.”Snap to attention” is a variant of standing at attention.Everyone has to stand at attention but at fast speed.The heels are brought together quickly.

Step 2: Go to the parade rest.

Parade rest is a command given to marchers who are in the position of attention.This type of rest is called a “rest position at the halt.”You should not enter Parade Rest until you get the command.While moving your left foot 10 inches to the left, keep your right foot planted.Do not lock your knees.While standing at attention, you balanced your weight across both feet.At the small of your back, place both hands behind you.Keep the fingers of both hands extended and link your two thumbs together.Make sure your arms stay straight by keeping your hands on your back.The center of both hands is in the middle of your back.While standing at attention, keep your head and eyes straight.Do not speak or move until you are told to.

Step 3: Stand at ease.

The Parade Rest position is similar to Standing at Ease, except you have to face the person in charge of your formation.You are not to speak or move unless you are told to do so.

Step 4: “At ease” is a command.

When told “At Ease,” individuals are allowed to move a little, compared to the “stand at ease” command.While standing at ease, a marcher must keep his right foot in place and remain silent.

Step 5: Rest from time to time.

The command “rest” is the last Rest position at the Halt.If a marcher is given the Rest command, he can move his arms, talk, smoke, or take a drink of water.Each person has to keep his foot on the ground during the Rest position.

Step 6: The face is from the position of attention.

There are five facing movements that marchers are required to learn.The movements are entered from the position of attention.The Left/ Right face is facing to the Flank.To turn 90 degrees, raise your right foot and left foot at the same time.On count two, bring your feet into attention by keeping your arms at the position of attention.It’s also known as Facing to the Rear.Move the ball of your right foot about half a foot behind your left one.On the count of two, pivot to the right 180 degrees and keep your arms in the position of attention the entire time.In a situation where a 90-degree turn would not face the desired direction, Half Left and Half Right FACE are only used.It is used to face the flag to honor.

Step 7: Give a shout out.

The Hand Salute is performed when a command is given.The marcher may be in motion or stationary.Only the person in charge of your formation can salute and acknowledge a salute if the command is given during a march.You must come to Quick Time before saluting if the formation is double-timing.If you wear a visor, you should raise your right hand sharply with the fingers and thumb extended.Keep your palm down and touch the tip of your right forefinger on the visor’s rim.If you don’t have a visor or headgear, the Hand Salute is the same, only you should touch the tip of your right forefinger to your forehead.The Hand Salute is the same if you are wearing glasses and a visor-free headgear, but only you should touch the tip of your right forefinger to the part of glasses where the frame’s temple piece meets the right eyebrow.If you are given the command “order arms” from a Hand Salute, return your hand quickly to your side and resume the position of attention.

Step 8: Understand basic marching information.

It’s best to become familiar with the basic marching information that the entire squad will be expected to know when learning the steps for an individual marcher.This will help you with your marching steps.The Halt command should be started with the position of attention.Route Step March and At Ease March are executed while marching at attention.The marching steps are prescribed and combined with the position of attention.Every movement except the Right Step begins on your left foot.The distance from one of your heels to the other is considered one step.120 steps per minute is the rate at which all marching steps are carried out.If you are given the command, “Double Time, March,” you can carry out the 30-inch step in 180 steps per minute.

Step 9: The step is 30 inches.

The command “Forward, March” will be given to you if you are doing the 30-inch step from a Halt.The movement is two parts.When given the command, “Forward,” shift your weight to the right foot.Stand with your left foot on the “MARCH” command.Continue to take 30-inch steps forward, alternating feet depending on which step you are on.Do not exaggerate your movements.The arms should swing in a natural motion.As you swing your arms, aim for nine inches ahead of you and six inches behind you.Head facing forward and keep your eyes open.As in the position of attention, make sure your fingers remain curled.

Step 10: There is a Halt from a march.

The Halt command will be given to you before one of your feet strikes the ground.”Halt” will be given the next time a foot strikes the ground.Bring your trailing foot with you.The position of attention is assumed.If you are given a command, stop any further movement.

Step 11: Change step.

The Change Step command is only given to a marcher who is out of step with everyone else in his formation, but it’s an important command to learn if you want to march with a formation.The execution will only take place during a forward march with a 30-inch step.”Change Step, March” is the command you will be given.”Change Step” will be said when your foot strikes the ground.On “MARCH,” take one additional step with the left foot, then over one count, place your right toe near your left heel.You should step off with your left foot.Try to match the step of everyone else in your formation by keeping your arms swinging naturally.

Step 12: It is advisable to execute at March.

During the 30-inch step, a rest movement will be commanded.When one of your feet strikes the ground, the command will be given.On the command, “MARCH,” you don’t have to keep your cadence with your formation.Even though you are not required to keep marching in step, you must remain silent and maintain the approximate distances that you were performing.

Step 13: A Route Step March is performed.

The At March Ease is executed the same way as the Route Step March.In a Route Step March, you can drink from your canteen and talk with other marchers.

Step 14: There is a March in place.

You will be given the command “Mark Time, March” if you are expected to march.The command will be given when one of your feet is on the ground.Bring your trailing foot up alongside your leading foot and begin marching in place.The feet should be raised two inches off the ground.Don’t move your feet forward.If you want to march in place, alternate your feet.During a 30-inch step forward, your arms should be swinging naturally.If you are given the follow-up command, “Forward MARCH,” take one more step in place on the “MARCH” command before you begin the forward 30-inch step.

Step 15: Make sure you maintain proper distance.

It is important that you maintain a proper distance from the person in front of you.This is to make sure that everyone in formation is on the same page.The correct distance between individuals is one arm’s length plus an additional six inches.

Step 16: Pick a squad.

In a linear formation, squad forms.When equipment from each individual is left on the ground, a squad can re-form in a column.The command “Fall In” will be issued by the squad leader.To follow the lead of the right flank man, you must double time to your position in the formation.Stand in the position of attention, turn your head and eyes to the right, and raise your left arm.Keep your left arm raised to shoulder level with the elbow locked, fingers and thumb extended and joined, and your palm facing down.To be in line with your right flank man, take short steps either forward or backward.If you want your shoulder to touch the individual’s fingertips, take short steps either left or right.When you are in the “Normal Interval”, lower your arm to your side, turn your head and eyes to face forward, and resume the position of attention.

Step 17: March with the squad.

You and your squad may be marched in a line formation when marching over short distances.A column formation is possible if you and your squad are marching over a longer distance.You will be given the command “right, face” if you are expected to form a column from a line formation.

Step 18: Follow the march to the flank.

You may be ordered to march to the flank if you are moving a short distance.”Left or Right Flank, March” is the command you will receive.The direction you’re expected to march towards is determined by the foot that strikes the ground.On the “MARCH” command, take one more step, pivot 90 degrees on the ball of your lead foot to face the desired direction, and then step off with the trailing foot toward the new direction.Look out of the corner of your right eye and dress to the right as you begin marching in the new direction.

Step 19: Get thrown out of the squad.

If you are dismissed from the squad, you will not be in the formation on your duty day.At attention, you will be dismissed.If you are marching with arms, you will be given one of the following commands before being dismissed.