Marching refers to the organized, uniformed, steady and rhythmic walking forward, usually associated with military troops.
Marching is often performed to march music, and often associated military parades.
Marching is part of basic training in the military in most countries. In most cases, marching uses a system of drill commands. Learning to march by obeying commands is considered a form of discipline.
While marching, individuals must maintain their dress, cover, interval, and distance (DCID):
- dress — alignment with the person to the side;
- cover — alignment with the person in front;
- interval — space between the person(s) to the side;
- distance — space between the person in front.
In Northern Ireland marching is a major part of the culture, with hundreds of marches occurring annually. These are usually organized by groups such as the Orange Order, which provide most of the participants. Music is provided by marching bands including silver bands, flute bands and others. Marching is often seen as a symbol of control over a particular area, and marching is often seen as a sectarian activity.
In the military there are various standard paces. A pace
is two steps, i.e. twice the number of beats (120 beats/min is 60 paces/min, etc.)
- Quick March: The basic mobility. 120-beats/min (2 hertz), 30" pace.
- Double March: The basic run. 180-beats/min.
- Highland March: Regiment specific pace, 80-beats/min. Used when wearing kilts.
- Rifle March: Regiment specific pace, 180-beats/min.
- Slow March: Ceremonial pace, 40-60 beats/min.
- Parade March: Usually seen combined with music, ~108 beats/min. in the UK, ~120 beats/min. in the USA
- Foreign Legion Pace: 88 beats/min
- Paso Legionario: Specific march used by the Spanish Legion, 144 beats/min, embodiment of their "espíritu de marcha".
There are various other requirements for marching (excluding 2x-time). The British and her Commonwealth bring their arms chest-pocket high. Countries of the Eastern Bloc often have the leg kept straight on the forward pace. These actually aid in maintaining speed and increase efficiency for long range travel.