A military parade is a formation of soldiers whose movement is restricted by close-order manoeuvering known as drilling or marching. The military parade is now almost entirely ceremonial, though soldiers from time immemorial up until the late 19th century fought in formation. Massed parades may also hold a role for propaganda purposes, being used to exhibit the apparent military strength of one's nation.
The terminology comes from the tradition of close order formation combat, in which soldiers were held in very strict formations as to maximise their combat effectiveness. Formation combat was used as an alternative to mêlée combat, and required strict discipline in the ranks and competent officers. As long as their formations could be maintained, regular troops could maintain a significant advantage over less organised opponents. Military parades are not to be confused with military show of force.
Although the firepower of breechloading rifles and machine guns long ago rendered close formations in battle suicidal, modern armies still use parades for ceremonial purposes or in non-combat environments for their efficiency, ease of organization and encouragement of discipline. Roughly synonymous are "drill" and "march". The English word "drill" is of Middle Dutch origin, dating from the 16th century drill of the Dutch army of prince Maurice of Orange, which was widely copied throughout Europe at the time.[why?]
In ancient times, drilling increased in importance when men stopped fighting as individuals and began to fight together as units. Drilling as a vital component of a war machine further increased with the increases in the size of armies, for example when Phillip II of Macedon disciplined his army so they could swiftly form the phalanxes that were so critical to his successes as a general. Military drilling later was used by the Roman Army to maximise efficiency and deadliness throughout their long history. After the fall of the empire, and the Dark Ages set in Europe, most feudal lords more heavily relied on peasant levies and their wealthy knights to fight their wars, the knights for the most part reverting to fighting as individuals. Massed military drilling was used mostly by only the foremost armies and nations, such as the Normans.
The U.S. drill is based on the contributions of Baron von Steuben, a Prussian Army officer who served in the Continental Army. During the winter quarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, von Steuben taught a model company of 100 soldiers musket drill. These soldiers, in turn, taught the remainder of the Continental Army.
The oldest, largest and most famous regular military parade in Europe is the Bastille Day Military Parade which is held each 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, during France's national day celebrations.
A military drill is memorizing certain actions through repetition until the action is instinctive to the soldiers being drilled. Complex actions are broken down into simpler ones which can be practised in isolation so when the whole is put together the desired results are achieved. Such is necessary for a fighting force to perform at maximum efficiency in all manner of situations. However, depending on the army and the drills it adopts, drilling may destroy flexibility and initiative in exchange for predictability and cohesion.
Recruits in most modern militaries are taught drill to teach them how to work and move as a team. In addition, formations are still used in riot control, where mêlée combat is still the norm.
Parades consist of four directions:
The Advance is the primary direction of movement, regardless of which direction the soldiers are actually facing (similar to a ship's bow.) On a parade square, the advance is determined by the position of the dais or flags. When these are not present, the direction of the drill commander is the advance.
The Retire is opposite to the advance, against the primary direction of movement (similar to a ship's stern.)
The Left is to the left of the Advance (similar to a ship's port.)
The Right is to the right of the Advance (similar to a ship's starboard.)
If the Advance is changed, then all other directions are changed to be based on the new Advance.
There is only one person in charge of a parade at a time. Changing this person is very ceremonious. This is to make it obvious to the soldiers who is currently in command and therefore to whom to pay attention.
During parades, unless explicitly told otherwise, soldiers have restricted movement, meaning they can move only exactly when they are told, and then doing only exactly what they are told to do. In most stances, any movement at all is disallowed and is held to such an extent as to have soldiers fainting on parade, although fainting under any conditions short of plural hours standing still in the hot sun is considered a sign of medical disability.
American usage allows the service member to be at four states of alert:
- Attention: standing straight, eyes forward, chest out, knees straight but not locked, feet together at a 45-degree angle.
- Parade Rest: A modified position of attention in which the left foot is moved to shoulder width (typically measured as exactly 12 inches) and the hands are placed in the small of the back with the right hand placed inside the left with all fingers together and pointing rigidly straight (exception: U.S. Air Force usage is modelled after Commonwealth practice - see below).
- Stand At Ease: Same as Parade Rest, but the soldier may look at the speaker.
- At Ease: The service member is allowed to move around all but the right foot, but must remain silent.
- Rest: Service member may talk, smoke (if command authorized) and may move as long as their right pivot foot remains grounded.
Commonwealth of Nations countries allow four states of alert:
- Attention: standing straight, eyes forward, heels together, feet at a 30-degree angle (540 mils). The hands are held in tight fists with the thumbs aligned with the seam of the trousers.
- At Ease: a modified position of attention in which the left foot is moved to shoulder width and the hands are placed behind the back with arms fully extended. The right hand is placed inside the left. U.S. military usage is "Parade Rest."
- Stand-Easy: Legs remain in the At Ease position, arms are brought to the sides to a more natural standing position. Member may relax their muscles and make minimal movements. U.S. usage is "At Ease," however a common mistake in U.S. military practice confuses "At Ease" with "Rest" (below).
- Relax: Legs remain at position at ease, member may make more significant movements or look around. Members may not move the feet. If the troops are not being addressed by a commander, they are generally allowed to talk quietly. U.S. usage is "Rest."
Common parade commandsEdit
- Fall In. Have designated troops move into an already existing formation on the parade square and/or ground.
- Fall Out. Have designated troops wheel out and to the right of their formation, then halt facing the parade commander to be dismissed.
- Dis -Miss. Telling designated units to leave the parade square and stop drilling.
- [Parade Size]/Parade, [Parade Size], Atten-Tion (Shun) (U.S.: Atten - Tion (Shun)). Have the soldiers uniformly adopt the Attention position, the most constrictive position (with feet together), but the only position from which soldiers can actually be made to move. In the United States military, the position is defined as heels together, feet at a 45-degree angle, arms straight, palms inward with fingers naturally curled, thumbs along the seams of trousers, shoulders square and head erect, looking forward. In the Royal Navy, the order "Shun" is replaced with the order "Ho". For Example, the most common usage is "Guard Ho!" With a small pause between words.
- Right Dress, - all personnel in front row and right side column except the right marker take one step forward, pause, and only the front rank bring up their right arms parallel to the ground. At the same time, all members of the formation snap their heads so they are facing right. After this, they pause, and then shuffle back to a new position, where their hand is extremely close to the soldier's shoulder on their right, unless otherwise specified (Elbow Dressing, Shoulder Dressing). Some Armies, e.g. the Australian Army, will raise the left arm (the right arm holding the service weapon).
- Left Dress, - all personnel in front row and left column except the left marker take one step forward, pause, and only the front rank bring up their left arms parallel to the ground. At the same time, all members of the formation snap their heads so they are facing left. After this, they pause, and then shuffle back to a new position, where their hand is extremely close to the soldier's shoulder on their right, unless otherwise specified (Elbow Dressing, Shoulder Dressing).
- Inwards Dress, used when a parade is formed up in two or more groups with Colours, Guidons, or Banners on parade. This is used so that dressing is off the colours. The formations to the left of the Colour Party will dress to the right and the formations to the right of the Colour Party will dress to the left. All personnel to the right of the Colours in front row and left column except the left marker take one step forward, pause, and only the front rank bring up their left arms parallel to the ground. At the same time, all members of the formation snap their heads so they are facing left. All personnel to the left of the colours in front row and right side column except the right marker take one step forward, pause, and only the front rank bring up their right arms parallel to the ground. At the same time, all members of the formation snap their heads so they are facing right. Some Armies, i.e. the Australian Army, will raise the left arm (the right arm holding the service weapon). After this, they pause, and then shuffle back to a new position, where their hand is extremely close to the soldier's shoulder on their left or right (depending on the direction of dressing), unless otherwise specified (Elbow Dressing, Shoulder Dressing).
- Eyes Front, following Right/Left/Inwards Dress, the front rank snaps their arms down and faces forward, while all other ranks simply face forward.
- Dress Right, DRESS - all personnel in the unit except the soldiers at the far left bring up their left arms parallel to the ground and at the same time snap their heads so they are facing right. The person on the far right will keep his head straight. After this, they pause, and then shuffle back to a new position, where their hand is extremely close to the soldier's shoulder on their left. If the command is preceded by "At Close Interval", the left arm is bent at the elbow rather than parallel to the ground. If the command is preceded by "At Double Interval", both arms are extended. "Dress Left" reverses the instructions (Right arm up, look left).
- Ready, FRONT - all personnel snap their arms down and faces forward.
- COVER - used after any movement is halted to realign the formation. All personnel in the formation except the squad leaders make short, choppy steps to align themselves with their squad leaders, then come to attention.
- Stand at Ease (U.S.: PARADE REST). Have the soldiers adopt the more relaxed position At Ease position, with feet shoulder width apart, hands clasped behind back but with upper body half still in position of attention (chest out, shoulders back). This is typically used when soldiers must wait a short duration, ready to adopt the position of attention e.g. if waiting for an Officer to arrive for an inspection. Changing from At Ease to Attention and back again, or the converse, is standard when the command of a parade is transferred (typically between the commanding officer and his Sergeant-Major), since command of a formation is not actually transferred until the new commander makes a command. There is no talking allowed at Parade Rest; personnel must come to the position of attention before speaking.
- Stand at Ease (U.S.) This is the same as Parade Rest, except that soldiers are expected to turn their heads to look at whoever is addressing them. This should not be confused with At Ease.
- Stand Easy. (U.S.: AT EASE) Have the soldiers adopt the next easiest stance, where hands are still clasped behind the back, however the soldiers can relax their upper bodies (the shoulders can be slacked) and quietly speak. This is often, but not always, followed by an implicit 'Relax' ('Rest'). This is typically used when being addressed/lectured for a long period of time where the positions of attention or at ease would be too painful/uncomfortable to hold.
- Relax (U.S.: REST) The only parade instruction given in an ordinary voice, rather than the raised, emphatic parade voice. This is the only position that actually offers soldiers freedom of movement. Soldiers are typically allowed to move other than moving their feet, though, when it is given by a high-ranking officer, soldiers typically move a minimal amount after a bit of stretching.
Marching with weapons/salutingEdit
- Shoulder/Slope Arms: Although Left and Right Shoulder Arms are both valid commands, left is assumed if it is unstated. Soldiers must be at attention to shoulder weapons. This is typically done through a throw rather than a carry. British and Commonwealth parade commands call this as "Slope Arms". The command of "Shoulder Arms" in the Commonwealth and Britain, is done when a rifle is brought on the left or right sides by the shoulder. In US ceremonies, if the soldiers have the weapons at the order, then it is brought up and carried on the right shoulder, and all shoulder commands must specify the shoulder, and may be performed while marching in step.
- Port Arms: The weapon is brought out in front of the soldier, and held by the right hand on small of the butt, or equivalent, and the left hand about the forestock, or equivalent. Usually for preparation of Feu De Joie/Fire of Joy for Parades. In the United States, Port Arms is the required carry position for marching at double time.
- Present Arms: The soldiers bring their weapons to the front of their bodies, and move adjust their right foot position. Soldiers without weapons use a salute appropriate for their headdress. Often officers can salute on behalf of their troops, and any such ambiguity will be discussed with the troops beforehand. This, in the case of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations, is often used with the precautionary General/Commander's Salute or Royal/Presidential/Prime Minister's Salute, when appropriate. In U.S. usage, all soldiers salute, except if he or she is holding a weapon. Guidons and organizational colors are dipped to 90 degrees above the ground (but not touching the ground, but in the Commonwealth it is common practice). The U.S. national colors are never dipped (it is also the case in Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Spain) but the British or Commonwealth national colors are dipped to the ground when the salute is performed. This command is used whenever saluting during ceremonial inspections in most countries (like Germany, France, Russia, Poland, Italy, Serbia and Ukraine as well as in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia), and eyes are pointed to either the left, on the front, or the right to the direction of the honors being paid to. The command for recovery is "Shoulder/Slope Arms!" or "Order Arms!" depending on the situation.
- Order Arms: If the soldiers are carrying a weapon which can be ordered they will lower it so that is resting on the ground, touching the outer toes of the right boot, and being supported by a slightly bent right arm. Usually given in Shoulder/Slope Arms or Present Arms position.
- Ground Arms: The soldier takes a full pace forward, bending their knees, so the right leg is parallel to the floor below the knee, and at the same time leaning forward and laying their rifles down to the ground (ejection port up). They then take the appropriate pause time, then stand up into attention.
- Trail Arms: Same as Order Arms but with hands holding on the rifle above the ground.
- Sling Arms: If the soldiers have a "sling" (strap) on their rifles, then this command can be called. The soldiers will loosen the sling so they can now have their rifles strapped around their shoulders.
- High Port, Arms: This is a higher variant of Port Arms, with both arms holding the weapon high.
- Fire of Joy, load weapons: This command is used in parades such as the National Day Parade in Singapore, and Trooping the Colour. The soldier will load the rifle with the blank round in preparation of the Feu de joie, French for Fire of Joy in parades. This is called in Polish as the Salwa Honorowa or Honor Volley.
- Fix Bayonets: In US ceremonies, whenever the bayonets are to be fixed to the weapons, this command is called out. In times, the accompanying bugle call for it is used before the order is done. The troops pull out their bayonets from their uniforms and attach them to the weapon.
- Draw Sabres: used to draw the sabres.
- Return Sabres: used to return the sabres.
- Present Sabres: used for officers to salute using their sabres.
- Shoulder/Slope Sabres: used for officers to slope the sabre in their left hand shoulder.
- Order Sabres: the sabre is lowered to the ground after presenting or sloping.
Forming the parade for the march past/pass in reviewEdit
- Pass in Review - used in the US to denote the start of the march past segment of parades. When this command is said the parade prepares in readiness for the march past. It is also used as a way for a newly assigned commander to inspect the troops he/she commands.
- Parade, in close order, left/right dress - in the UK, this command is used to commence dressing of parade units in close order
- Company, in close order, form three/four ranks - in the UK, this command is used to form companies into three or four ranks of personnel each
- Staff behind me, (forward) march - in the US, this command is used by the parade commander to form his parade staff in readiness for the march past/pass in review segment of parades
Compliments and SalutingEdit
Saluting on the marchEdit
In the Commonwealth countries, the following saluting on the march commands are ordered with a preparatory command of 'Saluting on the march...'. For example, 'Saluting on the march, to the front Salute' and always called on the left foot.
- To the front Salute or Salute: The parade is halted and the right arm is raised so the forearm is placed at a 90° angle, while pointing at the temple. This is lowered and then repeated again, followed by an about turn and a resume in marching (off the left foot). The timing is: "Call, Check, Halt, 2, 3, Up, 2, 3, Down, 2, 3, 4, 5, Up, 2, 3, Down, 2, 3, About, 2, 3, In, 2, 3, Left, Right, Left!" It is one of, if not the longest drill movement in the military.
In British Corps, the drill movement for saluting to the front is the following. One, two, three, one.
- To the Right Salute: The right arm is raised so the forearm is placed at a 90° angle, while pointing at the temple. It is generally to a count of "Up, two, three, four, five, down, swing!"
- This is done while looking to the right, except the right marker, who must stay looking to the front, to keep the flight, squad, platoon, etc. staying straight.
- To the Left Salute: The right arm is raised so the forearm is placed at a 90° angle, while pointing at the temple. It is generally to a count of "Up, two, three, four, five, down, away!"
- This is done while looking to the left, except the left marker (as they are the front most of the saluting flank), who must stay looking to the front, to keep the flight, squad, platoon, etc. staying straight.
In the United States, the command for saluting on the march is "Eyes, RIGHT/LEFT." The parade leader and other officers execute the hand salute, while everyone but the right file or left file in either case turns their heads to the right." The command for recovery is "Ready, FRONT." If the command does not have rifles, they will salute if given the command present ARMS. The arms will be lowered back to their normal position on the commands Order ARMS. They can also salute if given the command Hand SALUTE. The salute is raised when the parade leader finishes saying "salute", and is lowered in after being held for the same amount of time elapsed between the words "hand" and "salute."
Compliments on the MarchEdit
- Eyes Right: The parade turn their heads to the right after a check pace. The parade leader salutes while looking in the direction they gave.
- This is done while looking to the right, except the right marker, who must stay looking to the front, to keep the flight, squad, platoon, etc. staying straight.
- Eyes Left:Similar to the Eyes Right except the parade looks to the left.
- This is done while looking to the left, except the left marker, who must stay looking to the front, to keep the flight, squad, platoon, etc. staying straight.
Saluting at the halt (static)Edit
- To the front Salute or Salute: The right arm is raised so the forearm is placed at a 90° angle, while pointing at the temple. It is generally to a count of "Up, two, three, down!"
- To the Right Salute: The right arm is raised so the forearm is placed at a 90° angle, while pointing at the temple. It is generally to a count of "Up, two, three, down!"
- To the Left Salute: The right arm is raised so the forearm is placed at a 90° angle, while pointing at the temple. It is generally to a count of "Up, two, three, down!"
In the United States, salutes at a halt are given on the command "Hand Salute". They are lowered in the same amount of time elapsed between the two words. The command "present arms" will cause the command to salute if the command is not given rifles for the ceremony, but the salute will be held until they are ordered to lower it with the command "order arms".
- Advance in Review Order: This is used to pay final compliments to the reviewing officer. On the command: ADVANCE IN REVIEW ORDER, BY THECENTRE, QUICK...MARCH, the unit being reviewed advances 15 paces and halts automatically before presenting arms to the reviewing officer. It is usually employed by the British Army and the Canadian Army.
Marching with coloursEdit
- Let Fly the Colours: The colours are normally held in a semi-taut position. This is a simple, ceremonial letting fly and catching of the colours.
- Slant Colours: The colours are normally kept upright, but this can represent a problem both when dealing with standard doors. This slants the colours forward sufficiently to negate this, and they are brought back up afterwards.
- Slope/Shoulder Colours: The normal method for carrying colours can be tiresome for the bearer. This has the colours taken out of their frogs and sloped over the right shoulder at about 45°.
Colour commands at the halt (static)Edit
- Order Colours: Essentially the same as Order Arms, except used exclusively for the Colour Party.
- Carry Colours: This is equivalent to Shoulder Arms. The right arm lifts the colours up so they line up with the body's centre line, with the right arm held in front of the soldier, at mouth level parallel to the ground. It is caught and guided into its frog with left hand, which is then returned to its side.
- Change colours: This is used when the senior flag officer decides that he/she and the other flag holding members, have held their flags for a long time, and that their arms are tired, so, when the command "Change - colours!" is given, the flag holders put their arms in line with the flag, their other hand on top of their first hand and move the first hand down to attention, so that the other hand is now at the first hands' original position.
Turning motions at the marchEdit
- Right Turn (U.S.:Column right, MARCH): A 90° turn to the right done by rotating on the right heel and left ball. The cautionary and executive are both called on the left foot. The left leg is then brought up to be parallel to the ground (although exceptions are made for kilted regiments) and slammed into the ground in the position of attention. This motion is done at a particular fixed point.
- Left Turn (U.S.:Column left, MARCH): A 90° turn to the left, done by rotation on the right ball and the left heel. The right leg is then brought up to be parallel to the ground and slammed down into attention. This motion is done at a particular fixed point.
- About Turn (U.S.:To the rear, MARCH): A 180° turn to the right, done as an exaggerated version of the right turn. United States units do not make exaggerated gestures with the legs or arms.
- Right Flank MARCH or Right turn, it is still the same even on the march for some countries: All members marching execute 90° turn to the right done by rotating on the right heel and left ball.
- Left Flank MARCH or Left turn, it is still the same even on the march for some countries: All members marching 90° turn to the left, done by rotation on the right ball and the left heel.
- Right Incline (U.S.:Column half-right, MARCH), is a half turn to the right, usually used when a flight, squad, platoon, etc. is not in its proper alignment. All members marching turn by 45° to the right, done by rotation on the left ball and the right heel.
- Left Incline (U.S.:Column half-left, MARCH), is a half turn to the left, usually used when a flight, squad, platoon, etc. is not in its proper alignment. All members marching turn by 45° to the left, done by rotation on the right ball and the left heel.
- Right Wheel, is a turn to the right, differentiated from a Right Turn in that the order of march remains the same.
- Left Wheel, is a mirror of the Right Wheel.
Turning motions at the halt (static)Edit
- Right Face: The body is rotated on the heel of the right foot and then the left heel is brought forward to meet the right heel in the position of attention.
- Left Face: A mirror image of Right Face.
- About Face: The right toe is brought back to behind the left heel; the body pivots on the right toe and left heel 180°.
- Half-Left Face: Exactly the same as a left face, but one turns only 45°.
- Half-Right Face: Exactly the same as a right face, but one turns only 45°.
- Right Turn: The body is rotated 90° to the right members shall bend the left knee, straighten it in double time and smartly place the left foot beside the right to assume the position of attention.
- Left Turn: A mirror image of Right Turn.
- About Turn: The body is rotated 180° in a clockwise direction, knees locked. Members shall bend the left knee, straighten it in double time and smartly place the left foot beside the right to assume the position of attention.
- Right Incline: Exactly the same as a right turn, but one turns only 45°.
- Left Incline: Exactly the same as a left turn, but one turns only 45°.
- Quick March: The standard pace is typically 116 beats/minute with a 30in. step. There is also a Rifleman's Pace, 140 beats/minute and a Highland Pace, 110 beats/minute (typically done with a kilt.) The pace is based on the individual regiments, the pace given by the commander, and the speed of the band's rhythm. The way the march is performed depends on the regiment's nationality.
- Slow March: This is a ceremonial pace, used for funerals and when a unit's colours are marched out in front of the troops. The standard pace is 65 beats per minute.
- Half Step March or Cut the pace:
- This is a U.S. march pace. It is at the same tempo as Quick Time, but instead of 30 inches, the step is 15 inches.
- There is also a Canadian and Commonwealth version of this, used for when the front file/rank is getting too far ahead of the rest of the flight, squad, or platoon, it means that front file/rank should make their steps smaller, to allow for the rest of the flight, squad, or platoon, to get back into proper dressing.
- Double March: This is essentially a moderate jog at approximately 180 paces per minute. It creates a travel speed of approximately double that of Quick Time, designed to be used even when carrying heavy burdens. This is often erroneously used to describe a sprint or an ordinary run. The U.S. command is "Double Time, MARCH."
- Easy March: This is an unrestricted march at approximately Quick Time. This is designed for field marches and other rough conditions, though is not used in combat areas. The U.S. command is "Route Step, MARCH." In the Canadian Forces the command "March at, EASE" is given while the unit is on the march. It can not be given from the halt.
- Mark Time: This is essentially a stationary march with the knees coming up parallel to the ground or the foot dangling six inches off of the ground. This is designed to maintain the time of large parades when portions need no forward speed. The U.S. equivalent command is "Mark Time, MARCH."
- Step For -Ward or Forward or Forward, March: This causes troops marking time to resume a normal march.
Melee weapons and unarmed combatEdit
The most familiar form of melee weapon and unarmed combat drill in the modern world is the Kata and the Hyung in Eastern martial arts. However, there were once similar drills in the martial training of warriors in all cultures worldwide. They all had exactly the same purpose, to make instinctive an appropriate reaction to an attack or opening by conditioning the mind and body, through repeated and constant repetition of a series of actions (building up muscle memory). Probably one of the last survivors of such drills in the Western martial tradition are the reaction drills and rhythm exercises in the modern sport of fencing.
Historical drill commands for paradeEdit
The 18th century musket, as typified by the Brown Bess, was loaded and fired in the following way:
- Upon the command "Prime and load". The soldier will bring the musket to the priming position, with the pan opened.
- Upon the command "Handle Cartridge". The soldier will draw a cartridge. Cartridges consist of a spherical lead bullet wrapped in a paper cartridge which also holds the gunpowder propellant. The bullet is separated from the powder charge by a twist in the paper.
- The soldier should then bite off the top of the cartridge (the end without the bullet) and hold it closed with the thumb and index finger.
- Upon the command "Prime". The soldier should pour a small pinch of the powder from the cartridge into the priming pan. He should then close the frizzen so that the priming powder is trapped.
- Upon the command " 'Bout" (About). The butt of the musket is then dropped to the ground by the left foot with the trigger guard facing to the rear and the soldier having just poured the rest of the powder into the barrel. Once all of the powder is poured into the barrel, the soldier should have stuffed the paper and the ball into the barrel, the paper acts as wadding to keep the gunpowder in the barrel and also packing it down.
- Upon the command "Draw ramrods". The soldier should draw his ramrod from below the barrel. First forcing it half out before seizing it backhanded in the middle, followed by drawing it entirely out, while simultaneously turning it to the front and placing it one inch into the barrel.
- Upon the command "Ram down the cartridge". He should then use the ramrod to firmly ram the bullet, wadding, and powder down to the bottom followed by tamping it down with two quick strokes.
- Upon the command "Return ramrods". The ramrod is then returned to its hoops under the barrel. Then the musket is returned to the shoulder arms position.
- Upon the command "Make Ready". The musket is brought to the recover position (held vertically in front of the body with the trigger guard facing forward) and the cock (hammer) is drawn back to the full-cock position.
- Upon the command "P'sent" (Present). The musket is brought up to the firing position in anticipation of the command "Fire".
- Under battle conditions, many of these commands were combined for speed and efficiency. On the command "Prime and Load" troops would, without further order, carry out all movements up to and including "Make Ready". Because of the size of the companies and the general noise of battle, these commands could be and were often communicated through specialized drum beatings.
- This process was drilled into troops until they could do it by instinct and feel. The main advantage of the British Redcoat was that he trained at this procedure almost every day. The standard for the British Army was the ability to load and fire three rounds per minute. A skilled unit of musketeers was often able to fire four rounds per minute.
Cavalry drill had the purpose of training cavalrymen and their horses to work together during a battle. It survives to this day[update], albeit in a much diminished form, in the modern sporting discipline of dressage. The movements sideways or at angles, the pirouettes, etc., were the movements needed for massed cavalrymen to form and reform and deploy. Of the proponents of classical dressage from which modern dressage evolved, probably the best known[original research?] are the Lipizzaner Stallions of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Musical Ride gives an inkling of what massed cavalry drill at speed would have looked like.
Other tasks may be broken down into drills, for example weapons maintenance, the British army used the rhythmic, poetic almost, "naming of parts" as a memory aid in the teaching and learning of how to strip, cleaning and reassembly of the service rifle.
Drill is today used to demonstrate discipline and cohesion in a modern militant force. Large military parades are today held on major holidays and military events around the world. It usually held on occasions of national importance such as a country's independence day, and therefore is presided over by the head of state who, in most cases, is the commander in chief of the combined national military forces of that country. Military parades are commonly associated with autocratic dictatorships and are considered to be tools of propaganda. Today, military parades include all aspects of military drill, from an exhibition drill of precision drill teams and military bands (in addition to the occasional corps of drums, fanfare band, and/or drum and bugle corps), as well as an exhibition of military weapons such as a mobile column, a naval parade, and a fly past by the country's air force. When on parade, most of the participating soldiers wear their ceremonial uniforms and carry the standards/colours of their respective battalions/regiments/corps/academies. In many countries the military contingent is joined by contingents from youth cadet organizations, personnel from the police and fire services and by occasion jail and border services, youth police and fire cadets, veterans and personnel of the civil service.
Argentina's long history of military parades are a heritage inherited from the times of the Spanish colonia Viceroyality of Rio de la Plata, with influences from Germany, France, Britain and Italy. Today the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the paramilitary Argentine National Gendarmerie and Argentine Naval Prefecture hosts massive military parades featuring armed companies, cadets, and military bands on the following days (national events unless otherwide noted):
- February 3 - anniversary of the Battle of San Lorenzo (local commemoration)
- April 2 - Falklands War Veterans' Day
- May 10 - anniversary of Air Force baptism of fire in the Falklands War
- May 17 - Navy Day, anniversary of the victory at the Battle of Buceo
- May 25 - First National Government Anniversary Day
- May 29 - Army Day
- June 17 - General Martín Miguel de Güemes Memorial Day (local commemoration)
- June 20 - Flag Day
- June 30 - Naval Prefecture Day
- July 9 - Independence Day
- July 28 - National Gendarmerie Day
- August 10 - Air Force Day
- November 20 - National Sovereignty Day
Australia and New ZealandEdit
As both Commonwealth realms, Australia and New Zealand share the customs and traditions of parades of the British Armed Forces. The friendship and cooperation of the defence services of both countries can be seen in the annual Anzac Day parades every 25 April, in memory of the namesake Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, which was heavily involved in the long Battle of Gallipoli and were the first Allied forces to land there on that day in 1915. On this day, in many major cities in these two countries, parades are held involving personnel of both the Australian Defence Force and the New Zealand Defence Force, veterans' organizations, cadet organizations and other youth uniformed groups and personnel of the police and fire services, as well as students of schools and universities honoring many of their fallen alumni of the long campaign.
Parades are also held jointly in these two countries on 11 November, Remembrance Day.
Aside from these two days, the schedule of annual military and civil parades held in these two countries is as follows:
- For parades in Australia:
- National level parades are held on:
- 26 January, Australia Day
- The second Monday of June, the Queen's Birthday, marked in most of Eastern Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory
- typically the last Monday of September or the first Monday of October, Queen's Birthday Holiday for Western Australia
- 1st Monday in October, Queen's Birthday Holiday for Queensland
- Local parades involving armed forces, police and fire personnel are held on:
- 2nd Monday in March in the ACT, Canberra Day
- 6 June in Queensland, Queensland Day
- first Monday in June in Western Australia, Western Australia Day
- first working day after Christmas Day, Proclamation Day in South Australia
- Parades are also held in the following cases:
- during change of command, retirement and recruit and cadet graduation parades and regimental anniversaries within the service branches of the ADF and all military academies
- During holiday parades held in major cities as can be permitted by the commander of the unit taking part, including:
- the AFL Grand Final Parade in Melbourne
- National level parades are held on:
- For parades in New Zealand:
- National level parades are held on:
- 6 February, Waitangi Day
- on the 1st Monday in June, the Queen's Birthday
- Local parades involving armed forces, police and fire personnel are held within the anniversary days of the former Provinces of New Zealand, which were abolished in 1876, the days of which are as set by their respective district and city governments.
- Change of command, retirement and recruit and cadet graduation parades, together with regimental anniversary parades, are also held occasionally within the service branches of the NZDF and its training institutions.
- National level parades are held on:
Within Canada, the now tri-service Ceremonial Guard performs the marchpast for senior dignitaries of the Canadian Armed Forces during change of command ceremonies and state arrival ceremonies, typically held in Ottawa, the national capital. The two Primary Reserve Canadian Army regiments that typically provide personnel for the guard, the Governor General's Foot Guards and The Canadian Grenadier Guards, together with the Governor General's Horse Guards and guard of honour detachments from both the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force take part in these events. In addition, the CG and optionally the GGHG take part in military parades such as the more common Trooping the Colour, also in Ottawa and special parades during the jubilee years of the monarch or of national foundation. The CAF personnel, as well as the Canadian Cadet Organizations and military veterans also parade during national holidays such as Remembrance Day, Victoria Day, Canada Day or Canadian Forces Day, as well as during parades celebrating anniversaries of regiments, brigade groups or wings, and divisional level formations and graduation parades of the Royal Military College of Canada, Royal Military College Saint-Jean and recruit training bases, as well as in local holidays in the provinces and major cities. Across the country, the annual Warriors Day military parade has since 1921, been a traditional event of the Canadian National Exhibition. It is specifically devoted to formally recognizing veterans of the CF. Like in the UK, the regimental march of the unit being honored is played by the band and/or pipe band if present.
The tradition of military parades in Chile has origins not just in Spanish tradition, but also a mix between those of France, the United Kingdom, and particularly Germany, given the fact that Imperial German Army officers trained the army and navy in the mid-1890s in the Prussian-German traditions of military parades that are continued until today.
- 21 May - Navy Day - honoring the fallen of the 1879 Battle of Iquique, also marked as a day to celebrate the service personnel, veterans, heroes and martyrs of the Chilean Navy
- 19 September - Army Day - while honoring the 1810 anniversary of the formal inauguration of the First Government Junta, is also marked as a day to celebrate the service personnel, veterans, heroes and martyrs of the Chilean Army
Local level parades are marked on the following days aside from 21 May:
- 17 February - anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Chacabuco
- 21 March - Air Force Day
- 2 April - anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Maipu
- 27 April - Carabineros Day
- 7 June - anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Arica
- 9 July - Flag Day
- 20 August - birthday of Bernardo O'Higgins
- 18 September - Independence Day
- 2 October - anniversary of the Battle of Rancagua
- 30 November - Chilean Gendarmerie Day
Both the Military Forces of Colombia and the National Police of Colombia hold important national parades to celebrate the anniversary of national independence as well as of the Armed Forces. Such parades are a mix of the Spanish, German, French, American and British influences owing to the long history of the country's military and police forces. National level parades are held on:
- February 15 - Air Force Day
- July 20 - Independence Day
- July 24 - Navy Day
- August 7 - Army Day and Battle of Boyaca Victory Day
- November 15 - National Police Day
Local level parades by the personnel and veterans of the armed forces and police are held on the following:
- April 7 - Barranquilla Day
- July 3 - Cali Independence Day
- November 11 - Cartagena Independence Day
Both the Armed Forces of Ecuador and the National Police of Ecuador hold important national parades to celebrate the anniversaries of national independence as well as of the Armed Forces and Police. National level parades are held on the following days:
- February 27 - Army Day
- May 24 - Armed Forces Day, anniversary of the victory in the 1822 Battle of Pichincha
- July 26 - Navy Day
- August 10 - anniversary of the Luz de America
- October 9 - Guayaquil Independence Day
- October 27 - Air Force Day
- November 3 - Cueca Independence Day
- November 18 - Loja Independence Day
Local military and police parades are held on major city and provincial anniversaries.
The annual military parade in the French capital of Paris is held on July 14 during the Bastille Day holiday. It is currently the oldest and largest military parade on the European continent. It is held on the Champs-Élysées and passes from l'Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. Bastille Day parades are also held in smaller garrison towns such as Toulon and Belfort. The 1st Infantry Regiment of the French Republican Guard regularly performs ceremonial marchpasts in is role as the guard of honour for the President of the French Republic. Like the British, many French units have the ability to march in quick time, while only one - the French Foreign Legion - marches uniquely in slow time, while another unit of the armed forces marches in very quick time and that is of the Army's Chasseurs, especially its Chasseurs alpins.
Local parades are held on the following days:
- May 8 - Victory in Europe Day
- November 11 - Armistice Day
The long history of the Hellenic Armed Forces and the role played in the defense and progress of the country are recalled in spendid and grand military parades that are held in major cities in the country following a hybrid of the British, French, Danish and German traditions on the following dates:
- 25 March - Independence Day
- 28 October - Ohi Day
- On Liberation Days of major cities and towns, honoring the Greek fallen of the Second World War and the later Greek Civil War
All military parades of the Korean People's Army (KPA) are centered in the capital of Pyongyang and have a long tradition that goes back to the DPRK's establishment in 1949. Known for it's elaborate military drill, the country holds military parades annually on different dates (especially on jubilee years), which feature a combination of Chinese and Russian techniques. North Korean military parades are held on the following dates:
- 8 February – Army Day
- 15 April – Day of the Sun
- 25 April – Military Foundation Day
- 27 July – Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War
- 15 August – Liberation Day
- 9 September – Day of the Foundation of the Republic
- 10 October – Party Foundation Day
Rehearsals for these parades usually take place 3-6 weeks prior to the actual parade at the Mirim Parade Training Facility in the capital. The actual parades are held in the capital's Kim Il-sung Square.
In addition, non-jubilee holiday parades have been mounted on the grounds of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on these days plus on:
- 16 February – Day of the Shining Star
- 25 August – Day of Songun
- 21 December – Death Anniversary of Kim Jong-il
The Peruvian Armed Forces and the National Police of Peru holds the yearly Great Military Parade of Peru every July 29 in Lima as the armed services' way of honoring the anniversary of national independence and the role they have played in shaping the history of the country. Local level Independence Day parades are held on pre-determined days before July 28 and 29 as set by their respective local governments.
Parades held by service personnel and veterans of the armed forces are also marked on:
- June 7 - Flag Day and Battle of Arica Memorial Day
- June 26 - Air Force Day
- September 24 - Armed Forces Day
- October 8 - Navy Day
- December 9 - Army Day and anniversary of the Battle of Ayacucho
Russia and ex-Soviet countriesEdit
The Western tradition of military parades in the Russian Empire was part of the many reforms made by Peter the Great as part of his many efforts to transform the army and the navy from traditional militias to a full-blown professional armed service that is a model for the people in discipline and obedience, courage, bravery, loyalty to the country and in bringing pride and glory to her people. During the Imperial period, national parades were alternated between Moscow and Saint Petersburg on major national civil and military holidays, anniversaries of the Romanov Dynasty and as part of the imperial coronation celebrations, celebrations and parades were also held in many major cities and provincial capitals.
So important was the value of these parades that even the Soviet Armed Forces made these parades a common tradition beginning in August 1918 when the first modern parade was held in Moscow's Red Square when Moscow area Vsevobuch detachments march past, earlier that May, a military parade, the first by the nascent Red Army, was held outside the capital. Since that year, many innovations have been seen in the practice of annual parades held not just there but in the capital cities of the former Soviet Union, as well as in major cities in the wide country, which were held on 1 May (1918-1941 and 1945-1968), 7 November (1920-1941 and 1945-1990) and 9 May (1945, 1965, 1985 and 1990). Today, the Russian Armed Forces - and by extension countries of the former Soviet Union - host a variety of military parades held on important national holidays, honoring the men and women of their armed forces and military veterans. The celebrations in each of these countries carry on years of tradition, honor, discipline and prestige by the millions of men and women who serve and have served in the ranks of the armed forces of their respective home countries. These parades have extensive government funding and aside from the iconic wide march past columns and occasional historical formations, typically include a mobile column, and occasionally a naval fleet review and/or air force fly past segment, a legacy of the Soviet era.
While the country was a Soviet Republic from 1920 to 1991, Armenia was formerly independent from 1918 to 1920 and thus had armed forces composed of both veterans of the Imperial Army and guerillas fighting the Ottoman armed forces who had been enforcing the anti-Armenian massacres of 1914. Armenians fought bravery in the Eastern Front of the Second World War as part of the Soviet Armed Forces. Today, the Armed Forces of Armenia hosts massive parades held in Yerevan, the capital city, on the following days:
In recent years, national military parades have included drill units and military bands performing exhibition drill for the guests before the parade concludes.
The semi-annual parade on the Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, 26 June, is one of the biggest in the Commonwealth of Independent States, held every 3 to 5 years at the Azadliq Square, Baku, honoring the many Azerbaijanis who served faithful under the colours as part of her armed forces. The forces on parade are assembled based on a mix of the Turkish and Russian parade formation.
The Armed Forces of Belarus holds an annual military parade on 3 July along the Victors Avenue in the national capital Minsk, marking the anniversary of the liberation of the country during the 1944 Minsk Offensive. On special years of the victory in Europe, commemorative extraordinary parades are held there on 9 May to honor the millions of Belarusian military dead of the Second World War. Military parades in the country are based on the Russian/Polish model and tradition. In connection with the centennial of the Belarusian Armed Forces in 2018, a military parade was held in the Western city of Grodno.
The Defense Forces of Georgia, successor to the armed services of the Democratic Republic and Soviet formations stationed in the Georgian SSR, hosts military parades on May 26, Independence Day, the anniversary of the formation of the republic in 1918, together with elements from:
Modern parades are a mix of the former Soviet and modern Western (British, US, Turkish and Israeli) traditions and drill owing to the modernization of the defense and public security forces to NATO and EU standards.
The Armed Forces of Kazakhstan holds military parades that resemble the parades of the Russian military in Moscow, with one of the only exceptions being the inspection of the troops by the Supreme Commander of the Kazakh Armed Forces, instead of the defense minister. It has never held yearly parades celebrating one occasion, with parades currently being held in honor of the Defender of the Fatherland Day holiday. In the past, large scale military parades in the former capital of Almaty and the cureent capital of Nur-Sultan were held on the following holidays:
- Kazakhstan Independence Day (1996)
- Victory Day (9 May) (1995, 2015)
- Constitution Day (Kazakhstan) (2009, 2010, 2011)
In recent years, the Defender of the Fatherland Day parade was expanded to function as a so called "Battle Parade" (Боевой парад). So far, only two of these kinds of parades have been held; in 2012 and 2018. In contrast to usual military parades, the battle parade includes tactical exercises and military demonstrations. These parades usually are held at the 40th Otar Military Base in the Korday District and take place with the troops in full combat gear rather than a ceremonial full dress uniform. Like former Soviet republics, Kazakh military parades are led by a cadet drum corps, specifically from the Astana Zhas Ulan Republican School.
In Russia, military parades are held in many parts of the country on the following days:
- Defender of the Fatherland Day on 23 February
- Victory Day on 9 May - Victory Day marks Germany's surrender to the Soviet Union in 1945 and is Russia's foremost national military holiday since 1995
- Navy Day on the last Sunday of July
As well as on the following Days of Military Honour:
- 27 January – the day of lifting of the Siege of Leningrad, 1944
- 2 February – victory in the Battle of Stalingrad, 1943
- 23 August – victory over Germany in the Battle of Kursk, 1943
- 8 September - the anniversary of the Battle of Borodino, 1812;
- 7 November – the anniversary of the historic 1941 military parade on the Red Square in Moscow
Military parades were first held in 1702 as a troop review, but later grew into a ceremonial event held by order of the President of the Russian Federation in his constitutional duty as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Alongside personnel and veterans of the Armed Forces, marching past in these parades are cadets of military high schools and middle schools and the Young Army Cadets National Movement, cadets of military faculties of civil universities and battalions of Cossacks, honoring their forebears who fought for their homeland in times past.
Ukrainian parades involve the active and reserve men and women and veterans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It holds parades on the following:
- Second Sunday of July - Navy Day
- May 9 - Victory Day over Nazism in World War II
- August 24 - Ukrainian Independence Day
- October 13 - Defender of Ukraine Day
Something that distincts Ukrainian military parades from it's other post-Soviet counterparts is the marchpast of the tri-service Kyiv Presidential Honor Guard Battalion with the Flag of Ukraine to raise at the flagpole while honors are rendered, which includes the playing of Shche ne vmerla Ukraina. Since 2014, military bands have also played an intergal part in these parades by marching with their units as part of the parade.
In the United Kingdom, a guard of honour traditionally performs the march past for whoever received the salute. In the capital of London, traditional ceremonial units that perform public duties (the Queens Guard for example) take part in military parades such as the more common Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade and special parades during the jubilee years of the monarch in his or her capacity as commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. The Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals and Life Guards) traditionally perform trot pasts in mounted formation, together with the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. These units have been known to parade in slow and quick time. Personnel of the armed forces, cadet organizations, The Royal British Legion and veterans' organizations also parade during national holidays such as Remembrance Day or Armed Forces Day. During a regimental military parade, the regimental march of the unit is played.
Military parades in the American capital are held quadrennially by servicemen of the United States Armed Forces during the Presidential inaugural parade. These are not considered to be regular military parades however, as the parading formations are actually not entirely composed of armed servicemen. The first known organized military procession in the United States was the Grand Review of the Armies, on May 23 and May 24, 1865, following the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865). The New York City Victory Parade of 1946 was held in mid-January in 1946 to commemorate the conclusion of World War II and the Allied victory over the Axis Powers in all theaters of the war, helped by the service of millions of Americans who served under the armed forces and the National Guard, in addition to the state defense forces. The most recently held military parade was the National Victory Celebration on June 8, 1991, to celebrate the conclusion of Gulf War in Iraq. In 2018, a national debate was sparked when President Donald Trump proposed to hold a military parade on 10 November 2018 in honor of the Veterans Day holiday the next day, commonly known as "Trump's military parade". This was seen as expensive and authoritarian-like and by August of that year, the Department of Defense announced that the military parade would be postponed until 2019. Annual military parades, as well as armed forces and veterans' participation in civil parades are held in the following days in major cities in the country, in areas with military installations and in state capitals:
- 3rd Saturday of May: Armed Forces Day
- Last Monday of May: Memorial Day
- 14 June: Flag Day and Army Birthday
- 4 July - United States Independence Day
- 11 November - Veterans Day
- 4th Thursday of November - Thanksgiving Day
Parades are also held within the military academies, high schools, bases and installations of the Armed Forces, as well as by JROTC and ROTC units and youth uniformed cadet organizations on the following days aside from the aforementioned Army Birthday:
- 4 August: Coast Guard Day (United States Coast Guard)
- 17 September: Air Force Day (United States Air Force)
- 13 October: US Navy Birthday (United States Navy)
- 27 October: Navy Day (United States Navy)
- 10 November: Marine Corps Day (United States Marine Corps)
- 13 December: National Guard Day (National Guard of the United States)
- During change of command, retirement and recruit and cadet graduation parades within the service branches of the armed forces and all military academies and high schools
- During holidays marked by each of the states and federal territories and major cities as well as in Puerto Rico as can be permitted by the commander of the unit taking part
The typical presidential inaugural or holiday parade hosted in Washington, D.C., is hosted by the National Capital Region of the Department of Defense, while local and state level parades are hosted by the local military installations and local area governments.
Full blown military parades by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela are held on the following days:
- 13 April, National Militia Day
- 19 April, 19 April National Day
- 24 June, Army Day
- 5 July, Independence Day
- 24 July, Navy Day (including the occasional fleet review)
- 7 August, National Guard Day
- 27 November, Air Force Day
- During change of command, retirement and recruit and cadet graduation parades within the service branches of the armed forces and all military academies and high schools
- Following the presidential inauguration ceremony every 6 years in Caracas
Taking part on these parades are active duty and reserve personnel of the NBAF and its service branches, and these are a mix of the German, British and later on Chinese and Russian traditions.
In August 2018, during a military parade and ceremony on the Venezuelan National Guard's 81st anniversary, President Nicolas Maduro was targeted in a drone attack, which left him unharmed, and left 8-9 people injured.
- Paul Lockhart, The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 2008)
- "Champs-Elysées city visit in Paris, France - Recommended city visit of Champs-Elysées in Paris". Paris.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- "Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris This Year". Paris Attractions. 2011-05-03. Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- Srivastava, Vikram. "Drills and Parades" (PDF). Police Drill Manual. Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- FM 22-5, Drill and Ceremonies, Headquarters, Department of the Army, 1986
- NAVMC 2691 Marine Corps Drill and Ceremonies Manual, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, 1981
- «Как прошёл Боевой парад-2018». Фоторепортаж Григория Беденко. Информбюро.КЗ
- 7 November was a major holiday in the Soviet Union commemorating the October Revolution. In 1941, the troops that took part in the annual parade were sent from the Red Square directly to the front line which was situated less than a hundred kilometers from Moscow.
- News, ABC (16 August 2018). "Trump's military parade is postponed until 2019". ABC News. Retrieved 17 August 2018.