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The Big Ideas Of Marches

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

For marches to be entirely successful three conditions must be

fulfilled: (1) the troops must get there; (2) they must get there on

time; (3) and they must get there in good condition.

Now suppose that you were ordered to conduct the march of a company of

green men for a distance of 200 miles, just how would you solve the


Before starting, very careful preparations should be made. Yo
r men

should be in good physical condition; they must be given so much work

that they are athletes.

Keep these points in mind:

1. Always have, when possible, the comfort of your men in mind. Their

work in carrying a load of nearly forty pounds and marching around

fifteen miles a day will be hard enough. Don't give them any extra


2. Make the conditions of the march pleasant. Encourage the men to laugh

and sing.

3. Use wagons, automobiles, etc., to carry heavy loads (burdens)

whenever possible.

4. It is a custom of the service to help a man who may not be strong

physically but who is straining every nerve to get there. Be the first

to volunteer to carry for him his rifle or part of his burden.

5. Look out especially for the feet of your men and the hoofs of your


6. On long marches one day in seven should be a day of rest and


7. Never take an extremely hard and long (forced) march unless


8. As a rule troops pay no compliments on the march. They have enough to

do without that.

9. Let the object to be accomplished determine the general conduct of

the march (the time of starting, the rate, length of march, halts, etc.)