Why We March

By Jonathan Pederson

Have you ever been in a band or JROTC?  If yes, you know there is a lot of marching involved.  You may be practicing marching for days, because you all have to learn to be in sync with each other.  If you haven’t done JROTC or band yet, I highly encourage you to try it out. Many people may have mixed feelings about marching, but whether you love the idea or feel a bit of trepidation over it, marching can teach you a lot. The five most important lessons you could learn from marching are discipline, professionalism, teamwork, good posture, and pride.

Discipline is key to life; we need it wherever we go. Maintaining discipline and listening to others will always be a necessity, especially in the workforce. Wherever you go, there will be times you don’t want to do something, but discipline will help you accomplish those tasks effectively and in a timely manner. Marching helps us learn discipline, because we have to follow the person in charge and we have to do it properly no matter how we feel or what homework might be stressing us out at the moment.

    Whether you are doing an interview or going to work, it is important to look good. A positive appearance will help make a good impression and a positive attitude. Marching helps you learn this professionalism, which can be seen in the preparation of a uniform (or suit) or the manner in which one wears it. When you march, you are embroidering this professionalism in you, something that will help you later on in life.

    Just as maintaining professionalism in your manner of dress is important, maintaining good posture is equally important. Good posture allows you to confidently enter that interview or greet your boss with a smile. Not only is good posture important for a professional appearance, it also helps maintain healthy standards. Marching in a professional manner requires you to keep good posture.

    Marching also teaches you pride. It takes a lot of pride to look professional while marching, pride in your uniform, your posture, and your team. This pride enables you to be confident in everything else you do in life.  The pride in your team not only enables a successful drill sequence, but also teaches you the quality of cooperating with other individuals. 

Perhaps the most important thing you learn while marching is teamwork. As  you march, you have to be aware of what orders your leader is giving. You have to be aware of those around and how they are moving, and adjust your own movements accordingly. Every person in the formation is needed to make it work properly. If one person is off, it can throw off everyone’s steps, and you could end up marching into each other! On that note…maybe there’s a bonus lesson in there…you learn to work under pressure as well!

All in all, whether you love it or hate it, there are valuable lifelong lessons to be learned from the simple act of marching.