How to Mark Time Properly

DrillMasterDrill Teams, Honor Guard, Instructional Leave a Comment

Mark Time, Honor GuardWhile marching or standing still at Attention, the command, Mark Time, MARCH is given and, beginning with the left foot, raise your feet so that the ankle comes half way up the calf.Straight up and straight down. The ankle bone should trace the center line of the opposite leg’s calf; do not bring the foot in front of or behind the opposite leg. Your upper body (from the waist up) should not move- you should not rock back and forth. All movement should be smooth. Arm swing is normal unless you are marching with suspended arm swing, then the arms remain straight down and do not follow the thigh going up and down.

(Cadets) Same information from above except that the Army brings the toe up 2”, the Marines, navy and Coast Guard bring the toe up 2: and the heel 4”, and the Air Force brings the tow up 4”.

If you are with an honor guard unit, you can pause slightly at the bottom of each step, when both feet are together and on the ground, to create the position of Attention in between the raising of each foot.

Never speed up when Marking Time (or Half Stepping, for that matter), keep your original tempo.

Mark Time, Honor GuardImportant DrillMaster note! Thanks to LTC Schmotzer, an AJROTC instructor in Wyoming who helped me realize that I have two distinct audiences: JROTC cadets (along with ROTC and all the other great cadet programs out there) who need to know the small details of Regulation Drill (RD) and how to execute those details exactly and the other part of my audience, honor guard units (military, first responder, veteran and fraternal organizations, etc.) who also need exact details. However, those details can be different as with this article and the pictures. The pictures are for honor guard units and those honor guard members need to have their ankle bone come half way up the opposite leg’s shin (a four-inch distance from the ground to the toe). However, RD requires cadets and those not on honor guard units to Mark Time like this:

  • Army: Foot is raised 2” off the ground (most likely measured from the toe)
  • Marines/Navy: Toe is 2” and heel is 4” off the ground
  • Air Force: Toe is 4” off the ground

Thank you, LTC Schmotzer, I must keep this in mind with each article I write!



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