Seeing as how this is the first MMP for March of 2014, let’s share our personal marching experiences.
I’ll start. As you all better know, I was in the Navy. Naturally, bootcamp means marching. One does not simply walk to the chow hall or the training building or the gym - one marches with the rest of the company. So I did a lot of marching in the late summer of 1973.
The coolest part, tho, was not so much when I was marching but when I made everyone else march! Every week, we had Pass In Review, when the entire regiment turned out for a ceremony with the CO. It was run by the companies who were a week away from graduation.
Because of my vocal projection abilities (OK, yeah, I had a loud mouth) I was selected to be the recruit commander of that event the week before we graduated. That meant when we were all assembled out on the parade field, I had to run the regiment thru its paces, culminating with the parade past the CO (or in my case, the XO.) I had to memorize the order of the program and all of the things I was supposed to say. There was extra pressure on me by my company because the week before, the recruit commander screwed up and EVERYONE knew it.
But because I’m S-M-R-T, I nailed it, and it went off without a hitch, and at my command, hundreds of women marched past the reviewing stand. And everybody heard me - even at the farthest corners of the field. No mics, just voice, because I’d learned in choir how to project. Boy, howdy, did I project!
I also marched in 3 Mardi Gras parades in 1977 carrying the Navy Flag. My memories of the festival are much more vivid than recalling miles of walking in the color guard. Worst part was where the flag harness hit when the flag was placed in it - just a bit low on the belly - ouch!!
There was also marching when I was in OCS, but by that time, I was among a big group of enlisted folks who were going to be officers - we kinda had attitudes, and our marching songs reflected it. I was just a peon, and it suited me fine - in the grand scheme of things, marching is just walking in a coordinated group.
So, marching band? Parades? ROTC? Close order drills at family reunions? Do share!!