THE BATTLE MARCH, SOME BACKGROUND
A battle march or a loaded march is a relatively fast march over distance carrying a load. It is both a common military exercise.
A loaded march is known as a forced foot march in the US Army. Less formally, it is a ruck march in the Canadian Armed Forces and the US Army, a tab (Tactical Advance to Battle) in British Army slang, a yomp in Royal Marines slang, and stomping in Australian Army slang.
In many countries, the ability to complete loaded marches is a core military skill, especially for infantry forces and historically has been a part of an infantry soldier’s life.
During the four-month initial training of a Roman legionary, loaded marches were taught before recruits ever handled a weapon; since any formation would be split up by stragglers at the back or soldiers trundling along at differing speeds.Standards varied over time, but normally recruits were first required to complete 29.6 km with 20.5 kg in about 6hours. Depending on the exact day of the year and the latitude, the length of a “summer hour” would vary. This was often followed by the construction of basic defences for an overnight position.
Loaded marches have been particularly important in the British Army since the 1982 Falklands War. Many British commanders felt that British success in the war was linked to the British soldiers’ ability to march across the difficult Falklands.
In the French Foreign Legion, trainees must complete the parcours du combattant (“Combatant’s Course”) of 8km loaded with rifle, helmet and 12kg in 40 minutes, and a night march of 25km
In the US Armed Forces loaded marches in the United States Army are known as ruck marches and are part of basic recruit training.
So to get a taste of this please join us on our battle march in March. We have purposefully kept this shorter and less stressful to try make it more fun.
GUIDELINES FOR NRCC/MILSIMSA BATTLE MARCH
Welcome to our first Battle March event, which we hope will become an annual event.
The march’s format: The march will consist of a preplanned 10km long route. The intent is to replicate one of the actual shorter marches and give the reenactor a taste of what it was like to partake in such an event, but with a lesser degree of hardship.
For a SADF troop, this will consist of either full browns (shirt and pants) or browns overalls. A bush hat is preferred but in its place a M63 staaldak or M83 kevlar helmet are acceptable. SADF issue boots are to be worn, either brown or black depending on the unit represented by the individual.
The webbing to be worn is either the P70 or P83 web gear. The P70 webbing will consist of the full marching gear, i.e. skeleton webbing including grootsak and poncho cover. The P83 webbing will consist of the grootsak and chest webbing. The webbing in either case must make allowance for easy access to the 4 magazines and 2 liters minimum of water, stored in period correct containers.
Webbing weight is to be 10kg minimum. This will include a helmet, if worn but exclude the two liters of water (minimum) and will include the 4 magazines. It is suggested that the equipment weigh slightly more than 10kg to prevent any misunderstandings.
A suitable AEG is to be carried and can be fitted with a suitable period correct sling. This will be charged and carried without a magazine fitted. The magazines carried will contain a total of 100bb’s equally distributed. If only one magazine is carried, then a speed loader is to be carried.
The webbing will be weighed at the start of the march, and must weigh in on the NRCC/MILSIMSA hand scale at 10kg. This will be weighed again at a random point and once again at the end of the march.
The march is to course is to be completed in full in under 4 hours to obtain a pass. The participants may walk in groups or as individuals. Hydration stops are allowed, and the frequency and duration are up to the participants themselves.
It is suggested that the participants do read up on heat stroke, the prevention thereof and treatment thereof.
After 10 minutes break, after the march each participant will be expected to advance on and engage a series of targets and reload between each target. By completing the march in 4 hours and then engaging the targets, each participant will have completed the days events.
Each participant will be expected to sign an indemnity form.
Venue: Hobbypark, Krugersdorp
Cost: R150pp Includes Unique Event Patch
Date: 16 Feb 2019
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