Although the Troop only truly marches twice a year (first at Memorial Day and second at Horseshoe) it is still an integral part of Paoli 1's culture and permeates many other troop events in minor displays. All orders are given by the commanding scout (typically the SPL or his designate). Below is a comprehensive guide for marching. For staff drilling go here and for facing movements go here. Before reading this section it may be helpful to read on preparatory commands and commands of execution.

Mark Time MarchEdit

All marching begins here. Mark time is the order to commence counting cadence and for all scouts to begin marching in place. The person giving the commands will set the tempo of the march by the speed with which he gives the command. When accompanied by drums the order will be given in time with the base drum so the left foot and bass are in step.

Paoli 1's mark time is actual marching in place. The steps are small and not overly exaggerated but scouts are expected to actually pick up their feet and march. Some troops do it halfheartedly by only picking up their heels or not moving at all but Paoli 1 marches in place. Mark time helps the scout calling cadence to get a rhythm but it also helps each scout in formation to get in step before they actually have to do any stepping.

Forward MarchEdit

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The Troop forward marching in the 2009 Memorial Day Parade

This is of course what you actually expect from marching, the order to move. Forward march is a command to do just that. Scouts are to take full strides forward and continue forward in a straight line right behind the person in front of them. Strides are supposed to be strong and forceful but not stomping. The left foot hits the ground when the scout calling cadence says "left" and your right hits with "right". All the while you are looking forward but using your peripheral vision to watch and make sure you are not only in line with the person ahead but also with those to your left and right. Walking is the easy part. Keeping formation is what is more challenging.

Forward march is always called "on the left foot" like most commands. That means the order will be given as the left foot is hitting the ground still in mark time. The right foot will also come down in mark time but the next left foot will then step forward. This leaves a grace period for everyone to hear the command, process it, and then step forward as a unit.


The command to halt will also be given "on the left foot". Its preparatory command is "Ready" which while marking time will inform you that halt is coming. Unless under the most extreme circumstances you will always be sent to mark time before halting. When the order "Halt" is given you actually continue to step. This command does not however end there. It is often called "Halt 1, 2." because after planting that left foot on as the execution command is said, you mark time in place two more steps (right, left) before actually stopping. Neither the scout calling cadence nor the SPL will say "1 2" or even "Right Left" after halt is ordered but you still make those two extra steps in place.

Half Step MarchEdit

Half step works just like forward march except of course scouts take a half step. It is used if the formation is moving too fast (or more likely if the group in front of the Troop is moving too slow). The order can be given to half step directly from mark time but typically is comes as a downgrade from a full step forward march. Naturally from half step the order can be given to mark time or to return to full step.


The order may be given to "Column Right" or "Column Left". The second this order is given, the front line immediately begins the column. The "inside man" who is on that end of the line (left most in line for a column left) will continue to march but will take tiny steps as he turns 90 degrees. Meanwhile the furthest away will take enormous strides to quickly turn the corner. All the marchers in between will line up off of those two and take intermediate strides so their line maintains shape. Once the outside marcher has completed the turn, the entire line will start to march forward at a normal pace.

All following lines will continue as normal until they reach the point where the first line began the column movement. Upon reaching this point, and without further orders prompting them, each line will execute the column until every line and gone through the movement.


The flank is not nearly as complex as the column but it generally gives scouts more trouble. The flank involves the entire formation "turning on its flank". It is quick and nearly instantaneous rather than a long and complicated process. The formation will be ordered to either "Right Flank" or "Left Flank".

Different SPLs have attempted different means of easing the confusion of this movement so the method of calling the command may vary but this is the general principle. When the command for "Flank" is given the foot is already hitting the ground. Therefore the entire formation must IMMEDIATELY pivot on that foot as if turning a right or left face while marching. It is important to remember that this is a pivot and not a slide.

The entire plant and turn only takes two steps worth of time. So if it is a right flank, you would plant your left foot. On the beat where you would normally step out with your right you instead do your pivot 90 degrees to the right. Then you step out with your left foot to resume marching. It is this fancy footwork but also the fact that you can't miss a beat that makes flanking troublesome for so many.


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Paoli 1 2009 doing Eyes Left at Horseshoe

When passing in review the order may be given for "Eyes Right" or "Eyes Left" depending on the situation. When this command is given, all scouts in the formation except those on that outside column snap their heads in that direction. The scouts in the outer column remain looking ahead (eyes left = left most column stays looking ahead). That way those scouts can maintain the overall vertical formation and all the scouts looking over can line up horizontally. The command to exit is "Ready Front" at which time all will snap their heads back to looking ahead.

The SPL will likely salute during this order. No one else inside the formation is to salute at this time and the simple act of the SPL lowering his salute does not equal the command for "Front."

Covering DownEdit

The order to "Cover Down" is a spacing movement designed to aid a stationary formation in lining up. Scouts will extend their right arm forward to the shoulder of the person in front of them and their left arm with extend out to the left to the person beside them. Not all scouts have the same arm-length so not everyone will actually be touching shoulders but they will still perform the motion and line themselves up as if they were touching. Scouts in the front line do not extend their right arm and scouts in the furthest left column do not extend their left arm since no one is in front or beside them respectively. The order to cease covering down is "Ready Front." Paoli 1 does not slap their arms to their legs after covering down.

Route Step MarchEdit

Route step is marching without cadence or any step. Scouts must maintain their formation but are not required to stay in step. Paoli 1 typically only uses route step when processing to the grave site of Clifton Lisle after the Memorial Day Parade.

Counting CadenceEdit

During the Memorial Day Parade it is not uncommon for the Troop to "Count Cadence". Rather than simply referring to the scout calling the actual cadence (left, left, left, right, left) the entire formation will join in as will the Drum and Bugle Corps. The command to begin is "Count Cadence, Count". More detailed information can be found here.