Cardiorespiratory Fitness - Types Of Marches
The four types of road marches - day, limited visibility, forced, and shuttle - are described below. For more information on marches, see FM 21-18.
Day marches, which fit easily into the daily training plan, are most conducive to developing physical fitness. They are characterized by dispersed formations and ease of control and reconnaissance.
Limited Visibility Marches
Limited visibility marches require more detailed planning and supervision and are harder to control than day marches. Because they move more slowly and are in tighter formations, soldiers may not exercise hard enough to obtain a conditioning effect. Limited visibility marches do have some advantages, however. They protect soldiers from the heat of the day, challenge the ability of NCOS and officers to control their soldiers, and provide secrecy and surprise in tactical situations.
Forced marches require more than the normal effort in speed and exertion. Although they are excellent conditioners, they may leave soldiers too fatigued to do other required training tasks.
Shuttle marches alternate riding and marching, usually because there are not enough vehicles to carry the entire unit. These marches may be modified and used as fitness activities. A shuttle march can be planned to move troops of various fitness levels from one point to another, with all soldiers arriving at about the same time. Soldiers who have high fitness levels can generally march for longer stretches than those who are less fit.