FAQ's

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I am struggling with boots, any suggestions?

When preparing make sure you have the right boots and socks.  It is fully suggested that your boot size is a full size larger than you normally wear.  The reason is each foot will pound the pavement 25,000 times each day. That means your boot needs to have space for your foot to slightly swell. So choose your boots and socks carefully.

I see the Danes taking their boots off at every rest stop why do they do this?

They do this for two important reasons. 

1. For a cooling off period to reduce blisters.

2. To allow socks to dry or to even change socks.

They also all take their jackets off to allow the drying of undergarments and cooling off.


A cooling off period for your feet and body will significantly reduce blisters and fatigue.

The Military finishes at Charlemagne. Do we need to march the Via Gladiola?

Military is not required to do the via Gladiola, but to not do so is a great loss.  The via Gladiola is the final celebration with over 250,000 spectators cheering the finishers through the last steps.


As an Official Military Delegation, the US marchers should proudly march the via Gladiola passing the reviewing stand in formation in the city center.  There are General Officers, Ambassadors, Mayors, Kings and Queens, and other dignitaries saluting the military as they pass.  It is a way for senior officials and the public to thank our militaries for what they have sacrificed in the past and what they do in the present to ensure peace.


For those in pain, perhaps marching the last 5.5km and hearing spectators call our name, give us high-fives, hugging us in thanks and cheering us on is priceless.   

This is the military's Super-Bowl, nowhere else in the world will you get over two million spectators cheering you on during a four day period!

Question / inquiry

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2018 Comments

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Comments received after 2018 march.


International cooperation. This is as much physical training as it is mental. The experience here can be described as amazing and, if properly conditions, very rewarding.

--Chris

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Loved this march experience. I had a great time. I was an individual marcher and spent most of my time with the Norwegians. But loved interfacing with other countries as well. Can't wait to go back next year.


Blisters! I thought it was a wonderful experience and I wouldn't change anything about the march.


I feel like the experience exceeded my expectations. I've know about this march since I was a 2nd LT 15 years ago and finally had a chance to participate. I had no idea what to expect, but loved everything about my experience. The camp facilities exceeded my expectations and felt all of my basic needs were met. I would mention that the female showers had almost no pressure on two days during the march. Maybe that side of the shower tent was furthest from the pumps and it couldn't keep up with the high demand for output, but I literally had to dangle the shower head upside down so that water could come through the shower cord on one of the days and not much better the next day. I feel like I could fix my own problem and pick a different shower. Great Job!

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Wonderful teamwork w/all nations and feeling of accomplishment.  This was one of the highlights of my military career.  Processes were smooth and very well laid out.


Can't wait to do this again! I'm hooked and so proud of those who made it along side me.

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Exceptionally welcoming support from the NLD Army and the Nijmegen population/visitors. Interacting with the other foreign military members at camp and during the March. 

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One of the coolest multi national events I will ever take part in/witness in my life. The people of Nijmegen, Netherlands are amazing!

CPT Baumholder

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I liked the support from the locals on the sides of the streets. I also liked the camaraderie and esprit de corp from fellow teammates.

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I enjoyed the "field" type environment and the feeling of pushing myself. 


I did lose faith one day due to us starting late for some reason. We looked terrible as a unit and a country. I don't know all the details, but from what I do know it was all on us. It was very hard to recover from that. I don't feel sorry for myself often, but I felt let down by the Army I love. 

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The best part about the March were all the people who lined up for the participants. There was a lot of music and it created a ton of high energy which allowed the myself and my teammates to get through the most painful times.


Overall, it was a great experience and getting to meet all the different service members from other countries was eye-opening. They have a very different lifestyle. I also think that communication between the support group and teams was not very good. Our team never seemed to have the correct return times to end the day. 


Medics were fantastic and very patient with us. They deserve a lot of credit because I wouldn't have been able to complete it without them taking care of my feet. Thats a fact.

- SPC **** ACCI SHAPE team

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The March was a great way to represent the United States of America and your service. The hospitality of the other nations was inspiring. The medics did a very good job. Medical on the rest stops and on the camp were very professional and helpful even though they were limited on supplies. 

I didn't like the rest stops for the U.S.

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I liked walking with my team and staying together.  Getting to know the people under those harsh conditions.

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This was the first time i got to experience other countries militaries. I enjoyed that!

I think the medics should really get acknowledged for all the help they provided. A lot of soldiers wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for them. 

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Camaraderie with the other military's, networking, and sharing experiences.

We need a couple of experienced Corpsman/Medics in the Camp medical facility, having every one of the medics being new to treating blisters after a short crash course is a bad idea, bring in a senior enlisted medic to keep tabs on those guys and bring quality control to their treatment.

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I enjoyed the proximity of the countries so that we all could mingle and socialize after each day.  I liked that the chow hall was open longer than times stated so we could grab food.  The showers and toilets were always up to standard and the showers were warm most of the time.  I liked the power outlets availability to recharge phones, the racks were perfect.  The music and food court availability was good and offered a place away from the barracks life.


The medics from Landstuhl were excellent and my team could not have finished the march without them.  They need to be recognized on a larger scale.  We need to know where to get ribbons after the march. The chow hall was excellent and provided everything needed after a long march.  The power tents are an excellent idea and convenient. Civilians need to be educated that the military are on a time-line and need to respect us marching either on the left or right of the road. Maps need to be correct and more signs need to be placed to show distance left until stops and finish.  The route is excellent, wish we had more knowledge before we left on what historical meanings the routes had.

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I enjoyed the camaraderie of the march experience, being among different Armed forces, extra slots allocated to the U.S. for attendance and the facilities provided to us at Camp Heumensoord.


Thank you so much to the OIC/NCOIC of the US Contingency that assisted us getting prepared and the medical staff that bandaged us up into the wee hours of the night. Next year it would be nice to distribute an information packet to personnel who register that includes directions/addresses to get to the camp for drivers and those taking trains from the airport as suggested train-up and packing list for the event to include items like: sleeping bag, pillow, bucket (for feet soaking), Blister tape/bandages, chafing creams, rash cream, ibuprofen, etc. to prepare next years candidates for some of the things they may encounter.

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Awesome seeing personnel from so many militaries come together and share this experience. The support from the civilian populace along the route was outstanding. Seemed like there was very little support from the US contingent along the route, maybe one medic stop each day.

I appreciated the support we did have, I just hope it increases along with the size of the US contingent.

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The people, camaraderie, support from spectators and military.  

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Fellowship with foreign services and Dutch citizens.

Recommend having the US 35mm spec Nijmegen completion ribbon available for purchase on site.


Overall a great experience! Thank you for coordinating!

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The overwhelming support from other nations, as well as the local citizens.  Also the great camaraderie with soldiers and foreign militaries.  

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Loved participating with the military's from other nations. Enjoying the support from the crowd was amazing. I learned a lot about my body and my mind. Unattainable otherwise. Thank you!

I don't think the arm bands were durable enough. There needs to be a way to manually input bands that have become unreadable rather than having to get a new band. We had a soldier almost miss the time hack related to this. She had 5 min to spare after getting a new band.

Relating to the chow hall. It would be nice to get food that isn't piping hot after the march. While good, the extra heat made many people nauseated. 

Overall I loved marching and had a great time. I am not lambasting the support, just see area for improvement.

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A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE THAT I HAVN'T HAD ANYWHERE ELSE.

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Very fun, as a individuals I and some personnel from my unit joined multiple nations in there formations. It was a great deal of fun. This experience made us closer as allied nations. 

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This was by far the greatest organized event that I have participated in. From basic support provided to local support it was simply amazing.


The USA Contingency busted its ass to ensure that the marchers were squared away. I would say if anything provide the USA Contingency with more support and staff. From the 173rd command team to Mr. Walley were great and without their guidance this might not have been so successful for the team.

We need more DoD buy-in. To provide world class service to the Troopers participating in the March. Class 1 like the other nations provided would be beneficial. Medical coverage like the other nations had would also be great. 


The event however was a success and I plan on coming back every year until I cannot march anymore. This March is 100% the finest event I have ever participated in and as a runner/Ultra Runner I have taken part in over 150 races/marches and this tops all of them. Keep up the great work and see you next year. 

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The march was unlike anything I have done before. It was incredibly challenging, but it was such a unique and rewarding experience.

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I think you get back what you put into the March. If you went into the March with no expectation, then the return was 1000 times what you expected. If you went in with a lot of expectation, then I am sure there was some disappointment.  US contingent can do a whole lot better, primarily by having some more experienced medical professionals in on the planning.

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I enjoyed marching and talking to the teams from other countries. The interaction with them and the civilians that lined the roads made the march worth it. Felt like there could've been a better support system from the U.S. At rest stops there wasn't much in terms of food and water, or even more medical personnel. 

Thank you for the experience!

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Joining together with fellow US Soldiers and those from many other countries and completing the march together was amazing. I made friends that I know I will have for many years to come.  


The US rest area and overall support was embarrassing. Where other countries had tons of food and additional stations along the way, we had almost none. When we crossed the finish line, so happy and proud, we received a greeting of, "you can put your bag over there and we have some water". How embarrassing! We should be celebrating our Soldiers that finished like every other country did!!!


The overall camp, food, showers and charging stations were wonderful. I had a great time in the end and definitely plan on coming back in either 2019 or 2020.

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How outgoing and friendly the Dutch people are.  I also loved the camaraderie among all the nations that participated.  It was a tough 25 miles every day but it felt more like a party than a forced march.  It is a unique experience and unlike anything else I have participated in.


It would be great if the US offered full sustainment support like the Dutch, German, and Scandinavian countries.  It would be really nice to have snacks, Gatorade, and a full support system set up at the military rest stops.  Often, simply finding the US support tent was difficult as it was not clearly marked.

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Unique experience both on and off camp. Its hard to find an event that could provide a similar experience. March is not necessarily hard and can be completed at a leisurely pace and so one can enjoy the experience. Excellent medical support from the medics and doc. 


Excellent service by the support staff provided for the event. Greater medical support for the event would provide for training for our medics  from the other nations. The ones who were there this year learned some handy stuff from the event.

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The esprit de corps surrounding the entire event was amazing. Bonding with our teammates and other nations was an unforgettable experience. The support that did show up did a great job with limited resources.


The US Support was severely undermanned and seemed like an afterthought ... especially compared to the other support teams.


Thank you Mr. Walley for putting up with the countless emails and phone calls to help kick this off. 


All US marchers are in your debt and are very grateful for your efforts.

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The march itself was fantastic.  I will be returning.  I was disappointed in the Medical support and rest station support for the US Military.  I have brought this up to my command (30th Medical Brigade) and hopefully we can come up with a solution to have more medical providers and supplies at the rest areas and aid stations.  I will be returning regardless! 


All in all a fantastic event that I will be recruiting for all this year.  Barring any upcoming missions, I will be retuning. 

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I really liked everything. Best military event experience overall!

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The March is just amazing, the people you meet, the bonds you form with people from other states, countries etc.... its a must do at least once, the military camp is great for the most part.


Over all great job, I would like to personally thank Michael Walley, for responding to my emails and getting me all the correct information, and I'm sure the countless hours he spent with everything else.

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I enjoyed the camaraderie with the other nations. I liked the tremendous support from the locals along the entire route...the music, cold water, food/snacks and the high-fives from all the kids. Amazing support! It really gave me a boost when we hit the cities and felt their energy. I liked trading military items with other nations and giving the kids along the route some candy and military patches/stickers. 


After day 1 of my first March, I was saying out loud that this is the first and last time. However, in retrospect, I would certainly do it again. I look forward to the next experience.

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Mr. Walley was phenomenal as were the rest of the admin support. 


A lot of the medics supporting said that they had no previous experience bandaging blisters & common injuries relating to rucking. 

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Great camaraderie and locals support. Great experience.

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The camp was generally well organized and the accommodations were more than adequate. Camp dining facility was excellent with good opening hours.

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During the march I enjoyed being able to link with other nations. I also enjoyed the local population and the support they provided during the march. I loved completing the parade route at the end of the march and would highly recommend completing this route to anyone who didn't complete it.  

This was a great experience and keep my fingers crossed to complete the march again next year! Thank you for everything!

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It was an opportunity unlike any other that I've experienced. The multicultural extravaganza could only be described through the action which is Nijmegen. You can never truly explain it in words but it was amazing. Great experience, I just wish that the US provided more support for their troops.


There are so many wonderful things to say about this experience that I cannot mention them all. Hopefully some of the other teams captured some of the essence in their survey. The good surely out weighed the bad and this is why I'm training up a team to come back and get the crown next year. Lastly, if possible this should be a TDY event for groups competing as a team. Some people got it and some paid out of pocket. That would be great.

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The entire experience was simply amazing and well worth every penny spent on making it happen.  I have already informed by Chain of Command that I will be taking leave next year to participate in the 2019 march.

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I enjoyed the feeling of community amongst all the military participants.


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I liked getting to meet and learn about other nations' military customs and experiences.  

I enjoyed the positive atmosphere and support provided by the camp staff, march organizers, and local towns.  

I enjoyed the personal challenge of the march itself.  

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The march was a great experience. I liked marching and meeting other military and how involved the towns were in the march.  This was a great event and I wish I could participate next year. (I am in the process of transitioning out of the military.)  I would love to provide support in some way next year though.

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My first time doing the march was back in 2010, and since then, each year I participate, the services/support by fellow U.S. service members has progressively gotten better each year. In 2010 and 2011, we had zero support. U.S. participants were assigned to the small contingents, and had no choice but to beg and borrow for support of all kinds. This year, we had our own medical, administrative section, and even had a presence at rest stops.


I really have no major critiques. As I stated, while I do feel there is some area for improvement here and there, overall, each year I have participated, U.S. support has improved, and thus my personal experience as a marcher has improved.

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