Marching in the Nijmegen 4 Daagse march is a truly unforgettable experience that many return for on the third week of July to repeat year after year. It is understood by experienced marchers, and learnt by first-timers that you don't get your medal without earning it. Some say "No pain, No medal" but all that complete the march agree the soreness soon subsides making it more than worth the effort.
Some U.S. Military Comments from the 2018 March:
---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.
---Very fun, I and some personnel from my unit joined multiple nations in their formations. It was a great deal of fun. This experience made us closer as allied nations.
---Can't wait to do this again! I'm hooked and so proud of those who made it along side me.
---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.
---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.
---I enjoyed the "field" type environment and the feeling of pushing myself.
US Military participants enjoy the opportunity to experience a truly unique event like no other, living and marching proudly with military from many different nations. All focussed on the same goal of successfully completing the 100 mile march.
Perhaps the real surprise is the 1.5 million spectators cheering and thanking the military for their efforts. Nowhere else in the world does the public show more respect for those who have served by cheering on those who presently serve.
Those registering as part of the US contingency march the 40km Military Green route from Kamp Heumensoord. During the 102nd edition in 2018 the US contingency started 347 marchers supported by 34 staff comprised of admin and medics. Visit our Selection Criteria page to review rules on registering with the US Contingency.
The "Green" route has been consistent year over year with minor changes. Day one is the "Day of Lent" to the north via Nijmegen across the Waalbrug and back, Day two is the "Day of Wijchen" to the east and back through Nijmegen, Day three is the tough "Seven Hills Day" to the south east through Groesbeek, and the final day is the "Day of Cuijk" to the south west along the Maas river, over the Dutch/German temporary pontoon bridge before heading back into Nijmegen. The final stretch is called the Via Gladiola only during the last day of the march because of the thousands and thousands of gladiolas given to the successful marchers as they march into town.
Visit our MAPS page to review the 2018 routes with attention on the green route.
In all, more than 6,000 military from more than twenty nations gather on Kamp Heumensoord (between Nijmegen and Malden) in mid July for the Nijmegen 4 day march and all that is involved with supporting the military participants.
The secluded Kamp Heumensoord is situated 5.5km outside of Nijmegen in a protected park sanctuary. The camp has been designed and is built up each year throughout June to facilitate the soon to arrive military teams. The camp is designed to host a plethora of diverse multinational military tradition and protocol. As a self sufficient, limited access Dutch military installation the camp is accessible only to those registered for participation. Only those with military ID's or with official business on the camp receive RFID access passes, anyone else must be escorted onto the camp by ID'd military. Full military security is provided on camp to ensure the safety of all military participants.
At 0425 during the official march days the Camp Commander shouts out the history of the route to be marched. At 0430 he orders "Forward March" as a military band (from one of the official delegation countries) begins playing a departing march to get the troops on their way for the day. A few meters into the journey the marchers all salute the Commander as he salutes back.
The Royal Netherlands Ministerie van Defensie manages the camp as well as all military rest areas along the march route as a full military exercise. This is serious business! Exercise "Phoenix Blister."
The camp in 2019 will open on Saturday 13 July, 1200 and closes 1200 on 20 July.
Get your boots ready and start training for the "March of the World!"
Kamp Heumensoord is a full service military camp that provides all daily necessities during the 7 day stay period for Individual, Detachment Marchers and support staff.
US military lodge in the USA hall across from the Germans, Norwegians and Swedes, beside the French, Finns and Danes. The US rooms have basic bunk-bed cots with 8 doubles, a table and two benches for sitting per sleeping area.
US military participants are provided support from the adjacent admin office only steps from the US sleeping quarters. Warm showers (gender separated) / sinks / latrines are a short walk from the US hall.
The mess hall serves breakfast, lunch and a warm dinner each day. Multi-national military medical facilities offer full service to those requiring assistance with injuries as well as handling blisters and pre-march taping.
Tradition. Returning from the days journey tired marchers are greeted as they arrive back at camp. Sounds of Swiss cow bells, clapping and shouts of encouragement coming from all directions welcomes each tired marcher. After completing the check-in procedure most detachments form up and march toward the beer-tent for the informal and loved return. Fellow uniformed well wishers from all nations clap in rhythm as the teams arrival is announced. Upon entering the tent the team performs a dance, an act or something noteworthy to mark the days successful completion. And if its your birthday or special day, you may come in specially dressed or on the shoulders of your teammates. All in all, an entrance well worth the effort after a hard day pounding the pavement!
The Beer tent sells pizza, fries, Dutch fast food, sodas, water as well as beer and wine. Only chips can be used for purchases with machines beside the ATM's at the tent.
Other facilities on Camp include central admin to handle marching issues, cash machines, bus service (with fee) to Nijmegen central station, fire station, police station and the official radio station for the march.