The Foot March


This event is the most physically demanding of all events at the EFMB test, with the possible exception of the litter obstacle course. Really, it depends on what kind of shape you are in. It is also usually done last. Keeping that in mind, if you are still in the running for The Badge and all you need to do is the road march, there is no excuse. If you fail the road march, you must come back next time and do it ALL OVER AGAIN!!!! Why do that? Just march. Just finish.

a. Objective. To measure a candidate's physical stamina, state of training, and mental attitude.

b. Requirements. Candidates must complete a 12-mile (19.3 kilometers) foot march, in 3 hours, carrying their individual field equipment IAW paragraph 3 -5. This event is the last event tested during test week.

(1) Test board members will verify the march route to 63,360 feet (12 miles or 19,308 meters) with a calibrated measuring wheel. A vehicle odometer will not be used.

Markers will be placed at each mile along the route.

(2) The test board chairperson will develop a thorough risk assessment and revise it, as necessary, depending on weather conditions. The risk for heat injuries is always present in strenuous events. Occurrences rise rapidly when the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) reaches 65F. Risk reduction measures, such as unblousing the pants, are allowed. The test board chairperson may approve these measures as weather conditions necessitate.

(3) Standing operating procedures must be developed for the provision of medical care. Measures include WBGT readings, treatment of injuries, and evacuation procedures and routes. Active surveillance of the participants along the march route is essential. Sufficient ice must be available for immediate body cooling. Intravenous and oral fluids must be readily available for immediate rehydration. Automated defibrillation should be available if transport to an acute care life support-qualified medical facility cannot be accomplished in less than 6 minutes. Position a combat lifesaver or medic, with aid bag, at each water point. They should have a radio or telephone for communications with the tactical operations center. These personnel must be able to recognize the initial stages of heat injuries and take appropriate action. An aid station should be set up at the end of the march to evaluate the candidates for injuries, dehydration, confusion or disorientation, and temperature before releasing them. Immediate IV rehydration is extremely beneficial.

(4) Proper hydration procedures must be enforced. On the day before the march, candidates should consume several quarts (liters) of water. On the morning of the march, candidates should consume 1 or 2 quarts of water. They should consume at least 1 quart (.9 liter) an hour during the march, preferably drinking some every 15 to 30 minutes. Maximum consumption should not exceed 1.25 quarts (1.18 liters) an hour or 12 quarts (11.35 liters) a day. Actual amounts required will vary with the individual and weather conditions.

(5) The host unit will have a minimum of two stopwatches, a primary and an alternate, to maintain the official march time. The time starts when the last candidate crosses the start line. Elapsed time readings are recommended because they assist the candidates in pacing themselves.

(6) The host unit will brief the candidates in detail on the route, mile markers, water points, and direction changes. (A strip map of the route will be provided.)

(7) Only candidates, march cadre, test board members, and medical support personnel are allowed on the course during the march.

(8) Candidates must start and finish the course with the equipment in Table 3-1.  The host unit will conduct a uniform and equipment inspection prior to and at the end of the march.

Required equipment.

Item Worn Quantity Item Carried Quantity Placed in Rucksack Quantity
Battle Dress Uniform 1 set        
Boots, Combat 1 pair
Helmet, Ballistic with Cover 1        
Socks 1 pair        
Tags, Identification 1 set        
T-shirt, Brown 1
Underwear 1 pair
Watch 1
Belt, Individual 1
    Canteen Water Plastic 2    
    Card, Identification 1    
Case, First Aid 1
    Case, Small Arms 2    
    Compass, Lensatic 1    
Cover, Canteen 2
    Cup, Canteen Water 2    
    Flashlight with Red and Green or Blue Lens 1    
    Kit, M291 Skin Decon 2 kits    
    Mask, Protective with Carrier 1    
    M16/M4-Series Rifle with Sling, 1    
Magazine 2
Blank Adapter 1
Notepad 1
Paper, M8 1 bk
Pen 1
    Pencil, Mechanical 1    
    Rucksack with Frame 1    
    Stick, Camouflage or Equivalent 1    
    Suspenders, Individual      
Equipment 1
        Bag, Waterproof 1
Boots, Combat 1 pair
        Gloves, NBC Rubber 1 pair

Jacket, Chemical Protective

        Light stick, Chemical (Green or Yellow) 1
        Liner, NBC Gloves 1 pair
        Overshoes, Rubber 1 pair

Parka, Wet Weather

Poncho 1
Protractor 1
Socks 1 pair
        Trousers, Chemical Protective 1
        Trousers, Wet Weather 1
T-Shirt, Brown 1


1 pair
        Uniform, Battle Dress 1 set

NOTE 1: The terms rucksack, light fighter pack, and ALICE pack may be used interchangeably. Current issued Table of Allowance-50 may be used in lieu of rucksack and LCE.

NOTE 2: The protective mask, with carrier, and load-bearing vest/equipment are carried on the person as outlined in Technical Manual (TM) 3-4240-300-10-2.

NOTE 3: The M8 paper and M291 Skin Decon Kit are no longer required after the applicable arrior Skills tasks are tested.

(9) Candidates must carry their weapon "at the ready." They will not strap the weapon to the rucksack, disassemble the weapon, or carry the weapon at sling arms.

(10) Candidates must carry the protective mask with carrier strapped around their waist or shoulder.

(11) Candidates will not be assisted during the march in any way. This includes, but is not limited to, adjusting their equipment for them and providing items such as dry socks, food, or drink. Candidates must secure their own water or refill their canteens at authorized water stations. Candidates may carry additional items for their own consumption, such as sports drinks and energy bars. However, they must carry these additional items and have them on their person prior to beginning the march. Candidates may not receive additional items after the march starts.

(12) A rest or sleep period must be afforded the candidates prior to the march. The duration of this rest or sleep period will be at least 4 to 6 continuous hours.

(13) The candidate will receive a NO GO for any of the following:

(a) Not completing the entire road march route.

(b) Not completing the road march within the 3-hour time limit.

(c) Not starting and finishing with the equipment listed in Table 3-1.

(d) Receiving assistance along the route.

(e) Not carrying the weapon and mask as stated in paragraphs 3-16b(9) and 3-16b(10).

c. Equipment. The host unit will provide all equipment and supplies to administer the road march.

d. Changes. Changes are NOT authorized without an exception to policy approval.

NOTE 4: The hosting site EFMB Test Board Chairperson sets the parameters on the participation of noncandidates and other personnel on the road march based on the host sites' support capabilities.

FM 21-18 Foot Marches