On Parade at the British Army’s 2021 Pace Sticking Competition

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The Grenadier Guards performing their drill routine at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The Grenadier Guards went on to win the pace sticking competition. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, once again, provided the grandest of backdrops to this year’s British Army’s All Arms International Pace Sticking competition.

In the words of one of the competition judges, Warrant Officer Class 2 David Roper of the Grenadier Guards:

“The Pace Sticking competition in the British Army is designed to test primarily Sergeants’ Mess members in accuracy, precision and uniformity of foot drill.”

Teams of four, consist of the Driver, who commands the team and barks out the movement orders, a right-hand marker and two others.

Teams are marked, for turn out, bearing and crucially how they perform through a series of sequences of marching the length of the hallowed tarmac that is the Academy’s Old College parade square.

They march along turning their pace sticks in both slow then quick time alternating from left to right hand along a marked piece of the square known as the runway. All this has to be achieved in perfect harmony with all four pace sticks hitting the ground simultaneously.

The Grenadier Guards went on to win the pace sticking competition 2021.

The Chelsea pensioners competing in the annual pace sticking competition. Competing against regular serving units.
The judges from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst pace sticking competition.

Credit: Corporal Alex Morris, RLC  – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021  

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