A military parade is a formation of soldiers whose movement is restricted by close-order manoeuvering known as drilling or marching. The military parade is now almost entirely ceremonial, though soldiers from time immemorial up until the late 19th century fought in formation. Massed parades may also hold a role for propaganda purposes, being used to exhibit the apparent military strength of one's nation.
The terminology comes from the tradition of close order formation combat, in which soldiers were held in very strict formations as to maximise their combat effectiveness. Formation combat was used as an alternative to mêlée combat, and required strict discipline in the ranks and competent officers. As long as their formations could be maintained, regular troops could maintain a significant advantage over less organised opponents. Military parades are not to be confused with military show of force.
Although the firepower of breechloading rifles and machine guns long ago rendered close formations in battle suicidal, modern armies still use parades for ceremonial purposes or in non-combat environments for their efficiency, ease of organization and encouragement of discipline. Roughly synonymous are "drill" and "march". The English word "drill" is of Middle Dutch origin, dating from the 16th-century drill of the Dutch army of prince Maurice of Orange, which was widely copied throughout Europe at the time, decreasing the volley time of musket formations.
In ancient times, drilling increased in importance when men stopped fighting as individuals and began to fight together as units. Drilling as a vital component of a war machine further increased with the increases in the size of armies, for example when Phillip II of Macedon disciplined his army so they could swiftly form the phalanxes that were so critical to his successes as a general. Military drilling later was used by the Roman Army to maximise efficiency and deadliness throughout their long history. After the fall of the empire, and the Dark Ages set in Europe, most feudal lords more heavily relied on peasant levies and their wealthy knights to fight their wars, the knights for the most part reverting to fighting as individuals. Massed military drilling was used mostly by only the foremost armies and nations, such as the Normans.
The U.S. drill is based on the contributions of Baron von Steuben, a Prussian Army officer who served in the Continental Army. During the winter quarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, von Steuben taught a model company of 100 soldiers musket drill. These soldiers, in turn, taught the remainder of the Continental Army.
The oldest, largest and most famous regular military parade in Europe is the Bastille Day Military Parade which is held each 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, during France's national day celebrations.
A military drill is memorizing certain actions through repetition until the action is instinctive to the soldiers being drilled. Complex actions are broken down into simpler ones which can be practised in isolation so when the whole is put together the desired results are achieved. Such is necessary for a fighting force to perform at maximum efficiency in all manner of situations. However, depending on the army and the drills it adopts, drilling may destroy flexibility and initiative in exchange for predictability and cohesion.
Recruits in most modern militaries are taught drill to teach them how to work and move as a team. In addition, formations are still used in riot control, where mêlée combat is still the norm.
Parades consist of four directions:
The Advance is the primary direction of movement, regardless of which direction the soldiers are actually facing (similar to a ship's bow.) On a parade square, the advance is determined by the position of the dais or flags. When these are not present, the direction of the drill commander is the advance.
The Retire is opposite to the advance, against the primary direction of movement (similar to a ship's stern.)
The Left is to the left of the Advance (similar to a ship's port.)
The Right is to the right of the Advance (similar to a ship's starboard.)
If the Advance is changed, then all other directions are changed to be based on the new Advance.
There is only one person in charge of a parade at a time. Changing this person is very ceremonious. This is to make it obvious to the soldiers who is currently in command and therefore to whom to pay attention.
During parades, unless explicitly told otherwise, soldiers have restricted movement, meaning they can move only exactly when they are told, and then doing only exactly what they are told to do. In most stances, any movement at all is disallowed and is held to such an extent as to have soldiers fainting on parade, although fainting under any conditions short of plural hours standing still in the hot sun is considered a sign of medical disability.
American usage allows the service member to be at four states of alert:
Commonwealth of Nations countries allow four states of alert:
In the Commonwealth countries, the following saluting on the march commands are ordered with a preparatory command of 'Saluting on the march...'. For example, 'Saluting on the march, to the front Salute' and always called on the left foot.
In British Corps, the drill movement for saluting to the front is the following. Two, three, up. Two, three, down.
In the United States, the command for saluting on the march is "Eyes, RIGHT/LEFT." The parade leader and other officers execute the hand salute, while everyone but the right file or left file in either case turns their heads to the right." The command for recovery is "Ready, FRONT." If the command does not have rifles, they will salute if given the command present ARMS. The arms will be lowered back to their normal position on the commands Order ARMS. They can also salute if given the command Hand SALUTE. The salute is raised when the parade leader finishes saying "salute", and is lowered in after being held for the same amount of time elapsed between the words "hand" and "salute."
In the United States, salutes at a halt are given on the command "Hand Salute". They are lowered in the same amount of time elapsed between the two words. The command "present arms" will cause the command to salute if the command is not given rifles for the ceremony, but the salute will be held until they are ordered to lower it with the command "order arms".
The most familiar form of melee weapon and unarmed combat drill in the modern world is the Kata and the Hyung in Eastern martial arts. However, there were once similar drills in the martial training of warriors in all cultures worldwide. They all had exactly the same purpose, to make instinctive an appropriate reaction to an attack or opening by conditioning the mind and body, through repeated and constant repetition of a series of actions (building up muscle memory). Probably one of the last survivors of such drills in the Western martial tradition are the reaction drills and rhythm exercises in the modern sport of fencing.
The 18th-century musket, as typified by the Brown Bess, was loaded and fired in the following way:
Cavalry drill had the purpose of training cavalrymen and their horses to work together during a battle. It survives to this daydressage. The movements sideways or at angles, the pirouettes, etc., were the movements needed for massed cavalrymen to form and reform and deploy. Of the proponents of classical dressage from which modern dressage evolved, probably the best known[original research?] are the Lipizzaner Stallions of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Musical Ride gives an inkling of what massed cavalry drill at speed would have looked like., albeit in a much-diminished form, in the modern sporting discipline of
Other tasks may be broken down into drills, for example, weapons maintenance, the British army used the rhythmic, poetic almost, "naming of parts" as a memory aid in the teaching and learning of how to strip, cleaning and reassembly of the service rifle.
Drill is today used to demonstrate discipline and cohesion in a modern military force. Large military parades are today held on major holidays and military events around the world. It usually held on occasions of national importance such as a country's independence day, and therefore is presided over by the head of state who, in most cases, is the commander in chief of the combined national military forces of that country. Today, military parades include all aspects of military drill, from an exhibition drill of precision drill teams and military bands (in addition to the occasional corps of drums, fanfare band, and/or drum and bugle corps), as well as an exhibition of military weapons such as a mobile column, the occasional mounted cavalry column (led by a mounted band), a naval parade, and a fly past by the country's air force. When on parade, most of the participating soldiers wear their ceremonial uniforms and carry the standards/colours of their respective battalions/regiments/corps/academies. In many countries, the military contingent is joined by contingents from youth cadet organizations, personnel from the police and fire services and by occasion jail and border services, youth police and fire cadets, veterans and personnel of the civil service.
Albania has long been influenced by Greek and Italian influences and even Soviet/Russian tradition. During the era of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, Liberation Day, which then the main national holiday, was celebrated with a military parade of the Albanian People's Army on Tirana's Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard. These parades have been held in 1954, 1959, 1964, 1974, 1984 and 1989. They usually consist of veterans, schoolchildren, militiamen alongside regular force personnel.
Today, military parades of the Albanian Armed Forces are held on Albanian Flag Day and Constitution Day on 28 November. One of the more notable modern military parades was held on the 100th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania, in which a special unit of 65 soldiers from the Kosovo Security Force as well as other foreign contingents participated. The other took place on 4 December 2007 in honor of the 95th anniversary of the Albanian Armed Forces.
Argentina's long history of military parades are a heritage inherited from the times of the Spanish colonia Viceroyality of Rio de la Plata, with influences from Germany, France, Britain and Italy. Today the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the paramilitary Argentine National Gendarmerie and Argentine Naval Prefecture hosts massive military parades featuring armed companies, cadets, and military bands on the following days (national events unless otherwise noted):
As both Commonwealth realms, Australia and New Zealand share the customs and traditions of parades of the British Armed Forces. The friendship and cooperation of the defence services of both countries can be seen in the annual Anzac Day parades every 25 April, in memory of the namesake Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, which was heavily involved in the long Battle of Gallipoli and were the first Allied forces to land there on that day in 1915. On this day, in many major cities in these two countries, parades are held involving personnel of both the Australian Defence Force and the New Zealand Defence Force, veterans' organizations, cadet organizations and other youth uniformed groups and personnel of the police and fire services, as well as students of schools and universities honoring many of their fallen alumni of the long campaign.
Parades are also held jointly in these two countries on 11 November, Remembrance Day.
Aside from these two days, the schedule of annual military and civil parades held in these two countries is as follows:
Within Canada, the now tri-service Ceremonial Guard performs the marchpast for senior dignitaries of the Canadian Armed Forces during change of command ceremonies and state arrival ceremonies, typically held in Ottawa, the national capital. The two Primary Reserve Canadian Army regiments that typically provide personnel for the guard, the Governor General's Foot Guards and The Canadian Grenadier Guards, together with the Governor General's Horse Guards and guard of honour detachments from both the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force take part in these events. In addition, the CG and optionally both the GGHG and the CGG take part in military parades such as the more common Trooping the Colour, also in Ottawa and special parades during the jubilee years of the monarch or of national foundation. The CAF personnel, as well as the Canadian Cadet Organizations and military veterans also parade during national holidays such as Remembrance Day, Victoria Day, Canada Day or Canadian Forces Day, as well as during parades celebrating anniversaries of regiments, brigade groups or wings, and divisional level formations and passing out parades of the Royal Military College of Canada, Royal Military College Saint-Jean and recruit training bases, as well as in local holidays in the provinces and major cities. Across the country, the annual Warriors Day military parade has since 1921, been a traditional event of the Canadian National Exhibition. It is specifically devoted to formally recognizing veterans of the CF. Like in the UK, the regimental march of the unit being honored is played by the band and/or pipe band if present.
The tradition of military parades in Chile has origins not just in Spanish tradition, but also a mix between those of France, the United Kingdom, and particularly Germany, given the fact that Imperial German Army officers trained the army and navy in the mid-1890s in the Prussian-German traditions of military parades that are continued until today.
Local level parades are marked on the following days aside from 21 May:
The first military parade on the Chinese mainland can be dated to over 4,000 years ago, when Yu the Great, a legendary ruler in ancient China, hosted a gathering of tribal forces from northern and southern China.
|Parts 1 2 3 and 4 of a documentary on the history of Chinese military parades|
|1981 Chinese Uighur Military Parade in Xinjiang (Eng narration)|
The People's Republic of China holds extraordinary military parades in Beijing to celebrate National Day. The first parade of this nature took place right after the Proclamation of the People's Republic of China by Chairman Mao Zedong on 1 October 1949. Originally celebrated annually, the parade was suspended in 1960, before returning in 1984 to mark the 35th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It is now held to mark every tenth anniversary, starting in 1999. Parades were also held in 1964, 1966, 1969 and 1970.
In 2015, China held a military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Victory over Japan. This was the first time China held a military parade for an event other than its National Day. It is currently unknown if China will continue to celebrate the end of World War II, through.
In 2017, the 90th year anniversary since the Nanchang Uprising and the beginning of the People's Liberation Army was marked by a military parade, the first time ever that a military parade had been held in its honor and the first time it was held outside of the capital, having been held at Zhurihe Training Base in Inner Mongolia under the direction of General Han Weiguo of the Central Theater Command. This was also the first field parade to take place since September 1981 when a parade consisting of troops participating in an excersise in Zhangjiakou in the presence of Deng Xiaoping to commemorate Deng's assumption to the post of Chairman of the Central Military Commission. During that parade, Deng reportedly said "Let's hold a large-scale one if we are to hold a military exercise, so that it can be of use" in reference to the size of the parade. Naval parades have also been reintroduced in recent years with a parade (which was the biggest naval review since 1949 and according to the Chinese government, the biggest in 600 years.) being held in the South China Sea in 2018 and a parade for the platinum jubilee of the People's Liberation Army Navy being held in early 2019.
Smaller scale parades are also periodically held in Hong Kong, Macau, Tibet and Xinjiang. Every year on 10 March (Tibetan Uprising Day), a military parade in Lhasa to mark the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan rebellion.
However, in the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Republic of China Armed Forces held its national parades in Taipei from 1949 until 1991 during the Double Ten Day celebrations. This practice was abandoned in 1991 though parades were recently held every five years beginning in 2011 during the Xinhai Revolution centenary and again in 2016. Special parades were held outside Taipei in 1995 and 2015 marking the 50th and 70th anniversaries, respectively, of both the Allied victory in the Second World War and the conclusion of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Both the Military Forces of Colombia and the National Police of Colombia hold important national parades to celebrate the anniversary of national independence as well as of the Armed Forces. Such parades are a mix of the Spanish, German, French, American and British influences owing to the long history of the country's military and police forces. National level parades are held on:
Local level parades by the personnel and veterans of the armed forces and police are held on the following:
Large mlitary parades in the Czech Republic are today held every 10 years in the capital of Prague, encompassing personnel from the Czech Army and the Police of the Czech Republic. The first of these parades occurred in 2008 in honor of the founding of Czechoslovakia on 28 October 1918. Another one took place in 2018 and included foreign troops.
Prior to 1918, military parades followed the tradition of their larger sovereign entity, including the military tradition of Austria-Hungary. Regular military parades were held during the period of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, with the first parades being organized in the 1950s. The first parade of the Czechoslovak People's Army (?SLA) took place in 1951 in Letná. Since then, parades were held every five years on 9 May to mark the end of World War II and the Liberation of Czechoslovakia. To honor the latter's celebrations, the State Anthem of the Soviet Union would be performed by the massed bands on parade preceded by the Czechoslovakian national anthem. The last of these parades took place in 1985.
Both the Armed Forces of Ecuador and the National Police of Ecuador hold important national parades to celebrate the anniversaries of national independence as well as of the Armed Forces and Police. National level parades are held on the following days:
Local military and police parades are held on major city and provincial anniversaries.
The annual military parade in the French capital of Paris is held on July 14 during the Bastille Day holiday. It is currently the oldest and largest military parade on the European continent. It is held on the Champs-Élysées and passes from l'Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. Bastille Day parades are also held in smaller garrison towns such as Toulon and Belfort. The 1st Infantry Regiment of the French Republican Guard regularly performs ceremonial marchpasts in is role as the guard of honour for the President of the French Republic. Like the British, many French units have the ability to march in quick time, while only one - the French Foreign Legion - marches uniquely in slow time, while another unit of the armed forces marches in very quick time and that is of the Army's Chasseurs, especially its Chasseurs alpins.
Local parades are held on the following days:
The Germany has had a long tradition of military parades dating back to the Kingdom of Prussia. It was the Prussians who invented the goosestep, a style of marching that was used in many German armies as well as in the militaries of various countries.
During the Nazi era, military parades were commonplace as they were held as a sort of victory parade for the German Wehrmacht as they invaded countries during the Second World War. The first major parades took place in Nuremberg in September 1938 and Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday in April 1939. In the months Immediately after the German invasion of Poland, a joint German-Soviet military parade took place in Brest-Litovsk (Brest, Belarus). In Allied-occupied Germany, the major powers held parades through the center of Berlin to honor their victory. These includes the Berlin Victory Parade of 1945, 1945 British Berlin Victory Parade and Berlin Victory Parade of 1946.
In the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR), parades were held according to the Russian standard, although the Soviet Army allowed the East Germans to use the Prussian tradition, something that had been dropped by their West German counterparts in the 50s. In the GDR, parades were held on the following occasions:
The first parade took place in 1 May 1956 in the presence of President Wilhelm Pieck. In the 60s and early 70s, parades took place on the western half of the Palace of the Republic, which was intended as a military parade ground, even though tremors from the heavy vehicles proved dangerous due to the glass facade. By 1979, the western half was used mainly as a parking lot and military parades were moved to Karl-Marx-Allee in central Berlin.
In 1969, the first military parade of West Germany and later the entire Federal Republic of Germany was held on the Nürburgring in the town of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate. It took place on 6 June 1969 and was held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It was attended by Kurt Georg Kiesinger in his position as Federal Chancellor of Germany. Participating foreign and national units included those from the Bundeswehr, Canadian Forces Europe, United States Army Europe, as well as army contingents from France and the United Kingdom. Allied parades were also held later in the country's 40 year existence.
Today, military parades are held on the following holidays on a smaller scale:
The long history of the Hellenic Armed Forces and the role played in the defense and progress of the country are recalled in splendid and grand military parades that are held in major cities in the country following a hybrid of the British, French, Danish and German traditions on the following dates:
Military parades in Mongolia have a long tradition that dates back to the era of the Mongol Empire. Today they closely follow the Russian model with sone modifications such as trooping of the Flag of Mongolia in a car rather than by foot.
The first official military parade in Communist Mongolia took place in 1921 in honor of the victories of Damdin Sükhbaatar in the People's Revolution. The anniversary parades that followed have been held on jubilee years (specifically in 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986 and 1991). After 1991, the practice was abandoned with the exception of 1996 when a parade in the National Sports Stadium commemorated the 790th anniversary of the founding of Mongolia and the 75th anniversary of the People's Revolution. After a 9 year break, the 2005 inauguration ceremony of Nambaryn Enkhbayar served as an event to hold a military parade on the central square. This took place again in 2009 for the inauguration of Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. That same year, State Flag Day was introduced as a national holiday, which would also be celebrated with a parade.
|The 70th anniversary parade of the People's Revolution of 1921|
|Mongolian Military Parade 2011|
During these events, party and government leaders were viewed ascending to the top of Sükhbaatar's Mausoleum to take the salute.
All military parades of the Korean People's Army (KPA) are centered in the capital of Pyongyang and have a long tradition that goes back to the DPRK's establishment in 1948. Between 1993 and 2011, the DPRK held over a dozen military parades, which was frequent compared to the 1960s-80s, during which only three parades were held. Known for its elaborate military drill, the country holds military parades annually on different dates (especially on jubilee years), which feature a combination of Chinese and Russian techniques. North Korean military parades are held on the following dates:
Rehearsals for these parades usually take place 3-6 weeks prior to the actual parade at the Mirim Parade Training Facility in the capital. The actual parades are held in the capital's Kim Il-sung Square.
In addition, non-jubilee holiday parades have been mounted on the grounds of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on these days plus on:
The Peruvian Armed Forces and the National Police of Peru holds the yearly Great Military Parade of Peru every July 29 in Lima as the armed services' way of honoring the anniversary of national independence and the role they have played in shaping the history of the country. Local level Independence Day parades are held on pre-determined days before July 28 and 29 as set by their respective local governments.
Parades held by service personnel and veterans of the armed forces are also marked on:
The Polish Armed Forces and the Police of Poland holds two yearly military parades (Polish: Defilada wojskowa) in the capital of Warsaw: The Armed Forces Day parade through Ujazdów Avenue and the National Independence Day parade near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Pi?sudski Square. Both of these parades include NATO personnel stationed near or inside the country. The Armed Forces Day Parade was introduced in 2007 and 2008 as first grand military parades since the holiday was reinstated and have been held yearly since 2013. The first Polish military parade took place on 17 January 1945. Prior to 1989, parades were held in front of the Palace of Culture and Science on Parade Square on 22 July commemorate the National Day of the Rebirth of Poland celebrations, honoring the anniversary of the signing of the Stalin-sponored PKWN Manifesto. Back then, the People's Republic of Poland used many Russian traditions in regards to military parades, especially the inspection by the Minister of Defence. In 1966, during the millennium celebrations of the Christianization of Poland, a parade was held on 22 July which included cadets of military academies and personnel of Polish ceremonial units dressed in historical military uniforms dating back to the Piast dynasty. A special parade was held on 9 May 1985 to honor the 40th year anniversary of the Victory in Europe and the servicemen of the Polish Armed Forces in the West and the East. In 2019, a 3rd was added when the yearly 3 May Constitution Day parades, last held in 1939 and were held off and on since 1990, were officially reinstated.
The Western tradition of military parades in the Russian Empire was part of the many reforms made by Peter the Great as part of his many efforts to transform the army and the navy from traditional militias to a full-blown professional armed service that is a model for the people in discipline and obedience, courage, bravery, loyalty to the country and in bringing pride and glory to her people. During the Imperial period, national parades were alternated between Moscow and Saint Petersburg on major national civil and military holidays, anniversaries of the Romanov Dynasty and as part of the imperial coronation celebrations, celebrations and parades were also held in many major cities and provincial capitals.
So important was the value of these parades that even the Soviet Armed Forces made these parades a common tradition beginning in August 1918 when the first modern parade was held in Moscow's Red Square when Moscow area Vsevobuch detachments march past, earlier that May, a military parade, the first by the nascent Red Army, was held outside the capital. Since that year, many innovations have been seen in the practice of annual parades held not just there but in the capital cities of the former Soviet Union, as well as in major cities in the wide country, which were held on 1 May (1918-1941 and 1945-1968), 7 November (1920-1941 and 1945-1990) and 9 May (1945, 1965, 1985 and 1990). Today, the Russian Armed Forces - and by extension countries of the former Soviet Union - host a variety of military parades held on important national holidays, honoring the men and women of their armed forces and military veterans. The celebrations in each of these countries carry on years of tradition, honor, discipline and prestige by the millions of men and women who serve and have served in the ranks of the armed forces of their respective home countries. These parades have extensive government funding and aside from the iconic wide march past columns and occasional historical formations, typically include a mobile column, and occasionally a naval fleet review and/or air force fly past segment, a legacy of the Soviet era.
While the country was a Soviet Republic from 1920 to 1991, Armenia was formerly independent from 1918 to 1920 and thus had armed forces composed of both veterans of the Imperial Army and guerillas fighting the Ottoman armed forces who had been enforcing the anti-Armenian massacres of 1914. Armenians fought bravery in the Eastern Front of the Second World War as part of the Soviet Armed Forces, retaining some of its traditions today. The last of the Soviet era parades took place in 1988. Today, the Armed Forces of Armenia hosts massive parades held in Yerevan, the capital city, on the following days:
In recent years, national military parades have included drill units and military bands performing exhibition drill for the guests before the parade concludes.
The semi-annual parade on the Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, 26 June, is one of the biggest in the Commonwealth of Independent States, held every 3 to 5 years at the Azadliq Square, Baku, honoring the many Azerbaijanis who served faithful under the colours as part of her armed forces. The forces on parade are assembled based on a mix of the Turkish and Russian parade formation.
The Armed Forces of Belarus holds an annual military parade on 3 July along the Victors Avenue in the national capital Minsk, marking the anniversary of the liberation of the country during the 1944 Minsk Offensive, which coincides with the country's Independence Day. On special years of the victory in Europe, commemorative extraordinary parades are held there on 9 May to honor the millions of Belarusian military dead of the Second World War. Military parades in the country are based on the Russian/Polish model and tradition. Formerly, parades in the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic took place on Independence Square (known in the Soviet era as Lenin Square). This changed in the early 2000s when the square was renovated and became incompatible with the parade format. Military parades in the BSSR also took place on October Square from 1946 to 1984. Since 2004, military parades in the capital have taken place on Victors Avenue. In connection with the centennial of the Belarusian Armed Forces in 2018, a military parade was held in the Western city of Grodno.
While being formerly independent from 1918 to 1940 and as an component republic of the Soviet Union from that year to 1941 and yet again from 1944 to 1991, the current Estonian Defence Forces and the Estonian Defence League, successor to both the military and reserve forces of the First Republic and republican formations under the Baltic Military District and Baltic Fleet of the Soviet Armed Forces, marches during a combination of Russian, Finnish and Western drill in parades held in the following days:
The Defense Forces of Georgia, successor to the armed services of the Democratic Republic and Soviet formations stationed in the Georgian SSR, hosts military parades on May 26, Independence Day, the anniversary of the formation of the republic in 1918, together with elements from:
Modern parades are a mix of the former Soviet and modern Western (British, US, Turkish and Israeli) traditions and drill owing to the modernization of the defense and public security forces to NATO and EU standards.
The Armed Forces of Kazakhstan holds military parades (Kazakh: ) that resemble the parades of the Russian military in Moscow, with one of the only exceptions being the inspection of the troops by the Supreme Commander of the Kazakh Armed Forces, instead of the defense minister. It has never held yearly parades celebrating one occasion, with parades currently being held in honor of the Defender of the Fatherland Day holiday. In the past, large scale military parades in the former capital of Almaty and the current capital of Nur-Sultan were held on the following holidays:
In recent years, the Defender of the Fatherland Day parade was expanded to function as a so-called "Battle Parade" ( ). So far, only two of these kinds of parades have been held; in 2012 and 2018. In contrast to usual military parades, the battle parade includes tactical exercises and military demonstrations. These parades usually are held at the 40th Otar Military Base in the Korday District and take place with the troops in full combat gear rather than a ceremonial full dress uniform. Like former Soviet republics, Kazakh military parades are led by a cadet drum corps, specifically from the Astana Zhas Ulan Republican School.
Kyrgyz military parades are baased on Russian traditions, having been held on many different occasions in the history of the Armed Forces of Kyrgyzstan. Currently, the only consistant military parade is held on Ala-Too Square in Bishkek every 5 years in honor of the country's Independence Day. Other military parades have been held celebrating different occasions. On 24 March 2006, a parade was held on the same square celebrating the 1 year anniversary since the Tulip Revolution which overthrew President Askar Akayev. In May of that same year, a Day of the Armed Forces parade on the same square, later being deemed as "irresponsible" by opposition lawmaker Omurbek Tekebaev due to the fact that it coincided with opposition protests against President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, which itself was described by Defence Minister Ismail Isakov as purely "coincidental". In 2015, a Victory Day Parade was held in the Kyrgyz capital, being presided by Prime Minister Temir Sariyev and Chief of General Staff Asanbek Alymkozhoev in place of President Almazbek Atambayev, who was attending the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade that same day. The parade saw the appearance of veterans of the war in the mobile column as well as Russian troops from the local Kant Air Base taking part in the parade.
Latvia, like its neighbors to the north and south, was also formerly independent from 1918 to 1940 and as an component republic of the Soviet Union from that year to 1941 and yet again from 1944 to 1991, and its armed forces, then as in the 90s, were formed up of Latvian born personnel who served in the Russian military and thus share some of the Russian drill and parade ceremonial in combination with Western practices. Today, the Latvian National Armed Forces hosts massive parades (with occasional participation by service personnel of NATO armed forces) on the following dates:
In Russia, military parades are held in many parts of the country on the following days:
As well as on the following Days of Military Honour:
Military parades were first held in 1702 as a troop review, but later grew into a ceremonial event held by order of the President of the Russian Federation in his constitutional duty as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Alongside personnel and veterans of the Armed Forces, marching past in these parades are cadets of military high schools and middle schools and the Young Army Cadets National Movement, cadets of military faculties of civil universities and battalions of Cossacks, honoring their forebears who fought for their homeland in times past. Also, the following uniformed organizations take part in these parades:
Tajik military parades are held every 2 to 3 years on Dushanbe's Dousti Square. They are either held on the occasion of Independence Day or Armed Forces Day. They usually feature the entire Dushanbe Garrison and its hardware. The first parade in Dushanbe, which was at the time known as Stalinabad, took place on an area known as Red Square on 7 November 1945. Since then, Soviet military parades of the 201st Motor Rifle Division in the Tajikistan SSR have been held on 9 May and 7 November in Lenin Square annually until 1990. The first military parade in the Republic of Tajikistan was held on armed forces day in 1993.
The principal parade hosted by the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan is held during the annual Independence Day Parade in Independence Square in Ashgabat every September 27, Independence Day, marking the day of the declaration of Turkmen independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. (From 1992 to 2017 the parade was held in October 27, the day of the independence plebicite.)
Ukrainian parades involve the active and reserve men and women and veterans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It holds parades on the following:
Something that distinguishes Ukrainian military parades from its other post-Soviet counterparts is, during the Kiev parade, the marchpast of the tri-service Kyiv Presidential Honor Guard Battalion with the Flag of Ukraine to raise at the flagpole while honors are rendered, which includes the playing of Shche ne vmerla Ukraina. Since 2014, military bands have also played an integral part in these parades by marching with their units as part of the parade. Unlike their other counterparts, who use Hello Comrades as the official greeting during parades, Ukraine uses Glory to Ukraine as the official holiday greeting, with the troops responding by saying Glory to the Heroes.
Military parades in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia follow a close tradition that is significantly unique to the Balkan states. Their usage of the high step instead of the more european goose step is a notable display of heritage and tradition in their parades. The Yugoslav People's Army held its first military parade on Bulevar revolucije just days before the conclusion of the Second World War on International Workers Day. Another parade on 20 October of that same year was held in honor of the one year anniversary of the end of the Belgrade Offensive.
Since then military parades in the SFRY were held on the following dates and occasions:
The first parade in the Republic of Serbia took place on Liberation Day on 16 October 2014. Known commonly as the March of the Victor, the parade took place on Nikola Tesla Boulevard and included 4,500 Serbian Army troops, the Russian Swifts aerobatic team and even an appearance by Russian President Vladimir Putin as the guest of honour. On 10 May 2019, the first Victory Day Parade in close to 35 years was held in the city of Ni?. Branded as the "The Defence of Freedom" show, the parade also included personnel of the Police of Serbia, which also marked the 20th anniversary of the Yugoslav resistance to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Outside of the Serbian Armed Forces, the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Armed Forces of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina use the Serbian/Yugoslav parade format.
The Turkish tradition of military parades was introduced in the 19th century as part of the Westernization and modernization of the army and navy of the then Ottoman Empire to modern standards of warfare and military ceremonial, a tradition carried on by the modern Turkish Armed Forces, whose parade drill includes high stepping, a tradition introduced in the 1900s.
Today parades held by the Turkish Armed Forces and its veterans are held in the following days:
In the United Kingdom, a guard of honour traditionally performs the march past for whoever received the salute. In the capital of London, traditional ceremonial units that perform public duties (the Queens Guard for example) take part in military parades such as the more common Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade and special parades during the jubilee years of the monarch in his or her capacity as commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. The Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals and Life Guards) traditionally perform trot pasts in mounted formation, together with the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. These units have been known to parade in slow and quick time. Personnel of the armed forces, cadet organizations, The Royal British Legion and veterans' organizations also parade during national holidays such as Remembrance Day or Armed Forces Day. During a regimental military parade, the regimental march of the unit is played.
Military parades in the American capital are held quadrennially by servicemen of the United States Armed Forces during the Presidential inaugural parade. These are not considered to be regular military parades however, as the parading formations are actually not entirely composed of armed servicemen. The first known organized military procession in the United States was the Grand Review of the Armies, on May 23 and May 24, 1865, following the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865). The New York City Victory Parade of 1946 was held in mid-January in 1946 to commemorate the conclusion of World War II and the Allied victory over the Axis Powers in all theaters of the war, helped by the service of millions of Americans who served under the armed forces and the National Guard, in addition to the state defense forces. The most recently held military parade was the National Victory Celebration on June 8, 1991, to celebrate the conclusion of Gulf War in Iraq. In 2018, a national debate was sparked when President Donald Trump proposed to hold a military parade on 10 November 2018 in honor of the Veterans Day holiday the next day, commonly known as "Trump's military parade". This was seen as expensive and authoritarian-like and by August of that year, the Department of Defense announced that the military parade would be postponed until 2019. The 2019 Fourth of July parade was the first attended by the President of the United States in his capacity as the constitutional commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces and the National Guard Bureau, with the parade route was changed to include the Lincoln Memorial complex within the greater area around the National Mall. It was also the first time since the 1950s where units aside from the guards of honor, also included cadets from the military academies, units of the Armed Forces and the National Guard and the nationally produced military equipment of the services marching past in the national capital city in front of the members of government, Congress, veterans and the people of the capital.
Annual military parades, as well as armed forces and veterans' participation in civil parades are held in the following days in major cities in the country, in areas with military installations and in state capitals:
Parades are also held within the military academies, high schools, bases and installations of the Armed Forces, as well as by JROTC and ROTC units and youth uniformed cadet organizations on the following days aside from the aforementioned Army Birthday:
The typical presidential inaugural or holiday parade hosted in Washington, D.C., is hosted by the National Capital Region of the Department of Defense, while local and state level parades are hosted by the local military installations and local area governments.
Full blown military parades by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela are held on the following days:
Taking part on these parades are active duty and reserve personnel of the NBAF and its service branches, and these are a mix of the German, British and later on Chinese and Russian traditions.
In August 2018, during a military parade and ceremony on the Venezuelan National Guard's 81st anniversary, President Nicolas Maduro was targeted in a drone attack, which left him unharmed, and left 8-9 people injured.