For those who’ve served or at least went to basic training, you probably remember the first time you were taught how to march in a formation. For those who’ve never done it, let me tell you it’s quite an experience. Often you have many youngsters who suddenly can’t seem to remember their left from their right. Everyone’s out of sync, and the entire thing is pretty funny to watch — although the drill instructors or sergeants are probably not going to show their amusement on the outside. But, after weeks, and months of daily practice (yes daily), soon a group of strangers learns how to move as one.
And when you have a group of professional marchers, watching the apex of human synchronization can be a sight to behold. I can still remember the crisp chops of dozens of boot heels hitting the ground all at once and the sensation of your body seemingly moving on its own in perfect precision to the commands being barked out. However, some soldiers take marching beyond the simple purpose of building cohesion and uniformity within fighting forces and elevate it to high art. One example is the United States Air Force Honor Gaurd, regarded as some of the most highly-skilled marchers on the planet. In this video from a performance in 2014, we get to see these dedicated soldiers dazzle a crowd with their exceptional precision, timing, and athletism.
It’s hard even to fathom how many hours, let alone, years it took for these soldiers to attain this level of skill. While some may choose to see such displays as violent (because of the rifles), I think that misses the point.
This is an example of how, as human beings, we can reach a level of cooperation and understanding beyond the need to communicate.
Each of these men knows what to do and are in perfect synch with the man next to them. Just imagine if one day, the entire human race could share just a tenth of this kind of connection?
You can watch the short version of their performance below.
And for the full version, you can watch that in the video below.