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The goose step is a special marching step which is performed during formal
military parade 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 lat ...
s and other ceremonies. While marching in parade formation, troops swing their legs in unison off the ground while keeping each leg rigidly straight. The step originated in
Prussian Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
military drill in the mid-18th century and was called the german: Stechschritt, label=none (literally, "piercing step") or german: Stechmarsch, label=none. German military advisors spread the tradition to
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
in the 19th century, and the
Soviets Soviet people ( rus, сове́тский наро́д, r=sovyétsky naród), or citizens of the USSR ( rus, гра́ждане СССР, grázhdanye SSSR), was an umbrella demonym for the population of the Soviet Union The Soviet Unio ...
spread it around the world in the 20th century. The term "goose step" originally referred to balance stepping, an obsolete formalized slow march. The term is nowadays heavily associated with
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
in many English-speaking countries. As a result, the term has acquired a
pejorative A pejorative or slur is a word or grammatical form expressing a negative or a disrespectful connotation, a low opinion, or a lack of respect toward someone or something. It is also used to express criticism, hostility, or disregard. Sometimes, a ...
meaning in some English-speaking countries.


History


Origin

The "Stechschritt" originated in the 18th century, like other march steps, as a method of keeping troops lined up properly as they advanced towards enemy lines. It was introduced into German military tradition by
Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (3 July 1676 – 7 April 1747) was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau from 1693 to 1747. He was also a ''Generalfeldmarschall'' in the Prussian Army, Prussian ...
, a
Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually, it is the highest rank in an army and as such few persons are appointed to it. It is considered as ...
whose close attention to training transformed the
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
n infantry into one of the most formidable armed forces in Europe. Other armies adopted different march steps that served the same purpose; in the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western ...
, soldiers were trained to swing their arms in a wide arc to allow officers to keep the advancing line in order. The
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
adopted the goose step during the 1796–1801 reign of
Paul I Paul I may refer to: *Paul of Samosata (200–275), Bishop of Antioch *Paul I of Constantinople (died c. 350), Archbishop of Constantinople *Pope Paul I (700–767) *Paul I Šubić of Bribir (c. 1245–1312), Ban of Croatia and Lord of Bosnia *Paul ...
. By the mid-19th century, the replacement of
musket A musket is a muzzle-loaded long gun that appeared as a smoothbore weapon in the early 16th century, at first as a heavier variant of the arquebus, capable of penetrating plate armour Plate armour is a historical type of personal body a ...
s with
rifle A rifle is a long-barreled firearm A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual. The term is legally defined further in different countries (see #Legal_definitions, Legal definitions). The first fi ...
s greatly increased the accuracy of defensive fire. It was too hazardous to march forward into battle in precise formation, and the practice became obsolete. However, armed forces continued to drill recruits in marching techniques that now focus on team building, military uniformity, and ceremonial functions. This was true in Prussia and the later
German Empire The German Empire (),Herbert Tuttle wrote in September 1881 that the term "Reich" does not literally connote an empire as has been commonly assumed by English-speaking people. The term literally denotes an empire – particularly a hereditary ...
, where the goose step became emblematic of military discipline and efficiency.


Adoption outside Europe

The goose step became widespread in militaries around the world in the 19th and 20th centuries. Military modernization and political influence carried the practice to Asia, Africa, and Latin America from its origins in Prussia and Russia. The first wave of adoption took place in the late 19th century, as the Prussian army became greatly admired for its decisive victory in the Franco-Prussian War. This led many countries to modernize their military forces along the Prussian model. Goose stepping continued to gain ground even after Germany's defeat in World War I, as many nations still looked to the German model for military organization and training. The
Chilean Army The Chilean Army ( es, Ejército de Chile) is the land arm of the Military of Chile. This 80,000-person army (9,200 of which are conscripts) is organized into six divisions, a special operations brigade and an air brigade. In recent years, and a ...
was the first non-European country to adopt the goose step, importing many Prussian military traditions after the
War of the Pacific The War of the Pacific ( es, link=no, Guerra del Pacífico), also known as the Saltpeter War ( es, link=no, Guerra del salitre) and by War of the Pacific#Etymology, multiple other names, was a war between Chile and a Treaty of Defensive Allianc ...
. The practice of goose stepping then spread widely throughout Latin America from Chilean influence. Meanwhile in Asia, the
Beiyang The term Beiyang (; pinyin Hanyu Pinyin (), often shortened to just pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in China, and to some extent, in Singapore and Malaysia. It is often used to t ...
New Army The New Armies (Traditional Chinese: 新軍, Simplified Chinese: 新军; Pinyin: Xīnjūn, Manchu language, Manchu: ''Ice cooha''), more fully called the Newly Created Army ( ''Xinjian Lujun''Also translated as "Newly Established Army" ()), was ...
of Imperial China also adopted goose stepping together with Prussian military model. After its dissolution, the
National Revolutionary Army The National Revolutionary Army (NRA; ), sometimes shortened to Revolutionary Army () before 1928, and as National Army () after 1928, was the military arm of the Kuomintang (KMT, or the Chinese Nationalist Party) from 1925 until 1947 in Repub ...
of the successive
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a Country, country in East Asia, at the junction of the East China Sea, East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the n ...
continued the practice, also because that they were being trained by German advisers in the 1920s; after the
Communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around ...
s won the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was fought between the Kuomintang-led government of the Republic of China and forces of the Chinese Communist Party, continuing intermittently since 1 August 1927 until 7 December 1949 with a Communist victory on m ...
, the
People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the principal military force of the China, People's Republic of China and the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The PLA consists of five Military branch, service branches: the People's ...
of
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
would follow suit and bring the practice into present day, owing to both tradition and its own Soviet influence. They account for the largest single goose-stepping military today.


Cold War

During the
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
, the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
trained the military forces of many of its
client state A client state, in international relations, is a State (polity), state that is economically, politically, and/or militarily subordinate to another more powerful state (called the "controlling state"). A client state may variously be described as ...
s with Soviet military drill and ceremonial practices. This led to the second great wave of goose step adoption, as it was introduced into many
Third World The term "Third World" arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either NATO or the Warsaw Pact. The United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Western European nations and their allies represented the "First W ...
countries in Asia and Africa. Meanwhile, the United States, United Kingdom, and France were, through efforts in their client republics and allies, preventing the use of the goose step in their armed services. A divided Germany was also divided in their armies' foot drill; the East German
Nationale Volksarmee The National People's Army (german: Nationale Volksarmee, ; NVA ) were the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically au ...
kept the goose step, while the West German
Bundeswehr The ''Bundeswehr'' (, meaning literally: ''Federal Defence'') is the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. The ''Bundeswehr'' is divided into a military part (armed forces or ''Streitkräfte'') and a civil part, the military part con ...
only kept the Gleichschritt (quick march). The centuries-long German practice of goose-stepping finally ended in 1990, when the former was absorbed into the latter due to
German Reunification German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process of re-establishing Germany as a united and fully sovereign state, which took place between 2 May 1989 and 15 March 1991. The day of 3 October 1990 when the Ge ...
.


Usage


Ceremonial usage

The goose step is a difficult marching style that takes much practice and coordination. It is therefore reserved for ceremonial occasions such as military parades. Because it is difficult to maintain for long periods of time, troops typically only begin to goose-step when they approach the reviewing stand and return to a normal march step once they have marched past. Large military parades require several days of practice to ensure that troops can perform the goose step without injuring themselves. Preparatory training includes having soldiers march in small groups, with arms linked to maintain balance. Guards of honour also use the goose step during solemn ceremonies such as at war memorials or military cemeteries. The goose step has been featured in several Olympic opening ceremonies, as the host nation pays the same respect to the Olympic flag as to its own flag. In the most rigorous form of the goose step, often found in
guard mounting Guard mounting, changing the guard, or the changing of the guard, is a formal ceremony in which wikt:sentry, sentries performing ceremonial guard duties at important institutions are relieved by a new batch of sentries. The ceremonies are often ...
ceremonies, the pace is done at a slow march, and the leg is nearly horizontal, and sometimes well beyond. In a standard goose step, found in large military parades, the pace is done at a quick march and the leg is raised only to knee-height, or even to calf height. The lower goose step improves balance and unit cohesion at the tempo of a quick march. Flagbearers and honour guards will frequently march with a higher goose step than the mass of troops following.


Adopted countries

The goose step is a feature of military ceremonies in dozens of countries, to varying extents. Some countries use the goose step as a general parade step performed by all troops, while others reserve it for honour guards and ceremonial units.


Americas

The goose step is very popular in Latin America, where it has been adopted by most Spanish-speaking countries. It is not found in countries where English or Portuguese is an official language. *
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...
: The Infantry Company of the Colegio Militar de la Nación uses the goose step as their parade step. Other units perform the high step. *
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...
some troops marching with this step similar to the Paraguayan forces step marching but in slower pace. *
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
uses the Prussian form of the goose step essentially unaltered. *
Colombia Colombia (, ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country in South America with insular regions in North America—near Nicaragua's Caribbean coast—as well as in the Pacific Ocean. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Cari ...
*
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is an island country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called ...
uses the goose step styling inherited from the Soviet Union. *
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Ikwayur''; Shuar language, Shuar: ''Ecuador'' or ''Ekuatur''), officially the Republic of Ecuador ( es, República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechuan ...
uses a waist-high goose-step in military parades. *
El Salvador El Salvador (; , meaning "The Saviour"), officially the Republic of El Salvador ( es, República de El Salvador), is a country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras ...
*
Guatemala Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America. It is bordered to the north and west by Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: México), officially th ...
: only the marker squad of the Military Academy goosesteps. *
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and ...
: The Haitian military was dissolved in 1996. However, demobilized soldiers have formed militias that continue to drill with the goose step. The government began reforming its armed forces in 2016, sending them to be trained by Latin American countries that use the goose step like Ecuador. Thus, the new Haiti Defence Force marches in like manner as in many South and Central American armed services which use the practice. *
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean ...
*
Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; to the so ...
: adopted the goose step marching in early 1980s. *
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest Sovereign state, country in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean Sea, Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to ...
*
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
*
Paraguay Paraguay (; ), officially the Republic of Paraguay ( es, República del Paraguay, links=no; gn, Tavakuairetã Paraguái, links=si), is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to th ...
: In military parades, troops march with a waist-high goose step at the quick step. *
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
*
Suriname Suriname (; srn, Sranankondre or ), officially the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname , srn, Ripolik fu Sranan), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It is bordered by the Atlanti ...
:
Suriname National Army , image = , alt = , caption = , image2 = , alt2 = , caption2 = , motto = , founded = 1975 , current_form = , disbanded ...
uses the goose step for military parade purpose since the late 1990s. *
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many Federal Dependencies of V ...
: Only military officer cadets use the goose step for parade purposes, other units of the armed forces (save for special forces, which march on parade on the double) used the goosestep until 1960 and from 2010 to 2017.


Europe

Goose-stepping is found primarily in Central and Eastern Europe. *
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or ), or , also or . officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Seas within the ...
*
Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UNbr>classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook , , and '' ...
*
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
*
Belarus Belarus,, , ; alternatively and formerly known as Byelorussia (from Russian ). officially the Republic of Belarus,; rus, Республика Беларусь, Respublika Belarus. is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by R ...
*
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
*
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, or simply Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Cz ...
: A moderate form of the goose step is performed by honour guards, with the foot raised only a few centimetres off the ground, these are the only units that use it on parade. It is not used by other units of the military, however. *
Estonia Estonia, formally the Republic of Estonia, is a country by the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe, Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, sea across from Sweden, to ...
: Moderate goose step is the general parade step, which replaced the Soviet style in 2005. *
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Pannonian Basin, Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the ...
: Only color guards goose step in slow time during military ceremonies. *
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region of ...
: Only selected guards goose step in ceremonial purposes. *
Moldova Moldova ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe ...
: Only honour guards and color guards *
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...
*
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
: performed at 112-116 steps per minute, raising the feet 10 centimetres off the ground *
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
*
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the s ...
uses the goose step as a general parade step only by honor guards. *
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
uses the goose step as a slow march for the most important ceremonies, such as royal funerals and the presentation of the colours. The goose step is not used for military parades or guard mounting ceremonies. *
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
*
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to the east and northeast. Ukraine ...


Africa

Most African militaries trace their adoption of the goose step to the
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
, when the Communist countries supplied them with military aid and training. The
German colonies German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...
used the goose step until World War I, when they were absorbed by the victorious Allies, but all of them restored the goose step after independence. *
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religi ...
*
Angola , national_anthem = " Angola Avante"() , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Luanda , religion = , religion_year = 2020 , religion_ref = , coordina ...
uses the goose step as a general parade step. The
MPLA The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola ( pt, Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, abbr. An abbreviation (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the ...
was supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba during the
Angolan War of Independence The Angolan War of Independence (; 1961–1974), called in Angola the ("Armed Struggle of National Liberation"), began as an uprising against forced cultivation of cotton, and it became a multi-faction struggle for the control of Portugal ...
. *
Benin Benin ( , ; french: Bénin , ff, Benen), officially the Republic of Benin (french: République du Bénin), and formerly Republic of Dahomey, Dahomey, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burki ...
*
Botswana Botswana (, ), officially the Republic of Botswana ( tn, Lefatshe la Botswana, label= Setswana, ), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Botswana is topographically flat, with approximately 70 percent of its territory being the Kal ...
: Although Botswana has British military traditions it uses a goose step on a slow march and High Step in quick march *
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso (, ; , ff, 𞤄𞤵𞤪𞤳𞤭𞤲𞤢 𞤊𞤢𞤧𞤮, italic=no) is a landlocked country in West Africa with an area of , bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the ...
uses the goose step as a special march step for military bands and commando units. Other units do not goose-step. *
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repuburika y’Uburundi ; Swahili language, Swahili: ''Jamuhuri ya Burundi''; French language, French: ''République du Burundi'' ), is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley at the ...
uses the goose step as a general parade step. Burundi was formerly part of
German East Africa German East Africa (GEA; german: Deutsch-Ostafrika) was a German colonial empire, German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, the Tanzania mainland, and the Kionga Triangle, a small region later i ...
. *
Cameroon Cameroon (; french: Cameroun, ff, Kamerun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (french: République du Cameroun, links=no), is a country in West Africa, west-central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the nor ...
was a German colony prior to World War I. *
Chad Chad (; ar, تشاد , ; french: Tchad, ), officially the Republic of Chad, '; ) is a landlocked country at the crossroads of North Africa, North and Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to Chad–Libya border, the north, Sudan to Chad– ...
does the goose step in slow time. *
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo (french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC), colloquially "La RDC" ), informally Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly and also colloquially Zaire, is a country in ...
*
Republic of the Congo The Republic of the Congo (french: République du Congo, ln, Republíki ya Kongó), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic or simply either Congo or the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa to the ...
*
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country in the Horn of Africa, bordered by Somalia to the south, Ethiopia to the southwest, Eritrea in the north, and the Red S ...
: At military parades, a horizontal goose step is performed at a slow march. *
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
*
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ( es, link=no, República de Guinea Ecuatorial, french: link=no, République de Guinée équatoria ...
*
Gabon Gabon (; ; snq, Ngabu), officially the Gabonese Republic (french: République gabonaise), is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, it is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, ...
*
Ghana Ghana (; tw, Gaana, ee, Gana), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa. It abuts the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, sharing borders with Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, and ...
includes the western half of the former German colony of
Togoland Togoland was a German Empire protectorate in West Africa from 1884 to 1914, encompassing what is now the nation of Togo and most of what is now the Volta Region of Ghana, approximately 90,400 km2 (29,867 sq mi) in size. During the peri ...
. Only the Ghanaian Special Forces use the goose step in military parades. *
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast, also known as Côte d'Ivoire, officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a country on the southern coast of West Africa. Its capital is Yamoussoukro, in the centre of the country, while its largest city and economic centre is ...
*
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara, ), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately off the coast of East Afric ...
*
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; Berber languages, Berber: ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: ''Moritani''; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Gànnaar''; Soninke language, Soninke:), officially the Islamic ...
*
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi ...
*
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and ea ...
was formerly known as
German South West Africa German South West Africa (german: Deutsch-Südwestafrika) was a colony of the German Empire from 1884 until 1915, though Germany did not officially recognise its loss of this territory until the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. With a total area of ...
. When the country became independent from apartheid South Africa in 1990, it kept the British-style march step. However, it has since returned to the traditional goose step, done with a modified form of the German arms drill in the English language. *
Niger ) , official_languages = , languages_type = National languagesNigeria Nigeria ( ), , ig, Naìjíríyà, yo, Nàìjíríà, pcm, Naijá , ff, Naajeeriya, kcg, Naijeriya officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of G ...
*
Rwanda Rwanda (; rw, u Rwanda ), officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa, where the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator ...
uses a horizontal goose step for military parades. Rwanda was formerly part of
German East Africa German East Africa (GEA; german: Deutsch-Ostafrika) was a German colonial empire, German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, the Tanzania mainland, and the Kionga Triangle, a small region later i ...
, and the rebels who won the
Rwandan Civil War The Rwandan Civil War was a large-scale civil war in Rwanda which was fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the country's government, and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) from 1October 1990 to 18 July 1994. The war arose ...
received their military training in the goose-stepping country of Uganda. The new type of goose step was performed during the 25th anniversary of the end of the Rwandan Genocide as the troops were trained by the Chinese PLA. *
Senegal Senegal,; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Senegaal''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: 𞤅𞤫𞤲𞤫𞤺𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭 (Senegaali); Arabic language, Arabic: السنغال ''As-Sinighal'') officially the Republic of Senegal,; Wolof language, Wolof: ''R ...
*
Seychelles Seychelles (, ; ), officially the Republic of Seychelles (french: link=no, République des Seychelles; Seychellois Creole, Creole: ''La Repiblik Sesel''), is an archipelagic state consisting of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Its capital ...
*
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands an ...
includes most of the former
German East Africa German East Africa (GEA; german: Deutsch-Ostafrika) was a German colonial empire, German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, the Tanzania mainland, and the Kionga Triangle, a small region later i ...
. The country was aligned with the socialist side during the
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
, and its military received training from East Germany. At military parades, a horizontal goose step is performed at a quick march. *
Togo Togo (), officially the Togolese Republic (french: République togolaise), is a country in Western Africa, West Africa. It is bordered by Ghana to Ghana–Togo border, the west, Benin to Benin–Togo border, the east and Burkina Faso to Burkina ...
comprises the eastern half of the former German colony of
Togoland Togoland was a German Empire protectorate in West Africa from 1884 to 1914, encompassing what is now the nation of Togo and most of what is now the Volta Region of Ghana, approximately 90,400 km2 (29,867 sq mi) in size. During the peri ...
. Togo now uses the goose step as a general parade step, performed at a slow march. *
Uganda }), is a landlocked country in East Africa. The country is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The souther ...


Middle East and Central Asia

*
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...
has used the goose step since the 1950s during the royal period of the country. The tradition was carried on into
communist era A Communist Era is a sustained period of national government by a one-party state, single party following the philosophy of Marxism–Leninism. Many countries have experienced such a period of Communist state, Communist rule. Current communist sta ...
, the U.S.-backed Islamic Republic and the second Taliban government. *
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
has used the goose step since the Imperial era, as the country was influenced first by the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
and had in the 1920s an increase of foreign trade and technical collaboration with Germany, with Reichswehr advisers present in the army. The Islamic Republic's armed forces have continued the practice. *
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
's use of the goose step is a direct result of Soviet military influence on the country when it was a
republic of the Soviet Union The Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Union Republics ( rus, Сою́зные Респу́блики, r=Soyúznye Respúbliki) were national-based administrative units of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ...
. On February 3, 2016, President
Nursultan Nazarbayev Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev ( kk, Нұрсұлтан Әбішұлы Назарбаев, Nūrsūltan Äbişūlı Nazarbaev, ; born 6 July 1940) is a Kazakhs, Kazakh politician and military officer who served as the first President of Kazakhstan ...
ordered that personnel of the Kazakh Armed Forces march at 95–105 steps per minute raising the forward leg 10–15 centimeters above the ground. This differs from their Russian counterparts who goose step at a rate of 120 steps per minute. *
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan,, pronounced or the Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border, the north, Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border, the west, Tajikistan to K ...
*
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
and its
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
do not perform the goose step. However, the Hezbollah paramilitary forces use the goose step, as they are trained and supplied by Iran and North Korea. *
Qatar Qatar (, ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East; it sha ...
adopted the goose step in 2017, after receiving training from Chinese drill instructors. *
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
adopted the goose step during the Cold War, when it was aligned with the Soviet Union. Personnel of the
Syrian Armed Forces The Syrian Arab Armed Forces ( ar, الْقُوَّاتُ الْمُسَلَّحَةُ الْعَرَبِيَّةُ السُّورِيَّةُ, al-Quwwāt al-Musallaḥah al-ʿArabīyah as-Sūrīyah) are the military forces of the Syrian Arab Re ...
continue to goose-step, while Kurdish forces have adopted the high step. *
Tajikistan Tajikistan (, ; tg, Тоҷикистон, Tojikiston; russian: Таджикистан, Tadzhikistan), officially the Republic of Tajikistan ( tg, Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон, Jumhurii Tojikiston), is a landlocked country in Centra ...
*
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan ( or ; tk, Türkmenistan / Түркменистан, ) is a country located in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border, northwest, Uzbekistan to the Turkmenistan–Uzbekistan border, north, eas ...
*
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, italic=yes / , ; russian: Узбекистан), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi, italic=yes / ; russian: Республика Узбекистан), is a Doubly landlocked, do ...
*
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the Saudi Arabia–Yemen border, north and ...


East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia

*
Bangladesh Bangladesh (}, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 165 million pe ...
*
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul ), officially the Kingdom of Bhutan,), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is situated in the Eastern Himalayas, between China in the north and India India, officially ...
practicing the goose step due receiving training by Indian army instructors. *
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, Romanization of Khmer#UNGEGN, UNGEGN: ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia, spanning an ar ...
*
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
: The Chinese term 正步 (''zhèng bù'') literally translates as "straight march" or "upright march". China adopted the goose step during the last days of its imperial dynasty, since their
Beiyang The term Beiyang (; pinyin Hanyu Pinyin (), often shortened to just pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in China, and to some extent, in Singapore and Malaysia. It is often used to t ...
New Army The New Armies (Traditional Chinese: 新軍, Simplified Chinese: 新军; Pinyin: Xīnjūn, Manchu language, Manchu: ''Ice cooha''), more fully called the Newly Created Army ( ''Xinjian Lujun''Also translated as "Newly Established Army" ()), was ...
was modelled after the Prussian Army. After the
1911 A notable ongoing event was the Comparison of the Amundsen and Scott Expeditions, race for the South Pole. Events January * January 1 – A decade after federation, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory ...
revolution, the National Revolution Army of the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a Country, country in East Asia, at the junction of the East China Sea, East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the n ...
continued the practice due to tradition and also influences from their German military advisors in 1920s. After the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was fought between the Kuomintang-led government of the Republic of China and forces of the Chinese Communist Party, continuing intermittently since 1 August 1927 until 7 December 1949 with a Communist victory on m ...
, the People's Liberation Army of China again continued the practice due to both tradition and Soviet influences; it was seen publicly for the first time in 1951, when the second anniversary of the
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
was celebrated with a military parade in Beijing. The practice continued on both sides of the
Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait is a -wide strait separating the Taiwan (island), island of Taiwan and mainland, continental Asia. The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to the East China Sea to the north. The narrowest part is wide. The ...
until 2003, when it was abandoned by the
Republic of China Armed Forces The Republic of China Armed Forces (ROC Armed Forces) are the armed forces of the Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC), Republic of China (1912–1949), once based in mainland China and currently in its Free area of the Republic of China, remainin ...
. The
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
continues to use the goose step as its ceremonial march step. In 2021, the ROC defense ministry has once again begun plans to resume goose step training, in time for the 2024 centennial celebration of the
Republic of China Military Academy The Republic of China Military Academy () is the service academy for the Republic of China Army, army of the Republic of China, located in Fengshan District, Kaohsiung. Previously known as the the military academy produced commanders who fo ...
. ** Hong Kong: Since the 1997 handover of sovereignty, some Hong Kong's institutions, traditionally conducting British-style drill, like Customs and Excise Department, have adopted the goose step. With the enaction of the
Hong Kong National Security Law The Hong Kong national security law, officially the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is a piece of national security legislation concerning Hong Kong. It ...
, the other disciplined services have also adopted the practice for relevant ceremonial purposes, such as the National Security Education Day. There are no plans to change to goose-stepping force-wide as of March 2021, but the traditional approach is pending official review. While the Chinese central government has also requested uniformed youth groups in Hong Kong to adopt the goose step practice of the PLA in the mainland, only one organization has adopted the practice there. As of January 2022, the Hong Kong Police Force has adopted the goose step method as a means of showing patriotism. *
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
: The goose step is performed by colour guards, as well as border guards at the Wagah border ceremony. Some units, such as the Gurkha and Assam regiments, use the goose step as a general parade step, although the foot does not generally leave the ground for more than a couple of inches. *
Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of Indonesia, 17,000 islands, including Sumatr ...
: The goose step, known as ''langkah tegap'' or firm step, is performed during ceremonial occasions by the
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
,
police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the aim to law enforcement, enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health and possessions of citize ...
(although the foot does not generally leave the ground for more than a couple of inches unlike the military),
scouts Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth Social movement, movement employing the Scout method, a program of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hik ...
, and the flag troop. Seems a kind of fusion with the British-style marching, the step is performed by swinging hands (at 90 degrees, or as high as the shoulder), either unarmed or at slope/shoulder arms position. If at port arms, both arms hold the weapon while performing it. *
North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia. It constitutes the northern half of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and shares borders with China and Russia to the north, at the Yalu River, Y ...
for many years practiced a form of bouncing goose step, which leaves a visual impression of a clear bounce in each step. This is unique among all militaries that practice the goose step.How to march like the North Korean military
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
, 2010/oct/11
North Korea switched from a standard Soviet goose step to the bouncing goose step between 1993 and 1998, but a modified form resembling Soviet practice was reinstated in 2020 characteristic of a less vigorous bounce and a slower pace. *
Laos Laos (, ''Lāo'' )), officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic ( Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ, French: République démocratique populaire lao), is a socialist ...
*
Mongolia Mongolia; Mongolian script: , , ; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia" () is a landlocked country in East Asia, bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia border, to the north and China China–Mongolia border, to the s ...
*
Myanmar Myanmar, ; UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, Joh ...
: The Myanmar Armed Forces do not use the goose step. However, the ethnic Kachin,
Kokang Kokang ( my, ကိုးကန့်; ) is a region in Myanmar Myanmar, ; UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British Engli ...
, Shan, and Wa insurgents in northern Myanmar use the goose step, as they allied with the
Communist Party of Burma The Communist Party of Burma (CPB), also known as the Burma Communist Party (BCP), is a Clandestine cell system, clandestine communist party in Myanmar (Burma). It is the oldest existing political party in the country. Founded in 1939, the ...
in the 1960s and received training from Chinese advisors. *
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), formerly the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...
uses the goose step as a general parade step, but lifting the feet only a couple of inches above the ground; only Honor Guards have been observed to march with a "full" goose step. The practice has also been adopted by
Gurkha The Gurkhas or Gorkhas (), with endonym Gorkhali ), are soldiers native to the Indian subcontinent, Indian Subcontinent, chiefly residing within Nepal and some parts of Northeast India. The Gurkha units are composed of Nepalis and Indian Go ...
regiments in the
Indian Army The Indian Army is the Land warfare, land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Commander-in-Chief, Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, and its professional head is the Chief of Arm ...
, but not by Gurkha regiments in the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western ...
. *
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
uses the goose step as a military march step in slow time only. The marching pace while goose stepping is 60 bpm *
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 mi ...
*
Vietnam Vietnam or Viet Nam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,., group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia, at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of and population of 96 million, making it ...
:
North Vietnam North Vietnam, officially the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV; vi, Việt Nam Dân chủ Cộng hòa), was a socialist state supported by the Soviet Union (USSR) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Southeast Asia that existed f ...
had adopted the goose step by 1954, when the victory at Dien Bien Phu was celebrated with a military parade in Hanoi. It received Chinese and Soviet military aid during the
Vietnam War The Vietnam War (also known by #Names, other names) was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vi ...
. The use of goose step styling inherited from China continues in a united Vietnam today.


Abandonment

The goose step is a ceremonial march that requires substantial training. It is often abandoned in times of war, as more pressing needs occupy the available training time. Opinion on the goose step was divided even in the German ''
Wehrmacht The ''Wehrmacht'' (, ) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the German Army (1935–1945), ''Heer'' (army), the ''Kriegsmarine'' (navy) and the ''Luftwaffe'' (air force). The designation "''Wehrmach ...
'' in the 1930s. During the later stages of World War II, the goose step nearly disappeared because of manpower shortages, accelerated courses in basic training, and a paucity of appropriate occasions. After the Second World War,
West Germany West Germany is the colloquial term used to indicate the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification through the accession of East Germany on 3 O ...
abandoned the goose step in favor of "marching step" (''Gleichschritt''), due to their status as
light infantry Light infantry refers to certain types of lightly equipped infantry throughout history. They have a more mobile or fluid function than other types of infantry, such as heavy infantry or line infantry. Historically, light infantry often fought ...
.
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a country that existed from its creation on 7 October 1949 until German reunification, its dissolution on 3 October 1990. In t ...
preserved the goose step and renamed it the "drilling step" (''Exerzierschritt'') to avoid references to old Prussian and Wehrmacht military traditions. The 200-year-old German tradition of goose stepping finally ended with
German reunification German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process of re-establishing Germany as a united and fully sovereign state, which took place between 2 May 1989 and 15 March 1991. The day of 3 October 1990 when the Ge ...
in 1990, as East German forces were absorbed into the
Bundeswehr The ''Bundeswehr'' (, meaning literally: ''Federal Defence'') is the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. The ''Bundeswehr'' is divided into a military part (armed forces or ''Streitkräfte'') and a civil part, the military part con ...
and conformed to West German military customs. Although goose-stepping has no official sanction, the practice is not illegal in Germany. Some civilian marching bands and riflemen's associations continue to goose-step while others dropped it altogether. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia abandoned the Russian-style goose step (by 2015, Estonia revived the practice but only color guards do so on parades and Latvia retained the goose step for ceremonial purposes). The other 11 former Soviet Republics have kept the goose step (only Moldova's military honor guard unit retains the practice). Ethiopia adopted the goose step during the
Derg The Derg (also spelled Dergue; , ), officially the Provisional Military Administrative Council (PMAC), was the military junta that ruled Ethiopia, then including present-day Eritrea, from 1974 to 1987, when the military leadership formally "Ci ...
military junta, which espoused socialist ideals and sought Soviet military aid. The practice was dropped after the Derg were overthrown. Hungary used the high step during the regency of Miklós Horthy, and switched to the goose step early in the Cold War. Neither march step was retained after the end of the Cold War, as the parade of 1961 formally ended its use in favor of the normal quick march. (It was only retained as a slow march for the entrance of historical colors, until 1990 a modified high step was used by guards of honour.) Italy introduced the goose step in 1938 under
Benito Mussolini Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (; 29 July 188328 April 1945) was an Italian politician and journalist who founded and led the National Fascist Party. He was Prime Minister of Italy from the March on Rome in 1922 until Fall of the Fascist re ...
as the ''Passo Romano'' ("Roman Step"). The custom was never popular in Italy's armed forces except amongst the
Blackshirts The Voluntary Militia for National Security ( it, Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, MVSN), commonly called the Blackshirts ( it, Camicie Nere, CCNN, singular: ) or (singular: ), was originally the paramilitary wing of the Nation ...
. The goose step was dropped after World War II. Romania used the goose step from the 1910s up until 2004, when the
Romanian Armed Forces The Romanian Land Forces, Land Forces, Romanian Air Force, Air Force and Romanian Naval Forces, Naval Forces of Romania are collectively known as the Romanian Armed Forces ( ro, Forțele Armate Române or ''Armata Română''). The current Command ...
ended using it for formal parades. Today only historical units dressed in uniforms from the First World War perform the goose step, but with in shoulder arms position on the march instead of the usual slope arms done until the 2000s, by then only by guards of honor. Switzerland is a majority German-speaking country that absorbed many German (and certain Austrian) military traditions alongside those of France and Italy as a reflection of the country's diversity. The
Swiss Armed Forces The Swiss Armed Forces (german: Schweizer Armee, french: Armée suisse, it, Esercito svizzero, rm, Armada svizra; ) operates on land and in the air, serving as the primary armed forces of Switzerland. Under the country's militia system, sol ...
abandoned the goose step in 1946, after the German defeat in World War II. The goose step was also being practiced in the neighbor countries of Germany like Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg in tandem with other influences (particularly British, French and Germans), but following the Second World War these countries dropped it altogether. The
Malaysian Armed Forces The Malaysian Armed Forces (: MAF; ms, Angkatan Tentera Malaysia; Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), are the armed forces of Malaysia, consists of three branches; the Malaysian Army, Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The number of M ...
(ATM), in 2018, once practiced the goose step as their new type of marching step combined with British style marching for ceremonial purpose, but was abandoned later after receiving several criticism from Malaysian citizens. The Republic of China (Taiwan) Armed Forces continued to use the goose step after the end of the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was fought between the Kuomintang-led government of the Republic of China and forces of the Chinese Communist Party, continuing intermittently since 1 August 1927 until 7 December 1949 with a Communist victory on m ...
. The 80-year tradition of goose-stepping was finally ended in 2003, during an independence-minded
Democratic Progressive Party The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is a Taiwanese nationalism, Taiwanese nationalist and Centre-left politics, centre-left political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Controlling both the President of the Republic of Chin ...
administration. In 2016, veterans organizations criticized the sloppy marching of military cadets and began holding their own goose-stepping parades, reviewed by
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD), the Nationalist Party of China (NPC) or the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP), is a major political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China, initially on the Mainland China, Chin ...
politicians on two occasions. In 2021, the Taiwanese department of defense has once again begun plans to resume goose step training, in time for the 2024 centennial celebration of the
Republic of China Military Academy The Republic of China Military Academy () is the service academy for the Republic of China Army, army of the Republic of China, located in Fengshan District, Kaohsiung. Previously known as the the military academy produced commanders who fo ...
Zimbabwean guerillas used the goose step during the
Rhodesian Bush War The Rhodesian Bush War, also called the Second as well as the Zimbabwe War of Liberation, was a civil conflict from July 1964 to December 1979 in the List of states with limited recognition, unrecognised country of Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe-Rh ...
of the 1970s. ZIPRA was trained and supplied by the
Warsaw Pact The Warsaw Pact (WP) or Treaty of Warsaw, formally the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a Collective security#Collective defense, collective defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Polish People's Republic, Poland, between ...
, adopting East German uniforms and the goose step. Meanwhile, ZANLA was supplied and trained by China in Maoist guerilla tactics. However, Zimbabwe ultimately attained black majority rule thanks to British influence. As a result, the unified Zimbabwean Army maintained a British march step.


High step

The High step is similar to the goose step but instead of keeping the leg straight, the knee is bent at the top of the arc. It has been utilized by a number of military forces, often as an alternative to or replacement for the goose step. *
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...
: the high step is standard among the
Argentine Navy The Argentine Navy (ARA; es, Armada de la República Argentina). This forms the basis for the navy's ship prefix "ARA". is the navy of Argentina. It is one of the three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the ...
and
Air Force An air force – in the broadest sense – is the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an ar ...
, and has been increasingly adopted by units of the
Army An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on ...
and Naval Prefecture which had previously used the goose step. *
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
*
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, or simply Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Cz ...
*
East Timor East Timor (), also known as Timor-Leste (), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is an island country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the exclave of Oecusse on the island's north-wester ...
*
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Pannonian Basin, Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the ...
: the high step was used during the
Interwar Period In the history of the 20th century, the interwar period lasted from 11 November 1918 to 1 September 1939 (20 years, 9 months, 21 days), the end of the First World War World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated a ...
but abandoned in favor of the goose step after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
. *
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
: the
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC; fa, سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی, Sepāh-e Pāsdārān-e Enghelāb-e Eslāmi, lit=Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution also Sepāh or Pasdaran for short) is a branch o ...
uses the high step while the rest of the military uses the goose step. *
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
: the Japanese military was modernized along German lines during the
Meiji era The is an Japanese era name, era of History of Japan, Japanese history that extended from October 23, 1868 to July 30, 1912. The Meiji era was the first half of the Empire of Japan, when the Japanese people moved from being an isolated feud ...
and adopted the high step during this time. The step was abandoned after the country's defeat in World War II. Some units, such as the Northern Army units of the JGSDF, firefighting units, and police forces, still maintain the practice. *
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
*
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
: the high step been practiced by military juniors or cadets for training purpose only. It's not been used in military parade, honor guard or official ceremony however. *
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a Sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes ...
*
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
: the
Syrian Armed Forces The Syrian Arab Armed Forces ( ar, الْقُوَّاتُ الْمُسَلَّحَةُ الْعَرَبِيَّةُ السُّورِيَّةُ, al-Quwwāt al-Musallaḥah al-ʿArabīyah as-Sūrīyah) are the military forces of the Syrian Arab Re ...
use the goose step, but Kurdish forces in the Syrian Civil War have adopted the high step. *
Somalia Somalia, , Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitut ...
*
Somaliland Somaliland,; ar, صوماليلاند ', ' officially the Republic of Somaliland,, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند, link=no ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd'' is a ''List of states with limited recognition, de facto'' sovereign s ...
*
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
*
Uruguay Uruguay (; ), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; while bordering ...
*
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Jugoslavija, Југославија ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; rue, label= Pannonian Rusyn, Югославия, translit=Juhoslavij ...
: the high step was adopted by the
Royal Yugoslav Army The Yugoslav Army ( sh-Latn-Cyrl, Jugoslovenska vojska, JV, Југословенска војска, ЈВ), commonly the Royal Yugoslav Army, was the land warfare military service branch of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (originally Kingdom of Serbs, ...
, abandoned in favor of the goose step by the
Yugoslav People's Army The Yugoslav People's Army (abbreviated as JNA/; Macedonian language, Macedonian and sr-Cyrl-Latn, Југословенска народна армија, Jugoslovenska narodna armija; Croatian language, Croatian and bs, Jugoslavenska narodn ...
after World War II, but reinstated when the country sought to disassociate itself from the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
as a result of the
Tito–Stalin split The Tito–Stalin split or the Yugoslav–Soviet split was the culmination of a conflict between the political leaderships of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Jugoslavija, Југославија ; sl, Jugoslavi ...
. The former Yugoslav republics of
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Bas ...
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
,
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , Abbreviation, abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the s ...
, and
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and Pars pro toto#Geography, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of Southern Europe, south and southeast Euro ...
(exception for
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
) continue to use it to this day.


In popular culture and propaganda

The goose step was ridiculed by Allied
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence or persuade an audience to further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to en ...
in the World Wars as a symbol of blind obedience and senseless attachment to military form. Prior to U.S. entry into World War I, American military observers had remarked favorably on the goose step as a means of building unit cohesion. However, its association with Nazi Germany in World War II proved fatal to the goose step's reputation in English-speaking countries. It was condemned in George Orwell's essay '' The Lion and the Unicorn'', and proved an easy target for parody in many editorial cartoons and
Hollywood Hollywood usually refers to: * Hollywood, Los Angeles, a neighborhood in California * Hollywood, a metonym for the cinema of the United States Hollywood may also refer to: Places United States * Hollywood District (disambiguation) * Hollywood, ...
films. Orwell commented in " England Your England" (1941) that the goose step was used only in countries where the population was too scared to laugh at their military.


Cultural references

* In "
The Germans "The Germans" (named on some releases as "Fire Drill") is the sixth episode of the BBC Situation comedy, sitcom ''Fawlty Towers''. In the episode, while suffering the effects of concussion, Basil Fawlty repeatedly offends some Germans, German ...
", an episode of the British sitcom ''
Fawlty Towers ''Fawlty Towers'' is a British television sitcom A sitcom, a Portmanteau, portmanteau of situation comedy, or situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who mostly carry over from episode to episode. Sitcom ...
'' first broadcast in 1975, the main character Basil Fawlty imitates the goose step in front of some German hotel guests. *In Disney's ''
The Lion King ''The Lion King'' is a 1994 American Animated film, animated Musical film, musical drama film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 32nd List of Walt Disney Animati ...
'' (1994), the hyenas marching through Scar's '' Be Prepared'' song perform the goose step to symbolize the dictatorship that will be imposed after Mufasa is overthrown. * In a 1999 television adaptation of Orwell's ''
Animal Farm ''Animal Farm'' is a beast fable, in the form of Satire, satirical allegory, allegorical novella, by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. It tells the story of a group of farm animals who rebel against their human farm ...
'', the goose step is performed by a flock of geese, singing the praises of their porcine leader Napoleon in a propaganda film. In colloquial English, the phrase ''goose-stepping'' has connotations of blind obedience and submission. The term does not carry this negative connotation in countries that currently use the goose step, though this is sometimes the actual case. This can result in mistaken interpretations due to
cultural differences Cultural diversity is the quality of diverse or different cultures, as opposed to Monoculturalism, monoculture, the global monoculture, or a homogenization of cultures, akin to cultural evolution. The term "cultural diversity" can also refer to ha ...
: * In ''
Spartacus Spartacus ( el, Σπάρτακος '; la, Spartacus; c. 103–71 BC) was a Thracians, Thracian gladiator who, along with Crixus, Gannicus, Castus (rebel), Castus, and Oenomaus (rebel slave), Oenomaus, was one of the Slavery in ancient Ro ...
'', a ballet by
Aram Khachaturian Aram Ilyich Khachaturian (; rus, Арам Ильич Хачатурян, , ɐˈram ɨˈlʲjitɕ xətɕɪtʊˈrʲan, Ru-Aram Ilyich Khachaturian.ogg; hy, Արամ Խաչատրյան, ''Aram Xačʿatryan''; 1 May 1978) was a Soviet Union, Sovie ...
, the Roman soldiers goose-step in most of their scenes. English-speaking reviewers sometimes conclude erroneously that the
choreography Choreography is the art or practice of designing sequences of movements of physical bodies (or their depictions) in which Motion (physics), motion or Visual appearance, form or both are specified. ''Choreography'' may also refer to the design ...
must be intending to link the Roman Empire with the tyranny of Nazi Germany. However, goose-stepping in Russia carries no such connotation, and reflects only military discipline. Goose-stepping can be found in a number of Russian ballets in which it is not associated with the villains. The older English meaning of ''goose-step'' is sometimes found in a humorous context: * In '' The Tale of Tom Kitten'', a children's book by
Beatrix Potter Helen Beatrix Potter (, 28 July 186622 December 1943) was an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist, and Conservation movement, conservationist. She is best known for her children's books featuring animals, such as ''The Tale of Peter ...
, the three puddle-ducks are described as "marching one behind the other and doing the goose step".


See also

* Lockstep marching *
Military step Military step or march is a regular, ordered and synchronized walking of military formations. History The steady, regular marching step was a marked feature of Roman legions. Vegetius, the author of the only surviving treatise on the Roman Empi ...


References


Further reading

* * ''this article contains text originally from th
May 25 version
of the corresponding German Wikipedia article.''
Marching Orders
- Mark Scheffler, '' Slate.com'' (Jan, 2003).


External links

{{Commons and category, Goose-Step, Goose step
Video of goose-stepping guards
at the
Lenin Mausoleum Lenin's Mausoleum (from 1953 to 1961 Lenin's & Stalin's Mausoleum) ( rus, links=no, Мавзолей Ленина, r=Mavzoley Lenina, p=məvzɐˈlʲej ˈlʲenʲɪnə), also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated on Red Square in the centre of Moscow, is ...
(
YouTube YouTube is a global online video sharing and social media platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. It was launched on February 14, 2005, by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. It is owned by Google, and is the second mo ...
, 240p, 1:06 min)
Changing of the Guards
of the "
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier A Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is a monument dedicated to the services of an unknown soldier and to the common memories of all soldiers killed in war. Such tombs can be found in many nations and are usually high-prof ...
" in
Red Square Red Square ( rus, Красная площадь, Krasnaya ploshchad', ˈkrasnəjə ˈploɕːətʲ) is one of the oldest and largest squares in Moscow, the capital of Russia. Owing to its historical significance and the adjacent historical build ...
in
Moscow Moscow ( , US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐskˈva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transco ...
(YouTube, 360p, 2:00)
Goose step military parade
Indonesian Army The Indonesian Army ( id, Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat (TNI-AD), ) is the army, land branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces. It has an estimated strength of 300,000 active personnel. The history of the Indonesian Army has ...
soldiers goose-step during a military parade Military marching Military traditions Walking Metaphors referring to birds Military of Nazi Germany German inventions 18th-century introductions