If you’ve been in the military, you likely have the distinct chant of a cadence stuck in your head. If you haven’t served, you can likely still mimic the “left-left-left-right-left” chant that seems to be the go-to cadence for TV shows and movies that portray a marching line of soldiers.
Either way, the cadence is a well-recognized part of the military, and some chants have even become rather famous.
Check out this list of military cadences you might know:
The first is a mildly offensive but still rather funny one called “My Girl’s A Vegetable.” This cadence is more of a song than a chant, and while it may not seem too politically correct nowadays, it’s rather well known among men in uniform. The cadence is often used as a morale booster for fitness tests like runs and even sung in the chow hall.
Another cadence that borders on the offensive side but is also quite funny is “The Ugliest Girl I Ever Saw.” This cadence is a little more fast-paced and is perfect for keeping the line during marches.
The cadence in this video was filmed during an actual march and is probably one of the most widely known amongst the Army. The theme of this chant is the famous actor, vet, and martial arts guru Chuck Norris.
With lines like, “Now Chuck’s not a surgeon But he knows some tricks The quickest way to a man’s heart Is Chuck Norris’ fist,” the cadence is not only a funny way to honor one of America’s heroes, but also a sort of motivator for the troops.
“If you see Chuck Norris He can see you too But if you can’t find him He’s probably right behind you,” the cadence goes.
Of course, cadences aren’t just for full-fledged soldiers. New recruits and trainees learn cadences of their own. In the video above, a unit of new Army cadets learn to keep step with the instructor offering up a unique chant of his own.
Fans of the movie Stripes are also familiar with the cadence as well. But pro tip: if you’re marching with your unit, you probably shouldn’t start singing “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” to the beat of the chant – that’s probably not going to fly with your superiors. Fortunately for Billy Murray, it seemed to work out ok.