Pace Sticking With A Pakistani Twist

This is how teams from around the world including Bahrain, Jordan and Pakistan showed off their pace sticking drills

This is how the 90th All Arms and International Pace Sticking Competition at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst took on a different twist of events as teams showed off their own version of their drill.

Here, we take a look back at the event, that took place in the summer of 2018, as 18 teams - including some from the Bahrain Police, Jordanian Army, Royal Army of Oman and the Pakistan Military Academy - took to the parade square and marched in slow time and then quick time in front of the steps of Old College to show off their drill.

Just 12 weeks before the competition, Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Lee Lawson, Colour Sergeant Hamilton, Colour Sergeant McKenna from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) deployed to Pakistan to mentor and coach the Pakistan Military Academy pace sticking team as they had never taken up this particular drill.

The novices won the overall best international team and WO2 Lee Lawson was at the competition to cheer them on and see how much they had progressed.

“We showed them the door, these guys have gone away and just rehearsed and rehearsed and added to it as well.

"They have taken what we have done, added their own Pakistan style to it and just come here and just shown how fantastic they are at what they do and they rightly deserve what they got.”

Not sure what pace sticking is? WO2 Company Sergeant Major David Roper of the Grenadier Guards explains...

"Pace sticking in it's simplest form is a form of foot drill which traces its origins back to the Royal Artillery who used to use a stick very similar to what we use today to mark out distances, tactically between their guns and ammunition stores...

"Now it's used for foot drill to measure the length of pace of an individual or a body of men as they're marching or the distance between the ranks."

As defined in the British Army’s Drill Manual, the object of Pace Stick drill is to provide uniformity in the use of the Stick and, by it, the attainment of a high standard of steadiness and cohesion amongst instructors.

In short, having the self-discipline to learn and perfect the art of its use embodies the aim of drill, which is to produce a soldier who is proud, alert and obedient and to provide the basis for teamwork.


The international runners-up were the Bahrain Military Police A Team, the All Arms runners-up were Royal Military Academy ‘Lords’ Team and the winning All Arms team 2018 were the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.

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