The International Four Days Marches Nijmegen (4DMN) is the largest multi-day marching event in the world with about 45.000 participants and over 70 countries participating. It is organized every year in Nijmegen (Netherlands) as a means of promoting sport and exercise. Even though the marching event originated in 1909 as training event for Dutch soldiers, nowadays the participants are mostly civilians. The about 5000 military participants have to march 40km each day for four days, in uniform, carrying at least 10kg (22lb) marching weight for men aged 18-49; for women the weight is optional. Finishers receive a royally approved medal as well as finishing teams receive a team medal.
This year it was the first time that JFCNP participated with an official detachment to present the headquarters at this prestigious and historic event. The detachment consisted of military members from 6 NATO countries (USA, GBR, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands). Elements of the detachment started training from February ’23 on, mainly in the vicinity of Lago Patria, but also participated in the 40-mile Col Darby Memorial March hosted by the US 173d ICBT around Lake Garda late April ’23.
Finally the time came to travel to Nijmegen. The detachment arrived on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of July at Heumensoord, a temporarily military camp in the middle of the forest where all participating military are accommodated in large tents with sections for the detachments. The first days were used to get familiar with the camp, get the marching kit ready, do the final registration, visit the festivities going on in the centre of Nijmegen and to participate in Sunset march to remember the 48 US soldiers from 82nd Airborn Division who died during a river crossing in WWII.