Top 10 Army Running Cadences of All Time

In today’s post, I’m going to share what I believe are the top 10 Army Running Cadences of all time.

I put together this list from independent research, talking with fellow Soldiers and veterans, and from my own experience. Whether you agree or disagree with my list, I’d love if you left a comment at the end of this article to share your thoughts.

First off, what is an Army Cadence? Here’s what I found on Wikipedia:

Military cadence. As a sort of work song, military cadences take their rhythms from the work being done (compare sea shanty ). Many cadences have a call and response structure of which one soldier initiates a line, and the remaining soldiers complete it, thus instilling teamwork and camaraderie for completion.

In the Army, we typically sing a cadence, or “work song” while we march or run. These songs require no instruments but are rather sung to a beat and rhythm determined by the work being done. Their purpose is to keep Soldiers moving in step and dressed right all while maintaining the correct pace (either “quick-time” for marching or “double time” for running). Regardless of their purpose, leaders understand that cadences provide motivation, instill teamwork, and ultimately make our running seem more military like.

There are few things sweeter than the sound of a great Army Running Cadence sung my someone with a good voice, along with a group of highly motivated, cohesive Soldiers. I remember attending Basic Training in early 1996 at Fort Jackson. My drill sergeants (Maxwell, Maldanado, and Medina) would have us running in tight knit formation, early in the morning for PT. They’d call the cadence at the top of their lungs and we would all repeat what they said. It was motivating and inspiring. The cadence also helped keep everyone moving in step.

A cadence is defined as an inflection of the voice, but it can also be a rhythm or a beat. An Army cadence is actually both; an inflection of the voice by the individual leading the cadence that helps those who are running or marching in formation keep a steady tempo or rhythm as they march or run. ~ USAMM

In the paragraphs below, you will discover the best of the best Army Running Cadences. Let’s do this.

army running cadences

Top 10 Army Running Cadences

Here are my Top 10 Army Running Cadences. I will share the cadence and words. Keep in mind, many of these Army Running Cadences are modified slightly by the person singing them. So what you remember might be a little bit different than what you see below.

 # 10: “No Sweat”

One mile – No Sweat
Two mile – Better yet
Three miles – Gotta run
Four miles – Just for fun
Come on – Let’s go
We can go – Through the snow
We can run – To the sun
We train – In the rain
Can you be – Like me?
Airborne – Infantry

 # 9: C-130

C130 rollin down the strip
Airborne Tanker
Gonna take a little trip
Stand up, hook up,
Shuffle to the door
Jump right out and count to four
And if my main don’t open wide
I’ve got a reserve by my side
And if that one don’t open round
I’ll be the first one on the ground.

If I die on the combat zone

Box me up and ship me home.

# 8: Jesse James

Jesse James said before he died
There’s five things that he wanted to ride
Bicycle, tricycle, automobile
An M-1 tank and a ferris wheel

Jesse James said in his final will
He had five things that he wanted to kill
A lion, a tiger, a kangaroo
A long haired hippie, and instructor too
And if he could kill just one
He’d kill the instructor, let the hippie run


# 7: All the Way

Hey! Hey! All the way,
We love to run every day.
If I were President and had my way,
There wouldn’t be a fat man in the Army today.
Everyone would be fit to fight,
Whether you test them day or night.

When I jump onto the old drop zone,
Most of the enemy had already gone.
Those that remained weren’t fit to fight,
So enemy contact was really light.
We ran the stragglers off the old drop zone,
Everything is quiet and they’re all gone

# 6: Airborne

A is for Airborne
I is for in the sky
R is for Ranger
B is for bonafide
O is for on the go
R is for Rock-n-Roll
N is for never quit
E is for everyday
‘Cause I’m Airborne
All the way Super-duper Paratrooper

# 5: I Got a Yo-Yo

When I was a little one
My momma told me
Go to the store and…
Get what you need
I got me a Yo-Yo
Wound it up tight
Wound it in the morning
Wound it all night
Wound it in the hall
Wound it on the w–all
I said’a who, huh, what, I gotta Yo-Yo!!!
I said’a who, huh, what, I gotta Yo-Yo!!!

Get yourself a private
Wind him up tight
Smoke him in the morning
Train him all night
Train him in the hall
Train him on the w–all
I said’a who, huh, what, I gotta Yo-Yo!!!
I said’a who, huh, what, I gotta Yo-Yo!!!

Get yourself a sergeant
Wind him up tight
Follow in the morning
Dog him all night
Dog him in the hall
Dog him in the w–all
I said’a who, huh, what, I gotta Yo-Yo!!!
I said’a who, huh, what, I gotta Yo-Yo!!!

# 4: Pot Belly, Pot Belly

Heeeey Pot Belly, Pot POT pot pot belly.

Pot Belly Pot Belly where ya been ?
down at burger king eatin again,
a double whopper with extra cheese cause I got a pot belly down to my knees.

Pot Belly, Pot Belly are you eatin again?

I got some taco’s with red sauce again,
to help me feed my double chin again.

The 1SG’s got a pot belly, the co,s got a pot belly
the BC’s got a pot belly, it’s so big and full of jelly.

quote about running

 # 3: LT, LT, Don’t Be Blue

LT LT don’t be blue
My little private has two ribbons too

Displays them proudly on his chest
Oh my God what a mess

LT LT don’t be blue
One day you can have a rack too


Where ya at

Clothing sales

Watcha Buying


Toy Soldier

Wanna be

Like me

Lean and mean


Leads the way

Every day

# 2: How’d You Earn Your Living?

Left left lefty righto leo
When I go to heaven
Saint Peter, he will say
How’d you earn your living
How’d you earn your pay
I replied in a fit of anger
Made my livin’ as an M1 TANKER
When I go home
The girlies they will say
How’d you earn your living
How’d you earn your pay
I replied with a cool kinda nod
I earned my living serving my God
When I go to war
The hippies they will say
How’d you earn your living
How’d you earn your pay
I replied as I pulled out my knife
Get out of my way or I’ll end your life
Left left lefty righto leo

# 1: Armor Proud Cadence

“Rollin down the tank trail kickin’ up dust,
TC’s on the .50 cal raising a fuss,
I said Hey TC, whats the big deal?
I got a grunt rollin through my front roadwheel.
Cause there’s two things that I can’t stand.
It’s an M4 and an Infantry man.
An M4 cause it always quits
And everyone knows the grunts aint ****
Cause we’re mentally able and we’re physically fit
If you ain’t Armor then you aint ****

1-2-3-4 Hey Cadence

Here’s a great video with an awesome cadence. Watch, listen and enjoy. I bet this will bring back some memories!

Suggested Books & Resources

If you’d like to see some of my favorite Army Running Cadence books and resources, check out the links below. You can find these books on Amazon.


In conclusion, these are the top 10 Army Running Cadences of all time, as I see it. What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with my list? I would love to see what cadences are out there! Post some in the comment section below! Thank you.

Suggested Articles
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  4. How to Motivate Your Soldiers
  5. How to Fast Track Your Military Career
chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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2 thoughts on “Top 10 Army Running Cadences of All Time”

  1. Candace Ginestar

    Justin, I love the LT don’t be blue, that made me laugh. Also, I have to say I love your pride in being a tanker, YACYAS! On a side note, I found the NSN for a horse and for whiskey, I wish the Army issued me those two things.

  2. There’s nothing like singing a good cadence when doing a long Army run. It keeps people motivated and builds cohesiveness in the unit. It also makes the run go by faster.

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