The Army Goes Rolling Along

The Army Goes Rolling Along

Service anthem of  United States Army

Also known as "The Army Song"
Lyrics Harold W. Arberg, November 1956
Music John Philip Sousa, 1917
Adopted November 11, 1956 (1956-11-11)

Music sample
Performed by the United States Army Band (1:05)

"The Army Goes Rolling Along" is the official song of the United States Army[1] and is typically called "The Army Song". It is adapted from an earlier work titled the "U.S. Field Artillery March".


As the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard had already adopted official songs, the Army was eager to find a song of its own. In 1948, the Army conducted a contest to find an official song (Tom Lehrer claims to have submitted "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier" in this contest), but no entry received much popular support. In 1952, Secretary of the Army Frank Pace asked the music industry to submit songs and received over 800 submissions. "The Army's Always There" by Sam Stept won the contest,[2] and an Army band performed it at President Dwight D. Eisenhower's inaugural parade on January 20, 1953.

However, many thought that the tune was too similar to "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts," so the army decided to keep much of the melody from the U.S. Field Artillery March but with new lyrics. A submission of lyrics by Harold W. Arberg, a music advisor to the Adjutant General, was accepted.[3] Secretary of the Army Wilber Marion Brucker dedicated the music on Veterans Day, November 11, 1956.[4] The song is played at the conclusion of most U.S. Army ceremonies, and all soldiers are expected to stand at attention and sing. When more than one service song is played, they are played in the order specified by Department of Defense directive: army, marine corps, navy, air force, and coast guard.[5]

The Army Goes Rolling Along (1956, current official version)

As of 08 May 2013 the verse, the first chorus, and refrain are sung (Per ALARACT 124/2013).


March along, sing our song, with the Army of the free
Count the brave, count the true, who have fought to victory
We're the Army and proud of our name
We're the Army and proudly proclaim


First to fight for the right,
And to build the Nation’s might,
And The Army Goes Rolling Along
Proud of all we have done,
Fighting till the battle’s won,
And the Army Goes Rolling Along.


Then it's Hi! Hi! Hey!
The Army's on its way.
Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!)
For where e’er we go,
You will always know
That The Army Goes Rolling Along.


Valley Forge, Custer's ranks,
San Juan Hill and Patton's tanks,
And the Army went rolling along
Minutemen, from the start,
Always fighting from the heart,
And the Army keeps rolling along.


Men in rags, men who froze,
Still that Army met its foes,
And the Army went rolling along.
Faith in God, then we're right,
And we'll fight with all our might,
As the Army keeps rolling along.

Source: U.S. Army Bands information and recordings

See also


  1. Army Regulation 220-90, Army Bands, 14 December 2007, para 2-5f, g
  2. Time magazine, January 19, 1953
  3. Dorr, Robert, Westchester Chordsmen, December 2004, p. 4
  4. Army Training Circular TC 3-21.5, Drill and Ceremonies, 20 January 2012, para. 1-2h
  5. Army song
  6. Internet Movie Database, entry for Gruber
  7. Heinlein, Robert A. "The Roads Must Roll." The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964. Ed. Robert Silverberg. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1998. 53-87.
  8. Big Cartoon Database
  9. North Carolina State University. Retrieved on February 7, 2012.

Further Reading

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