WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- America's military has been staging parades since probably 1776.

But the inaugural parade for the President comes with a whole lot of extra pressure. So every four years, troops run through this crazy tabletop rehearsal.

The latest was just held at the DC Armory ona forty by sixty foot map of downtown. There are icons for the Capitol... the White House... the troops, the media and more.

There's even an icon for the President and his motorcade -- but we'll have to take the military's word for it, because they wouldn't show us.

It's a bit like planning for a major battle. Organizers march minute by minute through each planned move on January 20th and 21st. "It allows people to de-conflict and coordinate movements," says one of the participants.

But for security reasons, they wouldn't let us tape the actual exercise either. Strange, because you would think the only real mystery would be where on Pennsylvania Avenue the President and First Lady will get out and start shaking hands -- but apparently there are other things we don't know about.

The military has escorted every President to every inaugural since George Washington in 1789.

A lot of this has to go super fast. The Generals say all the signal light poles up and down Pennsylvania Avenue have to come down before the parade, and then go back up before rush hour on Tuesday.

Now if the President and the Chief Justice can just get the oath straight.

The President will take the official oath at the White House on Sunday, January 20th, as prescribed in the 20th Amendment. But organizers will stage the oath at the Capitol and the parade on Monday, January 21st.

Read or Share this story: http://on.wusa9.com/1dUBtBt