High school students take toughest test of the year: CFT
By Cpl. Rebecca Eller
| 12th Marine Corps District | October 07, 2013
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. --
The combat fitness test is intended to keep Marines in shape and ready for combat operations, though, for students of West Ranch High School it was more than a rigorous test of strength, but a lesson about teamwork.
Marines with Recruiting Station Los Angeles set up a CFT for 80 softball and baseball players at West Ranch High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., Oct. 1.
“We put these high school students through what we do every year,” said Maj. Dominique Neal, commanding officer for RS Los Angeles. “I think by doing a [CFT] you learn a little bit about yourself, and learn a little bit about your teammate.”
The players received no special treatment and completed a combat fitness test without modifications. They were separated into three different platoons and each finished an 880-yard movement-to-contact run, ammo can lifts, and maneuver under fire, which consists of a low and high crawl, drag and fireman’s carry of a simulated casualty, sprint with two 30-pound ammo cans and a grenade toss.
“We took August and September trying to get our boys and our girls here on the baseball and softball team in top physical shape with the idea that this was kind of coming, and yet they’re still finding it very challenging,” said Casey Burrill, baseball coach at West Ranch High School.
The goal wasn’t to just physically challenge the team but to teach them more about leadership, teamwork and to build camaraderie.
“The best part is cheering on your team and the person you’re working with,” said Emily Peirano, a junior varsity softball player for West Ranch High School. “You have to be together as a team and never give up, and you can do things you never thought you could do.”
After a long day of strenuous training, the Wild Cats got a taste of what Marines must conduct annually to ensure they are prepared for the physical challenges of combat. Though the softball and baseball teams won’t be headed to the kind of combat Marines face, they will be better prepared for a battle on the field against their next opponent.