MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Marines depot-wide gathered to participate in the newly mandated Combat Fitness Test, Jan. 24 and 25.
The depot was tasked to test-run one of the proposed CFT courses to gain statistics that will help determine how the test will be scored, said Sgt. Roy Slaven, operations evaluator.
According to the Commadant of the Marine Corp’s White Letter No. 05-07, the new test will measure the functional elements of Marines’ combat fitness levels, and better prepare Marines for the physical rigors of the battlefield.
The letter also states that, in order to reflect the “every Marine a rifleman” ethos, all Marines will be required to run both the CFT and physical fitness test. However, both tests will not take place on the same day, said Slaven.
The course depot Marines ran included three separate events that were designed to simulate combat situations. The Marines began with an 880-yard run wearing boots and utilities, which depicted movement to contact.
Participants then moved to the ammunition lift station where they struggled to lift a 30-pound ammo can above their heads as many times as they could within one minute.
Marines began this exercise standing with the ammo can at chin level, and then squatted until their elbows touched their knees. As they stood back up, they had to fully extend their arms holding the ammo cans above their heads.
“The ammo lift exercise represents ammo re-supply, which is something that Marines are likely to be required to do while in combat,” said Slaven.
Next, after being paired with a partner weighing about the same, the Marines moved to the maneuver under fire event.
During the course, Marines also sprinted and high-crawled 25 yards, negotiated their way through a series of cones and rescued a simulated casualty using both a buddy drag and a fireman carry.
After transporting their simulated casualties, the Marines then picked up two 30-pound ammo cans and sprinted back through the course, dropping the ammo cans to throw grenades at targets and then carrying the ammo cans back to starting point.
“The grenade throw was added because it is important for Marines to be able throw a grenade accurately while they are physically exhausted,” said Slaven.
Slaven said that he believes that the Marines were more worn out than they thought they would be.
“I enjoyed the CFT because it was very challenging but fun at the same time. It also gave me a chance to use some of the field training I have learned in the past,” said Lance Cpl. Adulfo Giron-Flores, administrative clerk.
Flores said that finishing the CFT took all the energy he had, and he felt the muscle pain days afterward.
“When looking at a map of the course it doesn’t look very difficult, but if Marines puts forth full effort and execute each exercise correctly they will definitely feel the effects,” said Slaven.
Eight other Marine Corps bases were also challenged by the fitness test.
“Marine Corps-wide testing is important because everyone who ran the course can go back to their coordinating units and train other Marines in preparation for the CFT,” said Slaven.
Testing of the CFT is scheduled to be completed by the end of March, and Marines can expect the test to be implemented July 1, said Slaven.
The depot will have another CFT testing Feb. 19 and 20, which will be open to any Marines who wish to participate.