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Pendleton Marines prepare for annual combat fitness test

As the second half of 2010 approaches, Marines everywhere prepare for the Corp’s annual Combat Fitness Test.

The Marine Corps’ Combat Fitness Test measures a Marine’s physical readiness for battle with three real-time combat drills. Each assessment is designed to determine various aspects of combat fitness. Every active-duty Marine and reservist is required to meet the Corps’ recently implemented CFT standard.

“The CFT is a good way to test the strength and ability of Marines to push them to the limit,” said Sgt. Steven V. Wade, fitness test coordinator, Training and Operations, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “With these requirements, Marines will be expected to train for more than just the basic annual fitness test.”

The first event, known as Movement-to-Contact, is an 880-yard sprint that Marines are required to conduct in combat boots and camouflage trousers. The assessment’s mandated attire simulates the service member’s ability to close in on the enemy position in a combat situation.

After Movement-to-Contact, the Marine’s upper-body strength and endurance is assessed in the next CFT event, the Ammunition Can Lift. This event requires service members to lift an average ammunition-filled can overhead repeatedly for two minutes.

Movement-Under-Fire is the last of the three events and consists of four portions. Each portion is completed in rapid sequence over a total distance of 300 yards. The event requires participants to sprint 50 yards from the prone position while weaving in and out of cones. Marines then perform a 10-yard high crawl, where a simulated “casualty” waits to be carried between cones 10 yards away.

The service member carries a simulated casualty across their shoulders and runs 65 yards back to the original starting position. After participants reach the start line, they quickly release the “casualty” and sprint another 75 yards with two 30-pound ammunition cans until they reach a simulated grenade pit. Here, Marines ground both cans to throw a simulated grenade and then take cover.

Participants conclude the fitness test by picking up both ammunition cans and running 25 yards diagonally, and finish the CFT with a 50-yard sprint.

“The CFT is an overall better cross-fit test of physical fitness,” Wade said. “Marines will have to be prepared for extended and rigorous physical exertion.”

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