MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- The Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test season is in full effect, and Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit use a variety of exercises to ensure their bodies are physically ready for the demanding challenge.
An annual requirement, the CFT challenges Marines’ physical and mental readiness for the rigors of today’s combat operations.
“It’s a gut check,” said Lance Cpl. Albert Perez III, administration specialist, Command Element, 15th MEU. “When you’re doing it, every muscle in your body feels like it’s on fire, and you just want to quit. When it’s all over you’re out of breath and drained of energy.”
The test is comprised of an 880-yard timed run, two minutes of 30-pound ammunition can lifts and a maneuver-under-fire event, which is a timed course that forces Marines to perform a series of combat-related tasks such as fireman carry, grenade toss and buddy drag.
“It’s definitely something you want to prepare your body for,” said Lance Cpl. Anthony Hendrix, administration specialist, Command Element, 15th MEU. “You have to be constantly pushing your body at the gym so you can be ready to do this when it really matters.”
In addition to the physical toughness, the CFT is also mentally challenging for some.
“It’s only a few minutes long, but it feels like hours,” said Perez, a native of Los Angeles. “You have to dig deep and remind yourself to keep pushing.”
A different type of training is needed to prepare since the CFT focuses more on combat conditioning.
“You need a fast-paced workout like a circuit course to get you ready,” said Sgt. Chenee Bibian, administration specialist, Command Element, 15th MEU. “A circuit course keeps the body guessing, which is what the CFT does.”
Bibian plans to lead her Marines by conducting physical training that mimics the CFT.
“I’m taking them on boots and utes runs,” said Bibian. “I’m also mixing in buddy drags and fireman carries.”
While intense and demanding training id important, Marines should always use safety precautions when pushing physical limitations.
“The last thing you want to do is get hurt before you even get a chance at running the CFT for score,” said Hendrix. “Know your limits and remember to hydrate.”