Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Alexander Williams, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit supply clerk, conducts ammo can lifts during a combat fitness test here July 12 (Photo by: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan R. Waldman, Combat Camera, 11TH Marine Expeditionary Unit)

Photo by Cpl Jonathan R. Waldman

11th MEU conducts combat fitness test

15 Jul 2013 | 2nd Lt. Brendan McIntyre

Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted a Combat Fitness Test here, July 12.

In 2008, the Marine Corps established the Combat Fitness Test to complement the already existing Physical Fitness Test. The CFT was designed to test a Marine’s physical fitness in a combat environment.

Conducted in the Marine Corps utility uniform and boots, the CFT consists of an 880 yard run to simulate movement to contact, a two minute max ammo can overhead press using a 30 pound ammo can, and a maneuver under fire course. The maneuver under fire consists of low crawls, buddy drags, and ammo can carries. These events test Marines strength and conditioning utilizing movements they can be expected to perform in combat.

For Marines who served in both the pre- and post-CFT eras, the CFT brought a paradigm change to the way they train their bodies.

“I get to train more how we fight,” said Gunnery Sgt. Ronald Miller, the 11th MEU Electronic Key Management Systems Chief and Cody, Wyo. native. “In today’s Marine Corps, it’s a much better gage of fitness for our Marines: that quick, powerful burst of energy needed in combat while in boots.”

With the CFT consisting of more complex movements, one might expect a higher injury rate in the CFT when compared to the PFT. That doesn’t seem to be the case. The CFT provides Marines with realistic training using movements Marines will encounter on deployment, with no increase in training injuries, said Hospital Corpsman Third Class Kevin Daniels, a corpsman with the 11th MEU and Trenton, N.J. native.

This is the first CFT the 11th MEU has conducted this year. CFT season began on July 1 and will carry throughout the rest of the calendar year. From January through June Marines run the PFT, but now need to change their mindset and get ready for the CFT.

The 11th MEU will continue to run CFT’s until all Marines have completed their annual training requirement. This ensures that the Marines of the 11th MEU maintain physical readiness and are prepared to accomplish any mission asked of them.

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Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit