Beginning the first Friday of October, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Marines are scheduled to participate in a five-day combat fitness test readiness program.
Mandated by the training section for Headquarters and Service Battalion, MarForPac, battalion physical training is planned to be held each Friday in October.
Master Sgt. Patrick Ward, Battalion training chief, said the main purpose of conducting the scheduled battalion PT is to get Marines’ bodies acclimated to the rigors of executing the CFT.
“Grooming our bodies to digest and understand that we need to do this will make us better Marines when it comes to exerting our muscles that we don’t normally use,” Ward said. “Whether the old, the in-between or the young, this training will benefit all of us.”
The training will be separated into eight stations, similar to a round robin-style.
The exercises chosen for the training have been selected from CFT events, cardiovascular-related exercises, stretching and martial arts sustainment.
Ward explained, no exercise will be the same during the training. The training isn’t meant to hurt or break Marines, it’s to challenge Marines in different muscle groups and get their bodies set up for the fatigue of running the CFT.
“By the time we conduct the CFT, (the training) becomes a normal way of doing business when (the situation) comes to working outside your shell,” said Ward. “I (completed) the CFT and I saw there were some changes in me. I forgot how heavy the boots were and realized they were like cement blocks trying to get around the track.”
Ward said there’s a large difference between the physical fitness test and the CFT, and believes a number of Marines going through the testing will view it like a boot camp challenge.
According to all marine message 032/08, the CFT is a three-part test with universal application developed around operational vignettes that may represent a Marines’ combat experience. The PFT is formally based around Marine physical fitness.
“I definitely think I’ll benefit from this training because its hard training and I’m not used to the combat mind set and the sheer strength it takes to do this test,” said Pfc. Scott A. James, customer service liaison for G-6, Headquarter and Service Battalion, MarForPac. “I feel it will push every Marine to do better in their overall PT and will improve the PFT scores as well. It’s one more reason that makes me proud to be a Marine and it’s very motivating!”
Ward said Marines will have different opinions about the training, but believes it’s an event the Corps needs.
“Everybody better get ready and they better get ready soon,” Ward said.