Marines from Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms Calif., competed in the Third Annual High Intensity Tactical Training Athlete Championship at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., August 28 to Sept. 1, 2017 along with fellow Marines from across the Marine Corps.
HITT athlete championship challenges Marines in seven foundational movements: squat, press, lunge, plank, rotate, pull and push. The movements are designed to enhance operational fitness levels and test the Marines in a potential combat situation. The fast paced competition challenges participants mentally and physically to become to most fit and adaptable Marine.
During the competition, Lance Cpl. Mason McGuff, administrative specialist, air control training squadron, Marine Corps Communication Electronics School, and 1st Lt. Margo Smutnick, manpower officer, Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force adjutant, represented the Combat Center against 16 male opponents and 15 female opponents.
“[HITT] is structured to fit the Marine Corps and our individual demands as a force,” said Smutnick.
Physical fitness is important for not only a healthy lifestyle, but mission readiness as well. Some Marines use physical fitness as a way to relieve stress from work, while others make it a lifestyle.
“Fitness helps keep me sane,” said McGuff. “It’s a meditation for me, and it’s something I can call mine.”
McGuff first caught wind of the HITT program in his early stages of becoming a Marine through his recruit training senior drill instructor.
“My drill instructors found out about my athletic back ground and informed me of the opportunities that HITT offers,” McGuff said. “Once I arrived at my first duty station, Twentynine Palms, I started to get more involved in the program. Now, I have gone through the HITT level 1 and 2 instructor courses.”
The competition allows first time participants to learn where they stand in their physical fitness abilities against other competitors and as well as against themselves. The point system is individually based, but there was an abundance of team support among the fellow competing Marines. Each Marine received encouragement from their coaches and other Marines despite the struggles they faced throughout the week.
The fast paced competition challenges participants mentally and physically to become the most fit and adaptable Marine.
“It’s amazing being able to represent the Combat Center,” Smutnick said. “It’s a point of pride and it’s good to see the comparison between each base.”
Marines can learn more about the HITT program through the Semper Fit program at their base or installation.