MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The Marine Corps Training and Education Command’s Fitness Roadshow stopped at the Combat Center to speak about the changes in the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Program and demonstrate the new Combat Fitness Test at the base’s Sunset Cinema and Victory Field Aug. 28.
At this stop on the Marine Corps-wide tour, a detachment from TECOM hosted a presentation inside the theater to inform as many local command leaders as possible about the changes taking place with the new Combat Fitness Test, Marine Corps Body Composition and Military Appearance Program.
“We want to elevate the knowledge of the changes taking place in the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Program,” said Col. Brian McGuire, physical readiness programs officer, TECOM. “We are at war, but the commandant of the Marine Corps does not want to use that as an excuse for our appearance. He is not going to loosen our standards.”
During the brief, McGuire, a Dover, Del., native, went through a slideshow and answered questions. Marines were enthused to learn about the changes.
“The roadshow really clarified all the changes coming up,” said Gunnery Sgt. Robert Mawson, Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School, Company B chief trainer and martial arts instructor-trainer. “The changes better allow the command to have more control to bringing the Marines back into their height and weight standards.”
The slideshow was made up of key information from Marine Corps Order 6110.3 and All Marine Message 032/08. It showed how to correctly implement the Marine Corps Body Composition and Military Appearance Program within a unit.
According to MCO 6110.3, MCBCMAP is made up of two programs that monitor and evaluate the appearance of Marines while providing support through focused supervision to ensure they fulfill the required body composition and military appearance standards.
The order continued to state that an effective MCBCMAP provides Marines information and assistance in order to modify the attitude and behavior consistent with a healthy lifestyle; contribute to the health and well-being of every Marine through continuous monitoring of weight, body composition and military appearance; motivate Marines to set the example by maintaining an established weight and body composition standard; and to ensure compliance through supervision, remedial conditioning and professional assistance.
After the slideshow, observers made their way to Victory Field where Combat Center Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy Sergeant’s Course students demonstrated a run-through of the CFT.
During the demonstration, Sgt. Patrick Kaiser, an instructor-trainer at the Martial Arts Center of Excellence, Quantico, Va., explained what takes place at every station, including how far each section was.
“When they demonstrated the CFT it really cleared up a few questions,” said Mawson, a Galesburg, Ill., native. “Now we all know the correct way to set it up so there won’t be any complications or injuries.”
The CFT is comprised of three events: The 880-yard movement to contact, the ammunition lift and 300-yard maneuver under fire.
During the 880-yard movement to contact drill, Marines must run while wearing boots and utilities. The ammunition lift requires the Marine to lift a 30-pound ammo can repetitively for two minutes. The ammo can has to go below the chin, and when the Marine is lifting, he must lock his elbows. When the Marine becomes fatigued they are allowed to dip and drive, which uses the Marine’s legs to create momentum to lift the can above their head by squatting and thrusting upward.
The 300-yard maneuver under fire event performs a series of tasks that simulates a combat situation. The tasks include a combat crawl, ammunition re-supply, a body drag, a casualty carry and a grenade throw. Most of the 300-yard maneuver has Marines weaving between cones.
“It may look easy but it is really difficult,” said Sgt. Khanh Nguyen, a logistics clerk at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, after finishing the CFT demonstration. “It really shows off a Marine’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Beginning Oct. 1, 2009, the CFT will be incorporated into composite scores for promotions and a revised fitness report.
“In the Marine Corps we are expected to be the best,” said Nguyen. “None of us should be walking around looking all nasty. We are Marines and we should look like Marines.”
To find more information regarding the Marine Corps Body Composition and Military Appearance Program, and the CFT visit the TECOM Web site at http://www.tecom.usmc.mil, or read MCO 6110.3 and ALMAR 032/08.