The Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test (CFT) is described as a way to measure what the Marine Corps official site describes as “functional fitness”. This test is designed to simulate the physical stress of combat and requires the full Marine Corps combat utility uniform.
Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test (CFT)
There are three basic components to the Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test:
- Movement to Contact
- Ammunition Lift
- Maneuver Under Fire
These three components are administered separately and have their own requirements per event.
Movement to Contact: An 880-yard sprint created to mimic actual combat stress.
Ammunition Lift: Each Marine must lift a 30-pound ammo can above the head as many times as possible within a set time limit.
Maneuver Under Fire: A 300-yard obstacle course that requires crawling, carrying and/or dragging a fellow Marine, ammo resupply, and other challenges all under conditions designed to mimic the combat experience.
Scoring is based on age and gender. The criteria for an 18-year old male Marine are not the same as the criteria for a 40-year old male Marine, etc. Scoring the maximum for an individual age and gender groups can be difficult. In 2019, for example, Marines had to score over 100-120+ to get max points depending on age in the eight age groups.
Unlike the Navy’s fitness test scoring, which has multiple levels of accomplishment for multiple levels of fitness, the Marine Corps standard is simple–you must meet the minimum requirements in each category.
Not To Be Confused With…
There are actually TWO Marine Corps fitness evaluations. The CFT should not be confused with the other Marine Corps fitness test, the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test (PFT) which is meant to evaluate conditioning and stamina.
Similar to the CFT, PRT has three parts. For this test:
- Pull-ups or push-ups
- Crunches or plank pose
- Three-mile timed run
When performing this test, the following is required:
- Pull-ups/Push-up: Minimum reps are established by age and gender groups.
- Crunches or Plank Pose: Minimum reps are established by age and gender groups.
- Three-Mile Run: Men must complete the run no slower than 28 minutes. Women must complete the run in 31 minutes or less.
Also Not To Be Confused With
The Marine Corps issues a separate fitness challenge to new recruits. All potential new Marines must pass something called the Initial Strength Test, which measures a new recruit’s fitness levels in three basic areas–the same as the PFT.
Crunches/plank pose, pullups or pushups, and in this case, a one and a half mile run rather than a three-mile run. All Marine Corps applicants are subject to the test and meeting its requirements. They include:
- Men: 3 pull-ups or 34 push-ups (2:00 time limit)
- Women: 1 pull-up or 15 push-ups (2:00 time limit)
- 40 second plank (1:03 minimum)
- 44 crunches (2:00 time limit)
1.5 Mile Run
- Men: 1.5 mile run in 13:30
- Women: 1.5 mile run in 15:00
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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