News: Echo learns value of fitness
Story by Lance Cpl. Michael Rogers
PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — One of the many things recruits of Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, learned while at recruit training was the importance of physical fitness.
While in recruit training, recruits spend countless hours exercising. The exercises become harder during the evolution of training to push the recruits further than they were when they arrived.
“They pretty much learn how it’s going to be in the [operating forces],” said Gunnery Sgt. Jacob Moore, senior drill instructor of Platoon 2026. “They find out what’s expected, and they learn the building blocks.”
The importance of physical training, commonly referred to as PT, is stressed to recruits because of its significance in the Marine Corps, he said.
“It keeps them physically fit,” he added. “In combat, it’s important to have fitness and endurance to accomplish the missions.”
The recruits are often urged and motivated to push themselves with a competitive attitude, by their drill instructors and senior drill instructors, to get into the habit of being able to push themselves through tougher times.
“We teach them that being competitive will make them push harder so they know how to dig deep and push through when times get really tough, which could be in a war zone one day,” said Sgt. Axel Persaud, a drill instructor with Platoon 2026. “Drill instructors show them, by running around and always moving fast, that this is how Marines are – we’re competitive and intense in everything we do, regardless of the weather or time of day.”
The constant testing of their fitness ensures that if these recruits earn the title, they will meet the standard of every Marine that came before them.
“We take a personal interest in learning the strengths and weaknesses of each recruit so we build on their weaknesses,” Persaud said. “Some of these guys looked at the commercials and saw the most-fit and physically toughest organization out there and that’s what we have to show them.”
Recruits are evaluated on their physical fitness three times during recruit training with the initial strength test, the combat fitness test and the physical fitness test.
The initial strength test is intended to see where each recruit stands in physical fitness ability before they begin training. The PFT and CFT are Corps-wide evaluations for each Marine to be scored on their fitness.
“They’re a direct reflection of me and I take pride in physical fitness, so I try to show them that they should take pride in it too,” said Moore.