News: MRF-D Marines physically train the Aussie way
Story by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco
ROBERTSON BARRACKS, Northern Territory, Australia – For the first time in Marine Rotational Force – Darwin history, two Marines traded their average day of work to participate in an Australian Army program – the Combat Fitness Leadership Course.
From Aug. 12 – Sept. 6, students attending the course will endure anywhere from eight-10 physically taxing workout sessions on a daily basis. These back-to-back exercises will pay off at the end of the course.
“The course is designed to teach soldiers how to conduct physical training sessions safely,” said Australian Army Sgt. Nemani Valucava, physical training instructor and course manager. “It also acts as a selection process to attend the physical training instructor course.”
Throughout the course, each student will participate in approximately 200 lessons. This means those hoping to attend should already be in good shape.
“Most of these guys have conducted the CFLC Barrier Test to get selected for this course,” explained Valucava. “We generally get the most physically fit guys.”
Not only do those going through the CFLC participate in a plethora of exhausting physical training sessions, but they also receive classes on anatomy, physiology and nutrition.
“In order for them to give lessons on physical training when they finish here, they need to know how the body works,” explained Valucava.
He said knowing how the body works will prevent injuries, and understanding nutrition will allow them to help others develop healthy eating habits.
After one week of training a couple of Marines, Valucava said he hopes to see more MRF-D participation next year.
“These two guys have already set the standard for Marines,” said Valucava. “One of the Marines in this course just finished conducting a lesson and received one of the highest marks for circuit training. Their standard of fitness is excellent.”
As excellent as the Marines’ levels of physical fitness might be, they both agree that they are exhausted after a full day of working out.
“It kind of seems like it never stops,” joked Cpl. Luis Vasquez, automotive mechanic, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, MRF-D. “You might get a two-minute break and then you go right into the next PT session.”
Because the Marine Corps does not have a specific course dedicated to an array of physical exercises like swimming and circuit training, this course is new and exciting to the Marines.
“We’re learning a lot of things we can take back to our units,” said Vasquez. “We’ve learned a lot of new ways to conduct PT and a lot of new exercises.”
A couple of the students have traveled from other Australian Defence Force bases throughout Australia just to attend the CFLC, making it their first time interacting with MRF-D Marines.
“It’s good to see the Marines in a course with the Australians. The Marines seem to be enjoying it and have brought a lot of information with them about the way they conduct PT,” said Australian Army Cpl. Samuel Bovington, recruit instructor, at the Army Recruit Training Centre aboard Blamey Barracks, Kapooka, New South Wales, Australia. “The Marines have shown a lot of motivation and enthusiasm for this course.”