MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. -Sweat is dripping from your face after sprinting 880 yards. Your arms are exhausted from lifting an ammunition can over your head multiple times. You are ready to collapse after low crawling, high crawling, and sprinting … but you still have to fireman carry your comrade with enough time to simulate an ammo resupply run.
This is the Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test. From July 1 - Dec. 31, Marines are required to train for and complete their annual CFT.
The CFT is made up of three portions, explained Sgt. Elton Rogers, supply administrative chief on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif.
The CFT consists of:
•Movement to contact (MTC)
A timed 880 yard sprint simulating the Marine moving toward the sound of enemy fire. The course tests Marines’ endurance.
The maximum score for 17-26 year-old-males is 2:45
The maximum score for 17-26 year-old-females is 3:23
•Ammunition can lifts (AL)
Marines must lift a 30-pound ammo can overhead, until elbows lock out, as many times as possible in two minutes; each lift done in the allotted time earns the Marine a point.
The maximum score for 17-26 year-old-males is 91 lifts
The maximum score for 17-26 year-old-females is 60 lifts
•Maneuver under Fire (MUF)
A 300-yard shuttle run incorporating a variety of combat-related tasks; to include: crawls, carries, ammunition resupply runs, grenade throws and agility sprints.
- 25-yard sprint in a low and modified high-crawl
- Hauling a simulated casualty more than 75 yards while zigzagging through cones using two different carries: drag and fireman's carry
- Sprinting while carrying two 30-pound ammo cans more than 75 yards through the same cones
- Throwing a dummy hand grenade into a marked circle 22.5 yards away
- 3 pushups and a sprint carrying the ammo cans to the finish line.
The maximum score for 17-26 year-old-males is 2:14
The maximum score for 17-26 year-old-females is 3:01
Rogers has scored a perfect 300 on four different CFTs.
The best way to train for the CFT is to imitate it, explained Rogers.
“As soon as the PFT (physical fitness test) is over, I begin to train for the CFT with my Marines,” said the Dallas native. “For regular (physical training) we do ammo can lifts, runs, and lift weights in the gym.”
Aside from life-saving situations, being combat ready and doing well on the CFT helps Marines advance in their careers.
“I want my Marines to advance,” Rogers said. “Part of the promotion criteria is doing well on the CFT and PFT, so I push them to their limits.”
For Marines who struggle, Rogers encourages them to know their weaknesses and to seek help and train with those who do well.
Luckily for the Marines on MCLB Barstow who do seek help, Shelley Lamey, the Semper Fit director on base, has plenty of experience with the CFT and offers Marines personalized training routines and diet plans.
Lamey has not only participated in the CFT, but helped create the CFT when it was in its testing stages at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. During her past eight years at MCLB Barstow, she has prepared the course multiple times and has trained numerous Marines to do well.
“The test is challenging, but training specifically for the CFT can make it very successful and injury free,” Lamey explained. “Injury prevention, nutrition, flexibility, balance, speed, strength, and power are all incorporated into training programs.”
“Physical fitness is important within the Marine Corps,” stated Lamey. “It empowers the Marine. It makes a strong Corps, and it makes an invincible country.”
Rogers encourages all Marines to train for the CFT and stay in peak physical condition. Marines never know when they are going to be deployed or put into combat environments. They never know when combat fitness could save their life, or the lives of their brothers and sisters to the left and right of them.