There is perhaps no better way of determining what is important to you than by finding out if it is still as important when you are exhausted. Is the fight to continue still worth it? Is the common moral cause you fight for more powerful than the urge to quit? To find out these answers, aspiring Marines are put through physically grueling tests that will reveal what their determination is truly made of, as our Nation can not afford to put its trust in those who fall behind.
To even begin recruit training, aspiring Marines must pass the Initial Strength Test (IST). It is recommended that recruits report to training with scores well above the minimum standards. The IST consists of the following tests:
Male: 3 pull-ups or 34 push-ups (2:00 time limit)
Female: 1 pull-up or 15 push-ups (2:00 time limit)
Male: 1.5 mile run in 13:30
Female: 1.5 mile run in 15:00
40 second plank (1:03 minimum)
44 crunches (2:00 time limit)
The Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test, or PFT, evaluates stamina and physical conditioning. It includes 3 parts: pull-ups or push-ups, crunches or plank pose, and a 3-mile timed run. Pull-ups and push-ups are essential to building the upper body strength necessary to win battles. Crunches and planks are critical to maintaining a strong core and being battle-ready at a moment’s notice. Males must complete the three-mile run in 28 minutes or less. Females must complete the three-mile run in 31 minutes or less.
The PFT is the Physical Fitness Test that all recruits must pass and sets the standards all Marines must maintain once a year to assess battle-ready physical donitioning. The test consists of:
• Pull-ups or Push-ups
• Timed Crunches or Plank
• Timed Three-mile Run
The Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test, or CFT, measures functional fitness and simulates the demands of battle in full combat utility uniforms. The three parts of the CFT are Movement to Contact, Ammunition Lift, and Maneuver Under Fire. The Movement to Contact drill is an 880-yard sprint that mimics the stresses of running under pressure in battle. In the Ammunition Lift, Marines must lift a 30-pound ammunition can overhead until elbows lock out. The goal is to lift the can as many times as possible in a set amount of time. The Maneuver Under Fire is a 300-yard course that combines a variety of battle-related challenges, including crawls, ammunition resupply, grenade throwing, agility running, and the dragging and carrying of another Marine.
The Combat Fitness Test ensures Marines are at all times ready for the physical rigors of combat operations. Individual readiness is measured by performing a series of combat-related tasks, including:
• Movement to Contact
• Ammunition Can Lifts
• Maneuver Under Fire
To uphold the trust our Nation places in those who fill our ranks, Marine Fitness is not something one simply meets—it is an expectation that must be continually maintained. Every Marine must at all times possess the highest level of physical fitness regardless of age, rank, or Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).