It’s 7:30 a.m. and if someone is standing in one spot for even half a moment too long he’ll feel the warmth of southern California’s August sun. Good thing the recruits of Company B won’t be standing still for their final Physical Fitness Test
The PFT is administered the first six months of the year, to be accompanied by the newly incorporated combat fitness test which is administered within the remaining six months of the year.
The PFT in the Marine Corps is more rigorous than our sister services with a three mile run, crunches and pull-ups instead of push-ups. The basic requirements for male recruits is set at a minimum of running three miles in less than 28 minutes; completing at least three pull-ups and performing at least 50 crunches in two minutes. Most Marines, however, strive for a perfect score of 300 points which requires running three miles in 18 minutes or less; completing a maximum of 20 pull-ups, and performing 100 crunches in two minutes.
Striving to bring the best out of the recruits is vital and constant throughout boot camp.
“The PFT is important for the recruits because it sets a standard of requirements they need to meet and want to meet at the same time,” said Sgt. Pedro Lopez, drill instructor, Platoon 1051, Company C. “The recruits know the minimum is all that is required to pass. We teach them to hold themselves to a higher standard. The final PFT is the ultimate test for them in their physical abilities and they all want to see how much they improved from the moment they got here up to this point.”
The recruits performed an initial strength test when they first arrived on the depot. They then completed their initial and intermediate PFT’s which allowed them to reflect and set new goals to achieve. The drill instructors also observe and push them to be their best.
“We work hard on trying to get our individual platoons stronger and faster for this very occasion,” Lopez said. “As a company, we do an outstanding job keeping our recruits engaged in improving their physical abilities.”
The drill instructors keep up this standard with everyday things such as pushing them to do a maximum set of pull-ups and using their senior drill instructor time (time each day the recruits are given as structured free-time) available to do as many pull-ups, sit-ups and push-ups as possible. All of this preparing results in improvement on their final PFT, not just individually, but also as a company.
“Charlie Company, as a whole, always does well,” said Lopez. “I am extremely confident that even this time around we had every recruit improve from the intermediate PFT. I have no doubt in my mind that we did anything other well.”
It’s easy for drill instructors to be confident in their platoons when their recruits are just as confident in their physical abilities as individuals and as a team.
“This company is one of the best,” said Recruit Andrew Paseka, Platoon 1051, Co. C. “I know we’ll do very well and pass barriers we didn’t think we could. As long as we keep going and want to make ourselves better, we will if we give 150 percent.”
“We take the making of Marines very seriously,” Lopez said. “We are demanding of our recruits, sometimes demanding the impossible, but it is only to teach them that anything is possible if you set your mind on it. We train them to the best of our abilities to make the best product in keeping with our traditions and Corps values. We succeed every time.”