With 30-pound ammunition cans in each hand, recruits of Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, use what energy is left to sprint across the finish line without dropping them.This is just one requirement of the Combat Fitness Test. The CFT is an annual test required between July 1 and December 31 each year.
According to the Marine Corps Training and Education Command, the purpose of the CFT is to test a Marine’s ability in high-powered, short-burst events that reflect operational demands.
“The CFT is an important part of recruit training because it is a good representation of the other strengths and skills necessary for combat that the (physical fitness test) doesn’t cover,” said Capt. Douglas Trafican, follow series commander, Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion.
The PFT consists of a 3-mile run, crunches, and pull-ups or flexed-arm hang for females. The CFT was introduced to complement the PFT and keep Marines ready for the physical rigors of combat operations.
“It’s a good test of endurance,” said Recruit Edward Lawson, Platoon 1051, Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. “It proves how we work under pressure.”
Recruits start the CFT by sprinting 880 yards for time. After the sprint they quickly move into two minutes of rapidly lifting a 30-pound ammunition can overhead from shoulder height. The test concludes with maneuver under fire.
Maneuver under fire is a 300-yard timed course that tests recruits on a variety of combat-related skills. It starts with a 100-yard sprint followed by high and low crawls, simulated casualty drags and carries, an ammunition resupply, a grenade throw and agility running.
“The techniques can be used on a real battlefield to get your buddies out of enemy fire,” said Lawson.
The CFT has been run for score since 2009 and plays a vital role in every Marine’s career by impacting composite scores and promotions.