An all-Marine message signed by the commandant of the Marine Corps is directing top leaders to conduct a full review of the Corp’s fitness standards.
The Corps’ Training and Education Command (TECOM) has been tasked with completing a Corps-wide review by July 1. Their recommendations could lead to changes to the service’s physical fitness tests and body composition rules.
While the review is being conducted, officials say, male and female Marines must continue to meet current fitness requirements.
During the review — scoring on the physical and combat fitness tests will be looked at, as well as body composition rules like height, weight and body fat standards for all Marines. Experts from the fields of medicine and exercise science –as well as Marine leadership and operating forces–will provide input for the review.
Ultimately, leaders want to be sure that standards are “relevant, challenging and encourage behaviors that enhance cardiovascular capacity, muscular strength, flexibility, agility and the reduction of injuries.”
“After listening and talking with Marines at all levels across the Corps, I’m convinced that we need a comprehensive and holistic review of our physical fitness evaluations and body composition standards,” Gen. Robert Neller said.
Neller recently completed a tour of several bases where he heard from lots of Marines. According to Marine Corps Times, some of them reportedly expressed concern about how ‘bulking up’ could negatively impact their careers.
The Commandant emphasized that until any new policy is implemented, all Marines are encouraged to continue all forms of resistance training. Females currently have the option of either flexed arm hang or pull-ups during scored PFTs.
Lt. Col. Eric Dent, a spokesman for Neller said: “Marines are getting stronger, and I think it was just time in the Commandant’s mind for a review. Neller will make sure things like physical training, fitness test scoring and body composition rules are all ‘working in concert.'”
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