Integrating Advanced Physical Training Programs into the Marine Corps
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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The Marine Corps is a fighting organization designed for one purpose combat. Physical fitness has long been a part of the training regimen to prepare Marines for the rigors of combat. The importance of physical fitness was recently emphasized by the current Commandant of the Marine Corps, who stated that As a fighting force, our ability to fulfill this commitment and accomplish the mission is dependent, in part, upon the fitness of our Marines. In response, the Marine Corps top brass recently implemented a new training requirement known as the Combat Fitness Test CFT to emphasize the importance of physical fitness amongst Marines. While it is commendable to change the testing requirements, vis-a-vis the CFT, the Marine Corps has not done enough to improve its methods of physical training. The Marine Corps has not taken advantage of the ability to produce stronger, faster, and quicker Marines in a condensed time frame through the use of the various advanced physical training programs available to the public, such as P90X, CrossFit, and Nikes Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, and Quickness SPARQ program. The Marine Corps should integrate these advanced physical training programs into its physical fitness program for a number of reasons 1 to reduce the financial strain on Marines who are paying gym fees to utilize the equipment recommended by these programs 2 to achieve qualitative physical fitness results in less time and, most importantly, 3 to prepare Marines for the physical rigors of combat. The Marine Corps could obtain a legal understanding with the private companies that developed these programs to use their programs, but under its own terms, for example with equipment that is already in place in Marine Corps facilities. By coincidence, many of the advanced training programs e.g., P90X, CrossFit, and SPARQ offer training plans specifically tailored to provide the anaerobic short burst energy training required for the CFT and combat.
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