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Marines' combat fitness test scoring up for review

Oct. 6, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Sergeants Course empowers, challenges future of Co
Students from Class 4-12, Sergeant’s Course, Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Academy Camp Pendleton, conduct a Combat Fitness Test during training aboard base, June 1, 2012. The curriculum requires students to complete a Physical Fitness Test and CFT, to graduate from Sergeants Course. (Sgt. Christopher O'Quin / U.S. Marines)
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MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, VA. — Marine officials plan to review the Combat Fitness Test as soon as next year to ensure it’s stringent enough, and personnel could see tougher scoring as a result.

Maj. Gen. Tom Murray, commanding general of Training and Education Command, said that, while there are no plans to change any of the CFT’s events, Marine officials will review whether the test’s scoring system is optimal.

“Overall, people will score better on the CFT than they do the [Physical Fitness Test],” he said during an interview in September. “Maybe we’ll adjust it, and maybe not.”

The review will scrutinize data collected on all Marines who have completed the CFT since its inception in 2008. If it’s determined that a high percentage of Marines earn perfect or near-perfect scores, Murray said, that could indicate scoring needs to be adjusted.

Marine officials could not immediately provide the most recent CFT scoring data.

However, when Marine Corps Times explored this subject as part of a cover story published in 2010, the service reported that of the 179,000 Marines who took the CFT a year prior, 68 percent of men and 64 percent of women obtained first class scores between 270 and a perfect 300. Five percent of men and 6 percent of women earned 300s.

Like the PFT, the CFT is required annually of all Marines. It’s conducted between July and January, and measures an individual’s agility, strength and endurance. The timed test requires Marines to perform sprints and low crawls, and simulate throwing grenades and carrying casualties.

While the PFT focuses more on standard physical conditioning, the CFT emphasizes and measures functional fitness. During the test, Marines move as they do on the battlefield.

Any scoring adjustments would likely come in the next couple of years, Murray said.

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