Marines can expect some big fitness changes in the year ahead.
Marine Corps Training and Education Command is conducting a comprehensive review of the service's fitness and body composition standards.
In November, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller signed an all-Marine message directing the command to look at the scoring on the physical and combat fitness tests as well as body composition rules like height, weight and body fat standards for all Marines.
The review could lead to changes to scoring or events on Corps-wide fitness tests or the tape test, which measures Marines' body fat percentages.
Many Marines have expressed their dismay with height-weight standards and the tape test, which they contend fails to take into full account the fact that Marines are getting stronger and, as a result, bigger.
TECOM officials will complete the review and deliver their recommendations by July 1. The review will be "supported by experts from the fields of medicine and exercise science with inputs from our leadership and operating forces," according to a Marine news release.
The goal, Neller wrote, is to "[ensure] the overall health and fitness of our Corps." Fitness test scoring and body composition standards must be relevant, challenging and encourage behaviors that enhance cardiovascular capacity, muscular strength, flexibility, agility and the reduction of injuries, he said.
During the review period, male and female Marines must continue meeting current fitness requirements.
"All Marines are encouraged to continue all forms of resistance training as a means for developing dynamic upper body strength, but females will maintain the current option of either flexed arm hang or pull-ups during scored PFTs until any new policy is implemented," Neller wrote.