This is becoming increasingly common for females Marines, who have bulked up in preparation for pullups, he told Marine Corps Times in a recent interview.
The results could include a host of changes, he said, including the events on the physical and combat fitness tests, the time Marines are allowed to recover between those events, the Corps' height and weight standards, and how best to measure body fat.
Marines are big, he said — some are even "monsters."
"And I want them to stay," he added. "Nobody likes to get taped or all that stuff, so what are we going to do? Is the test right? Should we do something else?"
Neller said he has "all sorts of ideas" for where Marine fitness could be headed, but he wants TECOM to present the findings so they can come up with the best course of action.
Marines may see a tougher CFT, as well — but Neller said any changes to the tests cannot involve a lot of gear.
"On the CFT, you get at least five minutes between the three events," he said. "So what if we said, 'well you only get four minutes, no more,'? Okay now it just got harder."
The cost of materials proved the death nail for a 2012 attempt to revamp the Army's CFT. Their evaluators recommended a 400-meter run with weapon, an obstacle course with low hurdles, high crawls and over-under obstacles, a 40-yard casualty drag, a 40-yard run with ammo cans atop a balance beam, point, aim and move drills, a 100-yard ammo can shuttle sprint, and a 100-yard agility sprint. A five-event fitness test was also recommended, which included max pushups in one minute, a 60-yard shuttle run, one-minute rower, long jump, and 1.5-mile run. That test was shot down because it was not scientifically validated, officials said. The service expects to test new fitness standards — which may be gender neutral — sometime this year.
"This review will ensure our standards remain relevant, challenging, and mutually supportive toward keeping Marines fit and ready to respond to any contingency, in any clime and place," said Sgt. Maj. Justin LeHew, TECOM's top enlisted Marine. "We will harness and develop any great ideas and best practices found during this review and utilize that in building the tactical athlete of the future to enhance our warfighting capacity and lethality on the battlefield."
Senior Reporter Jeff Schogol contributed to this report.
Lance M. Bacon is senior reporter for Marine Corps Times. He covers Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Marine Corps Forces Command, personnel / career issues, Marine Corps Logistics Command, II MEF, and Marine Forces North. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.