The Marine Corps plans to revive the common skills test to evaluate Marines' war-fighting capabilities, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green said.
Green said he is excited to see the test return because Marines are eager to get out of their everyday jobs to gauge their combat prowess. Previously the test was a requirement for enlisted Marines.
"Everybody would take this test, a written test and a practical application test, about the Marine Corps' common skills, and that's just the basics of being a Marine," Green said in an interview. "It would cover history, leadership, war fighting, the whole gamut."
"The practical application part would be: Go and clear your gas masks in a timely manner; you have to find and carry someone for a distance in a certain amount of time; you have to name the three parts of a grenade – that type of stuff.
"So now we're looking at getting back to that but with an updated curriculum."
Right now, Marines refresh their basic skills at the unit level or as part of pre-deployment training,said Capt. Joshua Pena, a spokesman for Training and Education Command, or TECOM. In the past, Marines took a basic skills test as part of their yearly evaluations.
The Corps will release a message early in 2017 announcing a new common skills program along with refinements to annual training requirements, Pena said.
Because TECOM is still developing the program it is too early to say how Marines will be evaluated or what the follow-up actions will be for Marines who do not meet requirements, he said.