In the spirit of competition, the Corps is looking at new avenues like awards to push Marines to better their fitness.
Two such awards, Certificates of Commendation, or CertComms, for Marines with dual 300 Physical Fitness Test and Combat Fitness Test scores in the same calendar year, and a trophy for the most fit battalion in the Corps.
“We are trying to promote competition and recognize Marines that excel,” Col. Stephen Armes, the Corps’ Force Fitness Division director, told Marine Corps Times in an interview.
About 1200 Marines from 2017 will be the first group of Marines to receive the CertComm award for scoring a 300 on both the CFT and PFT.
CertComms are a formal means of recognizing achievement in the Corps, but they do not rate a medal or a ribbon. The letter of commendation does follow a Marines’ professional record.
The Corps also wants to award the most fit battalion or 0-5 level command with the Superior Unit Fitness Award. The award will be based on the command with the highest cumulative aggregate PFT and CFT score.
However, the top Marine added one other stipulation in the award’s criteria — if one Marine fails the PFT or CFT the unit is no longer eligible for the award.
A trophy will be presented to the battalion commander of the winning unit during a ceremony. Each year the fittest unit will be presented with the trophy.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.