It is official, the fittest unit in the Marine Corps is the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, based in Camp Pendleton, California, winning the Corps’ Superior Unit Physical Fitness Award.

The new award, only in its second year, is given to the unit with the highest combined average Physical Fitness Test and Combat Fitness Test score, according to the Marine Corps.

Units that have any Marines fail either of the tests, or not perform a required test, are eliminated from the competition, Capt. Samuel Stephenson, a Marine Corps spokesman, told Marine Corps Times Friday.

With a combined average score of 551 points out of a possible 600, 1st Recon proved it was the fittest unit in the Corps, even beating out other elite units in the force like Marine Raiders with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

Recon’s fitness dominance extended beyond its first place finish, with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, taking second place with a score of 543 and the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, coming in a close third with a score of 542, according Stephenson.

Rounding out the top five were two Marine Embassy Security Guard units made up of Marines spread out through different geographic regions.

Marine Embassy Security Guard Region 3, located at embassies and consulates across East Asia and the Pacific, was fourth with a score of 539 and Marine Embassy Security Guard Region 5, spread out in Western Europe and Scandinavia, came in fifth with a score of 532, Stephenson said.

This was the second year the Superior Unit Physical Fitness Award was handed out and the first time Recon won the award, which is shaped like Thor’s hammer.

“We wanted this award to be different and stand out amongst others that a unit may have on display,” Stephenson said.

“The award needed to highlight strength and fitness while also capturing the warrior ethos of Marines,” he added. “The legend of Thor’s power and warrior spirit is legendary and his hammer being the most iconic object from Norse mythology made it the perfect choice for this award.”

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