Marines fitness buffs can now apply to pick up a new force fitness instructor military occupational specialty, a position that will allow noncommissioned officers to help leaders develop their units' physical training programs.
The Corps is looking for 50 Marines to fill the inaugural five-week Force Fitness Instructor Course that will kick off Oct. 3. The course will be held at the Force Fitness Readiness Center in Quantico, Virginia. Graduates will be awarded the additional 0919 MOS, according to details announced in a Thursday service-wide message.
While sergeants and above in any MOS can apply for the new duty as long as they'll still be in uniform for a year, the initial course will be made up only of staff NCOs. That way, when sergeants arrive at units as force fitness instructors, they'll have a staff NCO to help guide them through the new duty.
The goal is to place a dozen of the specially trained instructors at each of the three Marine expeditionary forces. Another 14 will be assigned to Training and Education Command.
"We are going to develop force fitness instructors that will be the commander's subject-matter experts on physical fitness," Maj. Gen. James Lukeman, commander of Training and Education Command, told Marine Corps Times on Wednesday. "We'll give a Marine the skills to go back to his unit and be able to design a physical fitness program for his unit and to be able to assess individuals and help that unit implement this program to make every Marine and sailor better."
The goal is to have NCOs help to develop fitness plans that will get the most out of every Marine and sailor, he added. That will include finding ways for units to develop a "more holistic" approach to fitness in order to get the most out of their minds and bodies, he said.
"We want a more focused [physical fitness program] to get the most out of every Marine and sailor we have," Lukeman said. "Eventually we'll have force fitness instructors across the Marine Corps down in the company level in all of our units to help implement this physical fitness program. That's the overall goal."
The Corps is looking for applicants with recognized leadership, initiative and enthusiasm, according to the Marine administrative message. A Physical Fitness Test score of 250 or higher is required of those applying. Marines also need a first-class score on the Combat Fitness Test.
Previous formal instruction experience, such as martial arts trainer or formal learning center instructor, is recommended but not required. Marines who are interested in the duty are encouraged to contact their career planners.
The program will combine "the latest in scientifically-based techniques, modern technology, and the sports medicine field" to establish a Corps-wide culture of total fitness, according to the message.
The cadre of force fitness instructors will be experts on physical fitness, nutrition and sports-related injury prevention, and they'll be tasked to help commanders design and implement training programs uniquely tailored to their unit's exercise and deployment plans.