MCRD San Diego --
Whether under rain or a hot cloudless day, recruits are required to push through physical and mental adversity throughout recruit training.
Aug. 9, Company B recruits worked through the Combat Fitness Test under summer heat and the commands of their drill instructors.
The test includes timed exercises such as a max set of ammunition can lifts, a half mile run, and maneuver under fire. Some recruits expressed they liked the CFT over the physical fitness test because they feel the exercises are more combat related
“If you’re not putting everything you have in a combat situation, it’s the difference between life and death with your fellow Marines. This course is as hard as you make it. You can choose not to put out or you can put everything out there and know you did your best,” said Recruit Ryan E. Hamilton, guide, Plt. 1022, Co. B, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. “My motivation was setting a good example for my platoon so hopefully that attitude could spread through the platoon.”
Drill instructors also felt similar about the comparison between the CFT and combat.
“The techniques in the CFT are really important because they are moves used in real life, situations like having to pull a Marine out of a bad situation,” said Sgt. Chris Flores, senior drill instructor, Plt. 1022.
Although Co. B drill instructors work to get the best possible performance from their recruits the drill instructors are aware that many of them are close to 18 and likely have not had a challenge like the CFT.
“I think it’s very hard for recruits to get a perfect CFT score in boot camp because a lot of recruits have never worked out,” said Flores. “Opposed to Marines who know they need to be fit.”
Throughout the CFT drill instructors yelled things like, ‘Sprint! Sprint! Let’s go! Let’s go! But no matter how rough the drill instructor’s shouts and commands appeared. Recruits realized the importance of drill instructors during the exercise.
“If the drill instructors weren’t there the recruits would be lost,” said Recruit Andrew M. Aguilar, guide, Plt. 1024, Co. B. “They are there to make sure everything is done correctly. If they didn’t want you to get a good score they would just sit back and watch. They want you to become better Marines. “
When recruits got near the end of the exercise their faces wrinkled with the pain of extreme exertion.
“The fireman’s carry was the hardest for me,” said Aguilar. “They try and match you with someone around your weight, but whether it’s 150 or 120 pounds it’s still a lot of weight on your back.”
Co. B drill instructors felt good about the affect the training had on their recruits.
“This definitely has a positive effect. Especially for recruits who have never been challenged physically. They notice their bodies getting stronger and they start to take pride in themselves and want more of it,” said Flores. “We try and instill here to give everything you got, exceed the standard and always seek self improvement.”