This blog is for Communication among Marines and people interested in the Marines. The 10 is for Communications. The Photo above is Marble Mountain, Danang, Vietnam.

Mar 1, 2011

Army / Marines Physical Fitness

My friend H. Wayne Wilson, my father, and I have a good natured rivalry. They were both Army, I was a Marine. My father was in North Africa and Italy in WWII and contends that the Marine Corps has a reporter with every squad.

My buddy H. Wayne Wilson sent me the message below that talks about how the Army is toughening up their physical fitness tests. It is followed by a discussion of the four services fitness tests. Naturally the Marines are tougher.

Incidentally, the physical fitness test that H and I engage in consist mostly of shoveling snow and BS, and opening beer cans. The only opener I own plays the Marine Corps hymn, which forces the thirsty H to use it when he pops open a beer. This distresses him greatly, and pleases me greatly.


H. Wayne Wilson writes: "You Marines ain't got nothing anymore on us soldiers..."
The Army plans to toughen its fitness tests for the first time in 30 years to make sure all soldiers have the strength, endurance and mobility for battle, adding exercises like running an obstacle course in full combat gear and dragging a body's weight.
Officials at Fort Jackson, a major Army training center, said Tuesday the new regimen would replace twice-a-year testing that focused on push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run. Trials are starting this month at eight bases and the plan could be adopted Army-wide after reviews later this year.
The shift follows other Army efforts to overhaul training, improve diets and help older soldiers keep fit.
Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the head of Army training, said the fitness test had to be revamped because repetitive exercises like sit-ups don't translate into survival on the battlefield.
Unveiling the pilot to reporters, he said the service was also adopting lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who had to learn in the field to carry anywhere from 40 to 70 pounds of weapons and body armor.
"Soldiers like to be challenged. This will definitely challenge them," Hertling said. "This is a good, combat-related test."
The pilot program comprises two new tests in place of the current exam.
The new "physical readiness" test adds such things as a 60-yard shuttle run and a standing long jump to one minute of push-ups and a 1.5-mile timed run. This might be given every six months, said Frank Palkoska, head of the Army's Fitness School at Fort Jackson.
A "combat readiness" test includes running 400 meters with a rifle, moving through an obstacle course in full combat gear, and crawling and vaulting over obstacles while aiming a rifle. Soldiers also have to run on a balance beam while carrying a 30-pound ammo box and do an agility sprint around a course field of cones.
To test pulling a fallen comrade from the battlefield, soldiers must drag a sled weighted with 180 pounds of sandbags. That combat portion of the test might be given only before deployments, but that has not been decided.
The tests will be given to all soldiers and officers, including Army Reserves and National Guard, even those recalled soldiers who are now 60-years plus, officials said.
Specific standards for men, women and by age ranges are still being worked out, Palkoska said.
"This is about training smarter, not just training more," said Hertling.
The pilot will begin this month and test data will be given to Army leaders by October. The program could be implemented Army-wide during the fiscal year that starts in October, Palkoska said.
Besides Fort Jackson, the program will be tested at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; and at the Army's military academy at West Point.


Physical Fitness Standards

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Although nearly all civilians are familiar with the rigorous demands of boot camp training for the different branches of the United States Military, most of us are less aware of the ongoing physical training that troops enduring as part of the military’s physical fitness program. It is not enough for a soldier to simply complete boot camp in top physical shape; a soldier must ensure that he or she remains ready for combat years or even decades down the line.
With this concern in mind, every branch of the United States Military has programs in place that keep soldiers from falling out of shape during assignments that are not physically demanding. Here is a short look at the individualphysical fitness programs used by the different branches of the military.
United States Army Physical Fitness Program
Soldiers are required to regularly pass the Physical Fitness Test and maintain a healthy weight once they have successfully passed boot camp. Without keeping their weight in check and passing this test, they are not eligible for promotion, so most soldiers do whatever it takes to stay in shape throughout the year. For a man who is from 22-26 years of age, the minimum requirements for duty are being able to complete a 2-mile run in less than 16:36, 50 sit-ups in two minutes and at least 40 sit-ups.
Some popular exercises for meeting the guidelines of the Army physical fitness program include pull-ups, flexed arm hangs, push-ups, sit-ups and, of course, plenty of running. If you are considering applying for Special Forces, be sure to train regularly for ruck marshes with serious leg muscle training such as extended bike workouts, squats, lunges and heel raises.
Standards 5

United States Navy Physical Fitness Program

After completing basic training, both active duty and reservist sailors must remain active in the Navy’s physical fitnessprogram and pass their Physical Readiness Test, also known as PRT. All sailors must successfully pass this test twice a year. However, the standards are a little less demanding on these soldiers than the requirements for new recruits. Rather than physical weight, sailors are required to maintain a healthy overall body composition that is usually tested by simply measuring a sailor’s waistline.
As a result, a big part of the Navy’s physical fitness program is concentrated on toning the abdominal muscles. This is also useful for the swimming portion of the PRT, which requires sailors to complete a 500 yard swim in a specified amount of time. Running and general fitness are also part of the program, but the requirements are slightly less demanding than those of the Army.
Standards 2

United States Air Force Physical Fitness Program

The Air Force has a similar test to the Army and Navy that troops much regularly meet, but most soldiers are largely left to their own devices in order to pass the requirements of the test. The requirements of the program are based around aerobic and muscle fitness, as well as body composition. Many members of the Air Force choose to participate in an informal eight week training program that has specific daily training for running, push-ups and sit-ups.
So long as soldiers train adequately for regular Air Force tests on their own, the vast majority of soldiers are able to pass the performance tests without any problems.
Standards 4
United States Marine Corps Physical Fitness Program
As you might expect, the physical fitness program for United States Marines is considerably more demanding than the standard Army, Navy and Air Force programs. The Semper Fidelis Society recommends following a specific ongoing program regardless of a Marines current assignment.
This program includes the Armstrong pull-up program, regular crunches and running training. The Armstrong pull-up program sets a five day schedule of pull-ups and push-ups that is designed to keep the upper body permanently fit. Regular crunches should be broken down into speed sets, endurance sets and incline sets for maximum impact. In order to continue to develop as a competitive runner, it is necessary for a Marine to follow an intelligent program that breaks up the week with long runs, days off and hill runs.

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