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Drunk Supernova
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, so I am thoroughly pissed off now. Recently the Commandant decided that our normal PFT (physical fitness test) did not properly gauge a Marine’s ability to perform in combat, so they decided to come up with something called the CFT, or Combat Fitness Test. This test does not replace the PFT, but it is in addition to this.

I have been saying that the PFT does not prove you are fit for combat for years now. Just because you can do 20 pull ups, a hundred crunches and run 3 miles in 18 minutes does nothing to prepare you for combat. So I was pleasantly surprised when I heard about the CFT a few months ago. But I did not know what it all entailed until this morning when we took a mock CFT not for score. I was beyond unimpressed. Not only at the CFT, but at the Marines in the MSOSG (Marine Special Operations Support Group). While I am going through RSAS I am attached to the MSOSG. But they are not operators, or even SOF. They by and large are the pogues that support the operators with things like pay, food, and motor T. But they are still Marines, and as such should be in just as good of shape as any grunt on the ground.

The CFT consists of a half mile run, an ammo can lift, and what they call a combat simulation.

They are not testing for aerobic capability on this, just anaerobic.

For the half mile run, you run in boots cammie bottoms and tshirt. If you are under 27 you must finish this half mile in less than 3 minutes 39 seconds, and if you are 27 to 35 you must finish in under 4 minutes flat. Min time for max score is 2 minutes 20 seconds.

On this part I was not too upset with the scoring or times. It does accurately simulate a movement to combat. But I think the same times should be required, but add body armor, water and weapon. You are not going to be running into combat without them, so if you are going to test for combat fitness, you need to test with what you will have.

Most of the Marines were able to complete this portion with no problem. But a few of the ones that couldn’t were the same Marines that always do well on the normal 3 mile run (most of which were the females in the support group, sorry ladies call it like I see it).

Goes to show ya that a PFT does nothing for combat.

The next portion was just sad. The ammo can lift is just that. You stand there feet shoulder width apart and hold an ammo can filled with 20 pounds of sand and lift it over your head. You have two minutes to get a minimum of 62 or a max of 92 (95 if you are 27 to 35). This seemed pretty easy to me, and I have no idea how they think it tests your combat abilities.

The last portion was just frigging funny. You have a 75 meter lane set up with cones on it. You start out in the prone, and sprint 25 meters then run around the cone and go prone. You then low crawl 10 meters to another cone and high crawl 10 more meters to another cone. You then stand up and run a zigzag pattern around five or six cones to the 75 meter mark. There you have to drag someone who is of comparable weight around that zigzag patter, at the end of the pattern you have to fireman’s carry them back to the start where you pick up two 20 pound ammo cans and run back to the start of the zigzag, and zigzag to the 75 meter mark You then throw a dummy grenade 25 meters into a 4 meter by 4 meter square. If you get it in they deduct 5 seconds from your time, if you miss they add 5 seconds. Rolling in does not count, it must land in the square. You then pick up those ammo cans and run back to the start.

18 to 27 have 3min 29 seconds 27 to 35 you have 4 min flat.

I am sorry, but four minutes of mild exercise does not simulate combat.

Oh did I mention that there is a mandatory five minute wait time in-between each station?

Stupid, totally stupid.
 

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Chicago Pro-Gun Activist
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C-D-P, I read you loud and clear. While I was never in a combat situation, I did spend all of my time as a simple grunt. I have been reading about this CFT in the Marine Times and wondering just how well it would simulate any combat situations. I can imagine that they are hearing a lot from you guys about combat and fitness preparation for the battlefield. I was wondering if this was an interim step until the brass could decide upon a better overall program. That could be years away if ever - who know what the next Commandant will do.
 

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Drunk Supernova
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know man. It is true that nothing can mentally prepare you for the mental riggors of war. But this seems like a poor attempt to make a few people happy. We will see what happens in the future.

Remember that they came up with something similar to this in the 90s then did away with it when a new commandant came in. I would imagine that the same thing will happen in a few years.
 

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Chicago Pro-Gun Activist
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I don't know man. It is true that nothing can mentally prepare you for the mental riggors of war. But this seems like a poor attempt to make a few people happy. We will see what happens in the future.

Remember that they came up with something similar to this in the 90s then did away with it when a new commandant came in. I would imagine that the same thing will happen in a few years.
Too true brother, too true.

When I enlisted in 1977, the concept was to prepare to fight the next guerilla style campaign and learn the lessons of Viet Nam. Man, look where we are today. The USMC seems to me to be getting heavier and heavier all the time. I mean in tasking and purpose.

One positive here is that you can do a ***** session and not worry about any repercussions. Not to mention, you have my support in your venting.

Of course, that and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee.............
 

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Drunk Supernova
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yup kind of the same thing here.

When I came in during the late 90s we were still training for the open land warfare that we experienced in the Gulf before. No one wanted to listen to those of us that were pushing for more MOUT and Stability type training. Then we pushed into Iraq and they realized that we should have been training for urban warfare.

The only thing harder than getting a new idea into the Corps is getting an old one out.

Thanks for being my punching bag brother. You are a good egg.
 

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Chicago Pro-Gun Activist
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Yup kind of the same thing here.

When I came in during the late 90s we were still training for the open land warfare that we experienced in the Gulf before. No one wanted to listen to those of us that were pushing for more MOUT and Stability type training. Then we pushed into Iraq and they realized that we should have been training for urban warfare.

The only thing harder than getting a new idea into the Corps is getting an old one out.

Thanks for being my punching bag brother. You are a good egg.

As for being a punching bag, that is what your brothers are here for!

And to think, I always thought "it was harder to get the new equipment in because they wouldn't let the old equipment out!"

Urban training is critical to the battlefield being faced today but one that I would not want to face. I work in downtown Chicago and thinking of combat in a large city, even cities in Iraq, is a very daunting task. The squad and platoon level coordination is so important that a realistic trainng program must be utilized. Only through realistic training can we make use of our most potent weapon, our individual rifleman AND maximize enemy casualties while minimizing ours.
 

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Drunk Supernova
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As for being a punching bag, that is what your brothers are here for!

And to think, I always thought "it was harder to get the new equipment in because they wouldn't let the old equipment out!"

Urban training is critical to the battlefield being faced today but one that I would not want to face. I work in downtown Chicago and thinking of combat in a large city, even cities in Iraq, is a very daunting task. The squad and platoon level coordination is so important that a realistic trainng program must be utilized. Only through realistic training can we make use of our most potent weapon, our individual rifleman AND maximize enemy casualties while minimizing ours.
Well thanks non the less.

Urban warfare, or the three block war can be a PITA. But we are much better at it than we were just a few years ago, and honestly, looking back, I would sometimes rather be in the ville than out in the open. But with that comes other hazards.
 

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C-D-P,

Come on you know what it is. It is the result of the upper brass having to come up with something to make it look like they are doing something. The guys who came up with this aren't the war planners. Don't worry, in a couple of yeaars they will come up with something else.
 

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Drunk Supernova
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh I know. But it is enough to piss off the pope.
 

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You think it's crazy now? (Yes, I read the entire thread, I saw "***** session" and I thought it was a bout me, Ya, know it's always about me) Anyway, you think it's crazy now? Wait till the new POTUS steps into the Whitehouse, regardless who it is, things are going to be shaken up dramatically. Obama is too intelligent and worldly to have to listen to his Department of Defense, his Generals, or anyone else’s, EXCEPT his ”wife, his momma and his grandma ”His words not mine. He will raise so much hell with the military that a lot of people will NOT re-up, they will just drop out and fall among the faces of many that will be sitting asking them selves WTF?
Biden will NOT be able to control him at all, he sees this opportunity as vp as a step closer to the WH, I believe he will let Obama implode and then pretend to pick up the pieces as the new POTUS.
As for McCain, I have no idea who he should pick as his VP, it better be someone with quite a bit military training and economical training. Military training because; as good a military man as he was, he is going to need someone to 1) be able to explain the rational of his thinking, and 2) stop him if he chooses to go anywhere “with guns blazing”. I doubt he would do the later of the two, but we don’t know where his head is regarding the way captors treat hostages, etc.
Just thought I would throw my thoughts into the mix see what you think.
 

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Although I was out by then, from those I know who were still in, that is exactly what happened in the Clinton years. The military lost a good percentage of its senior NCO's with combat experience and ditto for the officer corps. That is why we ended up with twinks like Wesley Clark running things. No matter what you think of President Bush, at least after 9/11 we wasn't afraid to get in the shyt and go after the bad guys in their nests. And he put real strong officers in charge of things. I really shudder to think of what will happen to the military senior officers in an Obama administration.
 
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I'm going to say that it's better than nothing. I don't think it geared to improving the fitness of combat troops as much as a benchmark for non combat troops. I think everyone should have a minimum level of fitness.
 

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Drunk Supernova
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is where you and I disagree, and I will explain.

First off. Every Marine is a rifleman first. So there are no "non-combat" troops in my Corps.

Second. While on paper you need a minimum fitness level so you can weed out the turds that do not try to keep up, and those who simply cant no matter how hard they try. A minimum fitness level for a combat conditioning course is not needed. It is established in the PFT (though I still do not believe that judges how well you will do in combat).
 

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Drunk Supernova
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I can't believe they did not make you put on your gear for simulating rushing to battle what the hell ????
That comes with your work ups. But failing does nothing but earn your CO a butt chewing.

Now, by and large we do IMHO have one of the best fighting forces in the world. But it just irks me that there are people who can not pass the simplest things.

But there is a difference between running a CFT and shooting moving and communicating when you are being shot at.
 
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