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03-31-06, 12:39 PM
March 31, 2006
Maintain Health and Fitness: Prepare for Centralized Physical Fitness Test

by Tia Bracey
Henderson Hall News

On April 7, Henderson Hall's S-3 office will begin conducting Centralized Physical Fitness Tests (PFT) for score. The PFTs will be administered on the first and third Fridays of April and May and every Friday in June. The test will begin at the Smith Gym basketball courts at 6:15 a.m.

"Every Marine should be physically fit and should have the ability to handle the rigors that being in a combat environment may present," said Battalion S-3 Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Johnson.

The PFT examines a Marine's upper-body strength, abdominal strength and cardiovascular system by doing pull-ups for males and flexed-arm hang for females, crunches and a three-mile run.

"Physical Fitness Tests keep track of a Marine's fitness and make certain Marines are in good health," said S-3 Training Chief Staff Sgt. William Eberlin.

Marines are scored on their ability to complete each test. The more pull-ups and crunches a Marine does or the faster he or she completes the run, the higher the score will be. The scores are then combined and each Marine is placed in either the first, second, or third class . The scores are recorded by the S-3 and kept on file for two years. Failing scores for sergeants and above will be recorded on their fitness report. Corporals and below will have their proficiency and conduct reports graded with the failure noted.

"Receiving a first-class PFT does not mean you are able to go into a combat environment and endure all physical requirements. It simply means that you are physically fit in accordance with basic Marine Corps standards," said Johnson. "However, a good score can also be beneficial for corporals and below when they are close to receiving promotions."

PFTs are done semi-annually for active duty Marines and annually for reservists. The first half of the season is from Jan. until June and the second half of the season is July to Dec.

Marines that have been excused from taking certain portions of the PFT by a medical officer should bring a medical chit with them to the testing site at the time they are going to take it. Marines exempt from taking the PFT are those in a limited duty status, females who are pregnant or just had a baby, Marines who are combat-exempt or those who have a medical chit from a medical officer. Marines who are 46 years old and over are required to have a medical chit to participate and need to have a chit with them at the time of the test.

"Exempted Marines vary depending on circumstance and what the medical officer prescribed," said Eberlin.

PFTs must be conducted per Marine Corps Order P6100.12 with changes 1.

"Those who come to the Centralized PFT must understand this is not practice," said Johnson. "What you do out there counts. If you fail one event, you have failed the entire test and you are required to complete the entire test."

Eberlin believes that a Marine that is interested in receiving a first-class PFT should be working toward getting the maximum in all of the events over a period of time.

Marines ranked sergeant and above can become a PFT proctor (monitor) by attending the proctor briefs held on the first and third Wednesdays in April and May and every Wednesday in June.