As United States Marines, we thrive on physical challenges. With determination and confidence, we welcome the unexpected as an opportunity to test ourselves, continually improve and remain certain that whatever difficulties are in front of us, we have the physical toughness to overcome them together. Marines face these challenges willingly because when you train for everything, you are prepared for anything.
Through the physical rigors of Marine Corps Recruit Training and Officer Candidates School, we will find out who has the willingness and determination to continue on when others quit. To ensure Marines maintain the physical endurance to outlast any challenge, obstacle or adversary, we administer the mandatory Physical Fitness Test (PFT) on an annual basis.
Many are willing and determined on an easy day. But what about when your breaths are so heavy it hurts to breathe? What about when your muscles ache and your pulse is racing? Without physical toughness, mental toughness caves and every good intention fades. For this reason, we push our aspiring Marines to the point of physical exhaustion, to see what they have left to give when there is nothing left in the tank. How you respond when conditions are toughest is the true measure of your willingness to fight and determination to defeat every adversary on behalf of the Nation that needs you.
Through physically taxing training, we turn the willing into the able, transforming purpose-driven young men and women into Marines who can make a positive difference. Only those who complete the most demanding training can prevail over the world's most demanding battles. If you seek our title, the path ahead will be one of great challenge. Prevail, and your most purposeful days will be realized.
No one can fully comprehend the physical difficulty of becoming a Marine without experiencing it firsthand. But there are ways to prepare. These tips will help you strengthen your mind, body and mettle for the Initial Strength Test, the first physical test that is required to begin Marine Corps Recruit Training.
Mount the bar with your hands facing towards you or away from you. Your legs can be held straight or in a bent position, but may not be raised above the waist.
To successfully complete a repetition, raise your body by bending your arms at the elbows until your chin is above the bar, then lower your body until your arms are fully extended.
You may have an assistant extend an arm across the front of your body to help prevent swinging.
The minimum standard for passing this test during the IST is two pull-ups.
Lie on your back, knees flexed with your feet flat on the ground.
Fold your arms across your chest with no gap between your forearms and your chest when raising your upper body.
An assistant may hold your feet or legs below the knees in whatever manner is most comfortable.
Kneeling or sitting on the feet is permitted.
To successfully complete a repetition, raise your upper body from the starting position, touching your thighs with your elbows or forearms.
Return to the starting position with your shoulder blades touching the ground.
A rest in the down position may be taken at any time.
The minimum requirement for passing this test during the IST is 44 crunches in two minutes.
Male and female recruits run the same distances during the run portion of the IST but have different time requirements to complete it.
Males must complete the 1.5-mile run in 13:30, while females have 15 minutes to cross the finish line.
It is advised that individuals who aspire to become Marines report to training able to run much further distances at a faster pace, as the IST run is only half the distance of the 3-mile PFT test required of all recruits.
The run portion of the IST is normally administered last, and if an individual fails the pull-ups or crunches portion, he or she will be re-tested at the end of that same IST.
The Delayed Entry Program is a yearlong program for aspiring Marines to train and prepare for the rigors of recruit training. Your recruiter will train with you to increase your physical, mental, and moral being and prepare you to overcome any obstacle you may face.