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Marine Corps cancels physical fitness test requirements over coronavirus concerns

A Marine Corps officer candidate performs a physical fitness test at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Jan. 20, 2016.

PATRICK OWENS/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By JAMES BOLINGER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 22, 2020

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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — The Marine Corps is nixing physical fitness test requirements for the first half of this year due to coronavirus prevention guidelines.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger announced the change in a tweet Tuesday afternoon. The service’s physical fitness testing season runs through June 30, after which a six-month period for the combat fitness test begins.

“Our fitness to fight remains a priority, and I expect each of us to continue to maintain our fighting condition,” he wrote in the tweet.

The service has directed Marines to practice social distance — that is, maintain a minimum 6 feet between individuals to the maximum extent possible to prevent the virus’ spread.

The events include a 3-mile run, push-ups or pull-ups, and crunches or a plank pose. If a Marine chooses to perform crunches, a fellow Marine is needed to hold his or her feet during the exercise.

Berger’s tweet said more information regarding the cancellation would be released service wide as a Marine administrative message.

The Combat Fitness Test gauges a Marine’s physical ability to perform a broad spectrum of combat-related tasks, including a lifting a 30-pound ammo can above one’s head a minimum of 67 times in two minutes, a fireman’s carry and a buddy drag.

The Marine Corps has not released any information about postponing or canceling the Combat Fitness Test.

bolinger.james@stripes.com
Twitter: @bolingerj2004

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