MCRD Parris Island

Week 5 is all about ramping up the intensity and throwing challenges that demand greater commitment and endurance from the recruits. Up to this point, they’ve forged bonds of support and honed the confidence needed to face any obstacle head-on. 

Now, they’re ready to enter the next phase, ready to build on the resilience and skills they’ve already acquired.

Gut Check Time

This week, your recruit will have their Initial CFT Test. The Combat Fitness Test (CFT) is a rigorous physical assessment within Marine Corps recruit training designed to gauge a recruit’s functional fitness and readiness for the demands of combat. It features three events: a timed 880-yard sprint simulating movement under fire, an overhead ammunition lift to test power, and a 300-yard agility course called the Maneuver Under Fire that combines obstacles, crawls, throws, and casualty carries. 

The CFT tests not only physical strength and endurance but also speed, agility, and the ability to perform under pressure, all crucial components of combat readiness.

Photo Time

A momentous day arrives for the recruits as they don dress blues, the iconic uniform steeped in history and pride. This marks the transition from civilians into potential Marines, a testament to their hard work and transformation. These photos not only capture a milestone in their journey but will serve as lasting reminders of the sacrifices made and the unwavering spirit of the Marine Corps they now embody.

Quick History on the Dress Blues

Steeped in history, the Marine Corps’ blue dress uniform boasts a rich legacy. Established in 1798, the blue coat with red trim reflects the Corps’ naval ties, while the red also pays homage to the British Royal Marines. 

The high collar echoes the protective leather collars worn by Continental Marines during the Revolutionary War, earning them the nickname “Leathernecks.” The 13 buttons, adorned with the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor insignia, hold a special place—they’ve been part of the uniform since 1804, making them the oldest military insignia still in use.

Sewn from the ideals America stands for and the resolve our Marines fight with, this is the only uniform in the U.S. military designated to include the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag. 

Wherever Marines wear this uniform, they do so proudly, standing united as the moral fiber that forms the fabric of our Nation.

(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps)

PT, PT, Everyday Builds My Body the Marine Corps Way!

Later in the week, your recruit will take their Initial Physical Fitness Test (PFT), a crucial milestone in every recruit’s journey. This comprehensive assessment measures their overall physical capabilities and readiness for the rigors of Marine Corps life. 

The PFT encompasses three key components: a timed pull-up test evaluating upper body strength, a 3-mile run assessing cardiovascular endurance, and planks testing core strength and stability. Passing the PFT demonstrates the physical fitness a Marine needs to perform their duties effectively and navigate the demanding situations they may encounter.

Recruits with Fox Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, conduct the run portion of their Physical Fitness Test on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., Oct. 3, 2023. The PFT is an annual requirement for every Marine and consists of a 3-mile run, a max set of pull-ups or push-ups, and a timed plank. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ava Alegria)

See you next week for insight and stories on GRASS WEEK and Firing Week. You do not want to miss this! 

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. Maj. Paul Davis
USMC, Retired