The Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test is a semi-annual physical fitness test of the Marine Corps. The purpose of the CFT is to test a Marine’s physical readiness across a broad selection of combat-related tasks, like sprinting, carrying ammo, throwing a hand grenade, and carrying a simulated wounded Marine.
The test was specifically designed to test speed, strength, and stamina — as well as anaerobic capacity. The event reflects the Marine Corps’ ethos of “every Marine a rifleman,” as every Marine must pass the combat-related test twice annually.
In contrast with the old Physical Fitness Test, which consists of a 3-mile run, max set of pull-ups (or flexed arm-hang for female Marines), and 100 sit-ups — the combat fitness test is designed to test a Marine’s ability to maneuver in combat gear, conduct a simulated casualty evacuation, and test a Marine’s skill at physical tasks they might require during combat.
Both PFT and CFT scores are important to a Marine’s career and promotion opportunities.
Marine Combat Fitness Test Events
The Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test consists of three events:
- an 880-yard “Movement to Contact” run in boots and utes (two laps around the track: 800 meters, or 1/2 mile)
- 2-minutes continuous ammo can lift (30lb ammo can, as many rounds as possible) — from shoulder height to overhead
- the “Maneuver Under Fire” event — part obstacle course, conditioning, and combat test.
- 10-yard sprint
- 15-yard low & high crawl
- carry a simulated casualty two ways: dragging and by fireman’s carry, through a 75-meter course zig-zagging through cones
- sprint back 75-meters while carrying two 30-lb ammo cans
- throw a dummy hand grenade into a circle 22.5 yards away (oddly specific, we know)
- 5 push ups. and then sprint to the finish line with the ammo cans.
Note: Marines are allowed to rest three minutes between events.
Yikes! How do I prepare for this? Don’t worry, your boot camp training will get you in shape. The Boot Camp Prep Guide available for purchase on this website has a training regimen that you can follow to get strong.
Scoring the Combat Fitness Test
The Combat Fitness Test is scored based on sex and age group, just like the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test. There is a minimum standard — however, meeting just the minimum standard after 2019 means that you fail! Exceeding the standard is the standard.
Movement to Contact (males)
Movement to Contact (females)
Ammo Can Lift (males)
Ammo Can Lift (females)
Maneuver Under Fire (males)
Maneuver Under Fire (females)
Effectiveness of the Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test
The CFT is much more effective at measuring a Marine’s combat readiness than the previous physical fitness test. Combat requires a wide range f physical strength and stamina. The Marine Corps has applied its lessons learned throughout the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars to improve the readiness and operability of its core forces.