292207Z Nov 16
MSGID/GENADMIN/CG MCCDC QUANTICO VA//
SUBJ/MARINE CORPS PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM AND THE ROLE OF THE FORCE FITNESS INSTRUCTOR//
REF/A/MSGID: DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC/YMD: 20160119//
REF/B/MSGID: DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC/YMD: 20160901//
NARR/REFERENCE A IS FRAGO 01/2016, ADVANCE TO CONTACT. REFERENCE B IS COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS WHITE LETTER 2-16, MARINE CORPS PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM WITH FORCE FITNESS INSTRUCTOR GUIDANCE TO ALL UNIT COMMANDERS.
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. Reference A states that to be ready to fulfill our role as the Nation’s force-in-readiness, we require Marines who are smart, fit, disciplined, resilient, and able to adapt to uncertainty and to the unknown. Physical fitness is a key element in improving the performance of every Marine and contributes directly to the readiness of the Corps. The ultimate goal of Marine Corps physical fitness is to optimize mental and physical performance and make all Marines more lethal, resilient, and more capable on the battlefield. Our overall individual/unit fitness is directly linked to combat readiness and, when viewed through a total fitness lens, is linked to a Marine’s overall welfare and performance. As directed in Reference A, Training and Education Command (TECOM) is designing the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Program (MCPFP), a service-level physical fitness program that incorporates a holistic approach and integrates fitness and health resources.
1.A. For too long, we have accepted an amateur approach to physical fitness, expecting leaders with little or no formal training in physical fitness to design and execute physical training programs for their units. We have frequently employed a “one size fits all” approach to unit Physical Training (PT) while paying little attention to individual fitness differences. This approach sub-optimizes the time spent on PT and contributes to sports related injuries from conducting PT the wrong way. It has also led too many Marines to view unit PT in a negative light and discouraged them from pursuing a healthy, fit lifestyle over the long term.
2. Intent. The MCPFP will professionalize and standardize our approach to physical fitness training across the Corps. Utilizing the latest in scientifically-based techniques, modern technology, and the sports medicine field, the MCPFP will first and foremost seek to establish a Corps-wide culture of total fitness. Collectively, the program will strive to optimize our Marines health, prevent/reduce injury, increase physical fitness, build and engrain individual confidence, and contribute to a unit’s esprit de corps through positive, yet challenging, total fitness concepts. Each physical fitness session will be approached as an opportunity to improve each Marine, make them stronger, and to demonstrate the positive benefits of conducting physical training the right way. Lastly, to ensure unity of effort, we will examine the various fitness and health-related capabilities existing today across the Corps and identify the best way to integrate these resources.
3. Force Fitness Instructor (FFI). The core of the MCPFP and key to its success is the creation of a cadre of FFIs who will be assigned throughout the operating forces down to the company and squadron level. An FFI will serve as the commander’s Subject Matter Expert on nutrition, physical fitness, and sports-related injury prevention and rehabilitation. An FFI will advise the commander on the design and implementation of a structured physical fitness training program that is uniquely tailored to the units training and exercise employment plan. An FFI will be capable of assessing and baselining the physical fitness of individual Marines and then designing a comprehensive program to facilitate progressive improvement. An FFI will also be capable of integrating available resources to support the commander’s physical fitness training objectives.
4. Force Fitness Course. On 4 November, the inaugural class of FFIs graduated from the Force Fitness Readiness Center. These Marines represented each Marine Expeditionary Force and each element of the Marine Air Ground Task Force, as well as The Basic School, the Recruit Depots, and Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academies. TECOM will monitor the results of this and the next two FFI courses to determine required adjustments to improve the course. A minimum of 6 FFI Courses will be conducted per year with an annual throughput of 300 qualified FFIs. Total force full operations capable defined as one FFI per unit is expected by end of Calendar Year 18.
5. Vision/Way Ahead. TECOM is responsible for the Force Fitness Management function focused on sustaining the efforts envisioned by the MCPFP and supporting the cadre of FFIs. A standing Operational Planning Team consisting of Subject Matter Experts representing Installations and Logistics/Marine Corps Installation Command (Nutrition), Manpower and Reserve Affairs (MandRA) (Marine and Family Programs Division), Training Command, the Medical Officer of the Marine Corps, and Office of Naval Research (future technology development in support of the FFI) is examining options to provide programmatic assistance to the FFI, to the Force Fitness Readiness Center, and to other required Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel and Facilities (DOTMLPF) capabilities. During 2d Quarter Fiscal Year (FY) 17, the OPT will transition into a senior level Health and Fitness Advisory Board chartered to ensure Marine Corps leadership remains attuned to the most current health and fitness practices and to forward recommendations involving DOTMLPF-related initiatives.
5.A. Today, we have a number of superb physical fitness programs that greatly benefit our Marines, such as High Intensity Tactical Training, Aquatics Maximum Power-Intense Training, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command’s Physical Training Playbook. Our Bases and Stations also have sports medicine clinics that treat physical fitness-related injuries and educate Marines in preventing and/or mitigating injuries. The MCPFP will consolidate and integrate these capabilities and leverage their best practices in order to standardize and optimize the support they provide. We will also determine where we require additional resources such as additional professional trainers or equipment to support the MCPFP.
5.B. To reduce the impact of sending Marines Temporary Additional Duty to Quantico for instruction, TECOM and Training Command will employ Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) to provide FFI courses at Home Station, these MTTs will commence during 4th Quarter, FY17. As the number of FFIs increases across the Force, TECOM, in conjunction with MandRA, will assess the feasibility of developing an FFI training continuum, providing selected FFIs with career progression opportunities as a Force Fitness Instructor Trainer (FFIT). These FFITs are envisioned for assignment at the Regiment/Group and higher level and will provide sustainment, follow-on training, and certification to unit FFIs as required on an annual basis. In addition, the MCPFP will examine the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 0919 designation as both a secondary MOS and a potential Primary MOS for selected Marines due to the importance of the FFI and the responsibilities bestowed upon that individual Marine.
5.C. As part of the MCPFP, TECOM will utilize and continue refinement of the new www.fitness.marines.mil website to facilitate the implementation of the fitness program. The website will expand accessibility to the latest information regarding individual and unit workout regimes, nutrition, health related news/trends/practices, and current Marine Corps directives regarding Physical Fitness Test/Combat Fitness Test/Body Composition Program standards. The website will be accessible via on-line or smart phone applications.
6. Command Responsibility. In order for the MCPFP to be successful and enduring, Commanders at all levels must embrace the positive aspects of a total fitness approach across the Force. Commanders’ support for the MCPFP will enable a culture change related to health and fitness throughout the Marine Corps. Because the FFI is central to the success of the MCPFP, it is imperative that we select the right Marines to undergo training and serve in this crucial billet. Commanders must thoughtfully select their representatives and ensure that pre-requisites for each Marine are met. FFI candidates must obviously possess superb physical fitness attributes but, even more importantly, an FFI candidate must possess the maturity, commitment, and leadership qualities needed to inspire and instruct Marines in all aspects of physical training. MARADMINs assigning quotas for FFI courses will be published no later than 30 days prior to course commencement and will include specific pre-requisites and administrative details.
7. Release authorized by Lieutenant General Robert S. Walsh, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command.//