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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Expeditionary Training Base"

Keeping Our Corps Healthy and Battle Ready

By Lance Cpl. Keely Dyer | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | June 9, 2017

The Marine Corps Training and Education Command Roadshow visited Camp Pendleton to brief Marines on the new Force Fitness Instructor military occupational specialty, June 7.

The brief was given by the Force Fitness Division to explain the changes to the Physical Fitness Test and Combat Fitness Test, as well as the implementation of the Force Fitness Program. At the end of the brief, questions were answered by the Force Fitness Division, the Force Fitness Readiness Center Operations Officer and Camp Pendleton Force Fitness Instructors. The local FFIs lead a physical training session following the brief.

Marine Administrative Message 460/16 offered the challenge to Marines all throughout the Marine Corps to become Force Fitness Instructors and to enhance themselves and the Marines in their command.

The FFI Course focuses on all around fitness to train Marines who can maximize the physical readiness of units by developing training plans at the battalion and squadron level.

This training teaches Marines how to stay in shape by improving their physical fitness as well as proper nutrition and injury prevention.

“The FFI MOS is a subject matter expert who embodies physical and mental health in support of their unit,” said Capt. Sharon Rollins, the Force Fitness Readiness Center and Martial Arts Center of Excellence operations officer. “The FFI has the knowledge to develop a unity physical training plan that utilizes contemporary exercise science in order to optimize mental and physical performance, reduce injuries and promote nutrition.”

Marines will learn the role of a FFI through a five-week course. The subjects covered in the course include fitness program development and oversight, performance nutrition, and anatomy and physiology.

Students will be assessed academically and physically by conducting a PFT and CFT, competing on the obstacle course and learning recovery techniques, agility drills and proper running techniques.

“The program is great,” said Staff Sgt. Albert S. Amero, a Communication Electronics Maintenance Shop Chief for 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. “One of the biggest things I’ve seen, that the Force Fitness Instructor can bring, is the help with injury prevention. That brings our readiness up. If you have a guy that’s injured it doesn’t matter how strong he is. If he’s injured he can’t fight. It’s that simple.”

Force Fitness Instructor applicants must be sergeants or above, have a first class PFT and CFT, be within height and weight standards, and have been injury free and full duty status for the last six months as verified by a military physician. This opportunity is open to Marines from any MOS and corporals may apply with an endorsement from their commanding officer.

“There are currently 166 FFIs in the fleet who are graduates of the first three pilot FFI courses,” said Rollins. “By the end of FY17, there will be over 300 FFIs in the fleet. Each course consists of 50 students, here are six FFI courses per fiscal year.”

The course dates for the FFI Course are: 4-17 from 28 June to 10 August 2017; 5-17 from 14 August to 25 September 2017; 6-17 from 27 September to 8 November 2017.

A Force Fitness Instructor Trainer seminar will be offered in 2018 to Marines who have previously served as a FFI offering them to opportunity to train new FFIs, ensuring a higher unit-level effectiveness of FFIs. The seminar will earn the FFI a trainer certification and a secondary 0920 MOS, allowing them to become a fitness and nutrition liaison for base services.

“Once it becomes full scale, you will have a Force Fitness Instructor at the battalion, at each company, and they’re even talking about down to the section level,” said Amero. “You will have a lot more of that one on one [training] for that section.”

For more information on how to become a Force Fitness Instructor visit your unit career planner.