CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines must maintain a high level of physical fitness to uphold their reputation of “First to Fight.”
The Marine Corps has a mandatory physical fitness test that consists of a three-mile run, crunches, and pull-ups or flexed-arm hang. They also have a mandatory combat fitness test that includes an 880-meter run in boots and utilities, ammunition can lift, and a movement-under-fire drill.
Something not mandatory, but still challenging physically and mentally, are forced marches otherwise known as humps.
Humps are commonly conducted with a FLAK jacket, Kevlar, and pack weighing in excess of 40 pounds.
Marines and sailors with Headquarters and Service Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group hit the road for a four-mile hump aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1.
“The intent of the hump was to improve our physical fitness and effectiveness as a unit,” said Capt. James S. Mackin, the commanding officer for HQ Co.
Before the sun had a chance to reach the horizon, Marines and sailors conducted a gear check and then stepped off on their journey.
“This was a good way to exercise, its different,” said Lance Cpl. Amanda VanBuren, a court reporter with the unit. “Adding some more gear or going a longer distance will make it more challenging, and as Marines we love a challenge.”
The command plans to continue conducting humps, increasing the challenge every time.
“This was a good introductory hike,” Mackin said. “In the future I would like to do more strenuous humps. We could add more weight, change the route, carry weapons and travel longer distances.”
Whether future marches accommodate these changes immediately is yet to be known, but Marines have embraced the idea of making it more challenging every time. The goal is to conduct a hike once a month.