Marines tested on their "fighting form" - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Marines tested on their "fighting form"

(NBC) - The pressure is on for thousands of Marines. They now have to pass a test that weighs whether they're in fighting form.

It's part of a get-tough plan to hold Marines to a higher standard for physical fitness that's causing some to stress out over making the cut.

The Combat Fitness Test forces marines to master a gauntlet in minutes. Running, lifting, crawling, dragging and carrying are all done in uniforms and boots.

The CFT is designed around typical stresses the body faces in combat situations.

Failing on the fitness test can get a marine passed over for promotion, dashing career hopes. 

To help overcome that anxiety, the Marine Corps "Semper Fit" program is investing millions in new gyms with functional workout rooms, recreation programs and nutrition classes.

"What we try to do is educate them and provide them resources as fast as we can to make them be as competent and successful not with what is required of them as a Marine or required of them in a fitness test, but also what will help them in a lifestyle change," explained Semper Fit's Cari Gordonn.

The Marines are the first to use a combat specific fitness test. 

Other branches of the military like are making changes to their standard yearly exams to make them more challenging, as well.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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