Veterans Combat Fitness Challenge puts Saddleback College community to the test

  • Saddleback College Veterans celebrate the 239th birthday of the Marine Corps
    Saddleback College veterans celebrate the 239th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. (Photo/Sharon Tayler)

During Veterans Week students were given the opportunity to participate in the sixth annual Veterans Combat Fitness Challenge.

The United States Marine Corps created the physical fitness test and it is used in complement to the USMC Physical Fitness Test.  The British Army formerly used a test of the same name which is currently known as the Annual Fitness Test.

Saddleback students, Oscar Roman, Kamran Sadaghiani, Juan Valdez, and Midas participate in Veterans week.

Saddleback students (L to R), Oscar Roman, Kamran Sadaghiani, Juan Valdez, and Midas participate in Veterans week.

In the Marine Corps, the Combat Fitness Test has three scored events, according to

  1. 880-yard “Movement to Contact” run in boots and utility pants.
  2. two minutes of lifting a 30-pound ammunition can over the head, earning 2 points for each number done in the time limit, also known as the “ammo can press.”
  3. the “Maneuver Under Fire” drill is part obstacle course, part conditioning, and part combat test.  Included in this test are a 10-yard sprint, a 15-yard crawl, hauling a simulated casualty using two different carries – drag and fireman’s carry over 75 yards zigzagging through cones, sprint while carrying two 30-pound ammo cans over 75 yards through the same cones, throwing a dummy hand grenade into a marked circle, with 3 pushups and a sprint with the ammo cans to the finish line, all under a timed environment.

While the combat course was modified for Saddleback College participants, the course was invigorating and challenging.

“Our course is based off of the Marine Corps combat fitness test which is the maneuver under fire,” said Kamran Sadaghiani , director of veteran student counsel. “It is comprised of a half-mile run, maximum  ammo can press within two minutes, and then doing the maneuver under fire.”

Sadaghiani said several students and  faculty members did the ammo can press and the maneuver under fire, where they were scored on their time.

Prizes were awarded to the best scoring individuals.

For the women:

  • 1st place, Victoria Heller, ROTC;
  • 2nd place, Karla Westphal, mathematics instructor;
  • 3rd place, Air Force ROTC Thanice Hamblin.

Men’s prizes were awarded to:

  • 1st place, Robert Phipps;
  • 2nd place, Kai Perez;
  • 3rd place, Eric Antis.

Sadaghiani said the event raised nearly $800 to be contributed to veterans’  scholarships, although this is not a significant amount, the camaraderie cannot be replaced.