The Marine Corps is considering ditching crunches on the Physical Fitness Test in favor of planks, Shawn Snow of Marine Corps Times reported over the weekend.
The Corps' Force Fitness Division is "currently testing and analyzing the use of planking as a possible measure of abdominal strength for the annual Physical Fitness Testing," Marine Corps Training and Education Command (TECOM) said in a statement provided to Task & Purpose. "Their testing remains ongoing. There is no additional information available at this time."
For those of us who remember peeking to the left and right during the crunches section of the PFT and seeing, well, let's call it "questionable form" and "imaginative counting," from our peers, it seems like the jig is up. At least, that's the thrust of the Marine Corps Times' piece: That swapping crunches with planks might alleviate concerns over cheating.
"There's so many ways to 'game' the 'Marine situp' to cheat the movement while still remaining in standards," a former Marine sergeant told the Times. "Planks are a good test of overall core stability; they test not just the main ab muscles, but also lats, rear delts, rhomboids, low back, quads, glutes, obliques; everything equally."
That said, the Marine Corps insists that the possible change has nothing to do with concerns over cheating, Capt. Joshua Pena, a spokesman for TECOM told Task & Purpose.
For those who aren't familiar with them, planks are a pain in the ass core exercise that require an individual to hold their body in a modified push-up position with your arms bent and maintain the pose — usually for a minute or two — though it could be a lot longer if the Marine leading PT is in a foul mood.
It's unclear if the Marine Corps will eventually adopt planks as a replacement for crunches during the PFT, but if it does I have a hunch that Marines of all ranks — yeah, look'n at you gunny — will find a way to "help a buddy out," during testing.
I'm also confident that there'll be no shortage of blue falcons circling nearby, ever watchful...
Dan Caldwell, the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, and Jon Soltz, the chairman for VoteVets on MSNBC's Morning Joe on March 18 discussing their campaign to see Congress end America's Forever Wars. (MSNBC/Youtube)
Two political veterans groups, one conservative, the other liberal, have spent millions fighting each other on various fronts, from Department of Veterans Affairs reform — what one group calls "choice" and the other calls "privatization" — to getting their pick of candidates into office.
But they've found common ground on at least one issue: It's time for Congress to have an open debate about ending the Forever Wars.
Up to 1,000 U.S. troops could remain in Syria — more than twice as many as originally announced, according to the Wall Street Journal.
President Donald Trump initially announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but U.S. officials said in February that several hundred troops are expected to remain in Syria to create a "safe zone" along the border with Turkey and to man the al-Tanf garrison, which is located along a supply rote that would allow Iran to supply its proxies in Syria.
On Sunday, Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported that the U.S. military is considering leaving as many as 1,000 troops in Syria to prevent Turkey from attacking the United States' Kurdish allies. So far, the United States and Turkey have failed to agree on how to secure the proposed safe zone.
U.S. Army Sgt. James R. Moore of Portland, Ore., a logitstics NCO with the 642nd Regional Support Group, shoots at the Fort Pickett rifle range as part of the Mortuary Affairs Exercise Aug. 15, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte, 642nd Regional Support Group)
White supremacists take part in a march the night before the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, VA. (Associated Press photo)
Seven U.S. service members have reportedly been identified as members of Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group founded by a Marine veteran and tied to the 2017 Charlottesville rally, according to leaked online chat logs examined by HuffPost.