• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

MCMAP Mandatory Training Mega Thread

What level of MCMAP have you completed?


  • Total voters
    110

PropStop

Kool-Aid free since 2001.
pilot
Contributor
Been a while since I posted a question to get everyone fired up. I doubt this will start much of a fight, but we'll find out!

So, Marines have this mandatory martial arts training that they must participate in and it is reflected in their Fitreps (at least I think that's how it works from what i've heard on the street, Devil Dogs please chime in to correct me if I'm wrong). I'm reasonably certain that your average squid would never have a legitimate need for HtoH combat training but I believe it could be beneficial never the less. Martial arts teach focus and discipline in addition to the PT benefits and combat training. Do you think the Navy should have a similar program and make it mando?

Now, certainly some of you have noticed that the Navy has quite a few fat bodies. We've also got a lot of people who PT very hard and look great in uniform - but i dare say that they are the minority. As such, do you think that an hour of PT at some point in everybody's day would be a good idea? There are countless studies that show the benefits of PT at the beginning of someone's workday, increases in productivity and the like. Also, it pisses me off to no end when i see somebody who makes the uniform look bad.

There is already mando PT for PRT failures, but I don't think we should ever have PRT failures. People don't get huge over night, but for some reason we've got some folks that are huge and have been for several years. This is completely unacceptable (to me) in a military unit.

For the record, I never max out the PRT (except for the situps) but i've never come close to failing it either.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!
 

Pcola04/30

Professional Michigan Hater
pilot
I go back and forth on this.....on one hand we should be responsible enough to PT ourselves etc, etc but what pisses me off is when your COC preaches the PT three times a week party line and does not try to accomodate it with the work schedule....i.e. you will work 60 hrs a week doing my ****, PT on your own time. Which is fine except that I rarely feel like PT after working those kind of hours. (This comes from the shoe side of the house, no real experience with this on the aviation side of the house)
So I guess I would advocate some type of mando PT in an operational environment just as a way to ensure you have time in the day for it, but I dont think a blanket mando PT policy would be necessary. Although maybe a year or two of Navy wide mando PT would begin to change our fat body culture and get us on the right road.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
The thought has occurred to me as well. I'm in the same category as PropStop when it comes to the PRT, and I too am annoyed when I run across somebody who's apparently been eating too many donuts and not doing enough PT. Fine, they may be as motivated as the next guy. Good on 'em. When it comes down to it, though, you never know when you might be physically tested in the military. Granted not everybody is a SEAL or needs to be in that kind of shape, but it's not a stretch for any of us to realize we might be in harm's way, regardless of rate or warfare specialty.

I doubt those onboard USS Cole thought they'd be fighting to save their ship from sinking at some point in their careers. Ditto for the San Francisco. Us aviation types may end up having to pull someone from a burning aircraft. Does it happen often? No. Does it happen? You betcha. Granted, I'm far from an Arnold Schwarzenegger type. With my metabolism the problem is not getting too big, it's not being big enough. But if physical fitness and military appearance aren't on people's minds in this job, they're missing something major. If you're just barely passing the PRT with the standards we have, something is still wrong in my mind. You may not be in trouble over it, but that doesn't mean you should accept it.

With regards to martial arts, I think it would be a great idea to either adopt the Marines' program or come up with a new one. We're supposed to be fighting men and women after all. Even the Air Force. ;) I would put small arms training up there too.

It's a force protection issue, too. The battles we fight are asymmetric and attacks could come at any time. The Marines have it right that every Marine is and should be a rifleman. If some jihadist nut tries to kidnap you in some foreign port, will you be able to put up a fight? If you're a shoe and someone tries to take you out while standing watch on the quarterdeck, how good will you be with that M-14, shotgun, or Beretta? I think small arms qualification and martial arts training should be something all of our military members should be expected to meet minimum standards on.
 

JEEPER1219

Registered User
As for the mandatory HtoH combat training, I think that it would be a good idea, but like most other things it looks good on paper but when it is implemented doesn't work out nearly as good as it was planned. It unfortunately would not fit into the "general" Navy mentality.

Now the fitness of the Navy has been a sore spot for me for quite some time. I also have never come close to failing but also have never got maxes. I have been the CFL (command fitness leader) at my last 2 commands. I thought it completely unsat that at my first command there was no mandatory program and then during the first PRT that we had after I checked on board 781 out of 1300 failed. That is ridiculous. This meant that I had to babysit almost 800 people during a 3 day a week pt. You are right that people don't get huge overnight. PT is already mandatory at 3 times a week. Do commands require it outright? No. Is is something that is understood? Yes. Each sailor is an adult and should determine when he/she is out of standards. What the commands are lacking is a way to motivate these people to getting in standards. I hate it that my Navy has such horrible rep for obesity. The whole adage that you must gain 20 lbs and go to mast to be a chief should be put to rest. Times are changing and we need to be a healthier Navy. There are really no repercussions for failing a PRT. You will get eventually be "not recommended for retention", but in some cases that will not affect you for a few more years. The PT portion of the program is one thing. The other aspect of fitness has to be pushed harder...and that is proper nutrition. Well that is my rant. Thanks for pushing my buttons. :icon_rage
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
To me it would see kind of silly for the Navy to do it. It's a matter of limited resources. The marines need to do it because every Marine is a rifleman and therefore has the possibility of being in hand-to-hand combat one day. In the case of the Navy, every sailor is...a sailor. There's a VERY slim chance of mostsailors being in hand-to-hand combat (outside of liberty, of course). There's no need to waste time on martial arts training when those guys need to be keeping the boats and planes working.

As far as the majority of pilots go, if you're ever in a position to use martial arts, things have gone real bad, and martial arts aren't gonna help you that much against several hundred dudes looking for you. In that case, youd better hope you'd kept up wth your running.

Mando PT has always left a bad taste in my mouth from NROTC days. If you do it at the pace of the slowest, then the other people get nothing out of the workout except a wasted hour. I'm a fan of the big-boy program. Of course, some people can't handle the big-boy program, and what to do with them has always been the million dollar question. And Mando PT isn't always the answer. It's usually a lot more complicated than that. The most out of shape people in NROTC were a lot of times those who were struggling academically. Their biggest problem to me always seemed to be a combination of time and stress management and study skills. They didn't know how to study, so they spent a lot of time doing that but then did poorly academically so the stress would build up, and they wouldn't feel that they had the time to PT or eat well. And so the problem went. We never really came up with a good way to deal with this situation.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Pags brings up a good point. I've noticed this too; it seems that I was physically my nastiest when I was in the books 24/7. PT seems to be the first thing to slip when life starts bearing down on you. As for Mando PT, yeah, I hated getting up at 0430 in college too, but there are times now when I wish I'd had the time like that I could set aside just for PT. Even a lousy workout is better than sitting on the couch. I suppose it could just be my mentality. As much as I enjoy the feeling during and when I'm done working out, I'm lazy as can be to get started. It helps to have to be there or have someone else waiting on me to get me going.

As for martial arts, I view it as not just a matter of utility, although we ignore Murphy's Law at our peril, as a matter of esprit de corps. Do you think the average non-combat-arms Marine is going to use martial arts? Probably not unless, as you said before, things have gone horribly wrong. And what are the chances of things going horribly wrong? Probably not too big. But I think the confidence it builds is useful, as in, "if something horrible DOES happen I'm up to the task. I am an American fighting man (or woman) and I can handle whatever the world throws at me." Same reason we teach first aid, etc.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
The pull of the couch is a tough one to break, and i know it, but getting in the daily workout is a matter of personal discipline. and a lot of that is getting used to how much you enjoy the feeling of a good workout and looking forward to that feeling.

I think as a whole the average marine is a lot closer to the fight than an average sailor. I do agree that it is a big confidence builder, so maybe it wouldn't hurt to do some hand-to hand as a bit of morale building.

And somehow I don't think we need to worry about confidence building in pilots.
 

Penguin

Respect the WEZ
pilot
nittany03 said:
Pags brings up a good point. I've noticed this too; it seems that I was physically my nastiest when I was in the books 24/7.
Is that why we all looked kinda soft after RIs??
 

gagirl

Registered User
My husband and I have talked about this many times. He was a Marine for 6 years and did the PT 3 times a week. After 9/11 he tried to get back in the marines and couldn't (b/c of age) so he's now in the Navy. Living in Norfolk and being around Marines and sailors I can say that I have seen maybe a handful of sailors that look like their uniform fits. The rest are just plain nasty and it's embarrassing. The Marines are always looking crisp and sharp in uniform. You often see a big gut hanging over the pants of sailors and I have seen very few females that were close to being in shape.
The Navy has got to change. A mando PT would definitely help. I don't see how some of them fit into certain parts of a ship. Even if it's not running something could be done. Someone please do something!
 
One potential benefit(and downside) of mando martial arts...I know personally I enjoy beating things a lot more than running around a track-I was always more likely to go work a bag for a while compared to going out and running on my own(until as pags brings up...you get used to how good it feels afterwards).
Maybe it'd encourage people to be more active? Even now, if it's a choice between a treadmill/elliptical/etc. and working a bag for twenty minutes, I know which I'd go with.

Definitely agree with the nutrition aspect though...avg day of Navy PT does not mean you can go out and wolf down an entire pizza by yourself...
 

Crowbar

New Member
None
Super Moderator
I know this is often the case for Marines, so I assume the Navy has the same problem...usually mando PT is nothing more than lip service. You know, "Why, yes, we do have people who don't meet the standards, and we have them on a monitored and rigorous remedial program to increase their cardiovascular fitness and blah blah blah...." When in actuality, mando/remedial PT is often nothing more than a group being taken to a track or a gym (by a unit leader who wants to be somewhere else) and told to "PT on your own" for 30 minutes to an hour. Hell, the remedial PT program where I went to school was done on the honor system! How effective do you think that was? Right, NOT AT ALL.

Anyway, I think for any mando program to be effective, it has to be structured and productive. And it isn't always about running. People focus on that way too much when it comes to remedial. Not saying it doesn't constitute the majority of the problem, but often people who end up on remedial are on it because they can't run well. If you look deeper, they also can't do pushups/pullups well, have no abdominal strength, just generally out of shape or weak (depends on how you like to choose your words).

I'm on board with the Navy not getting as much use out of a martial arts program as Marines do. But at the same time, MCMAP isn't all about punches and kicks and breaking bodies. You do learn non-lethal techniques, pain compliance techniques, and how to defend yourself from those same things. I fully believe those could be handy for any sailor on SSDF or shore patrol.

Okay, so, there. I'm not sure that followed any coherent train of thought but just reading everything, those were some ideas I wanted to toss out.
 

VarmintShooter

Bottom of the barrel
pilot
Guys, if we want an 'in-shape Navy' we don't need mando PT. What we need are commands that are seriously committed to the goal of getting people in shape.

As someone posted above (too lazy to go find it), telling people to work 60 hour weeks, then telling them to PT on their own time isn't seriously asking people to PT. Just not going to happen for your average sailor. Best shape I was ever in (10-something on the PRT, max the PU, and excellent on SU) was when my C-school command mandated a two and a half hour lunch period during which we were required to perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (I liked to go run). The program was heavily supervised at first, but as it progressed and people actually did what was asked of them, the supervision waned and people still stayed in shape.

Worst shape I was ever in ... NROTC when I got up at 5 in the morning to go to mando, then sat in class until 9 at night. Lack of sleep and serious lack of motivation to PT on my own. Summers were a different story, when a friend and I would spend 2 hours a day at the gym, but do it at a convenient time.

Food is of course another issue altogether, and the galley usually isn't exactly the prime spot for healthy meals.

All up, fitness is not high on the priority list. If fitness were a real priority, we would make certain that people had time for it. Until then, keep watching those waistlines expand. By the way, I make time to PT 5 times a week right now ... in case you were wondering.

Oh, hand to hand? Fun, but not really what the big guys need to lose weight.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
I agree with what VS is saying, PT is not stressed enough in the Navy, and when it does come up, it's often in PSA form: "remember, the CNO says we need to PT 3 times a week."

And while I was eating my mid-afternoon bagel, I was thinking about this issue (look what you've all done to me, you made me think on weekends), and hand-to-hand training, while it does have some benefits already mentioned, these benefits can't be reaped by those who need them the most. Small scrawny guys and big fat guys probably wouldn't get too much from martial arts training, and the supposed confidence boost wouldn't be there, in fact the opposite might occur. Now, if we had a generally in-shape Navy hand-to-hand training would be cool, but like VS said, the big folks need to lose weight first. And that's not gonna happen with mando running 3 times a week. If someone is too heavy, making them run 3 times a week is only gonna make them get bigger slower. The aforementioned nutrition is a must. Mando PT doesn't help if the guy you're trying to help now has to spend extra time at work because of the hour he spent PTing. Now he feels he's short of time, so he gets breakfast at McDonalds and for dinner he makes an oven Pizza. Ever wonder how celebs seem to always be in shape? They have the time and resources for it. They have the money to afford 2hrs with a personal trainer every day and meals preapred by a personal chef and the schedule to accomadate these things.

I think the bottom line is that to have a fitter Navy, the Navy needs to want to be fitter, and one big step in that diretion is JOs who are fed up with fat-bodies. Maybe in 20yrs when we all have command the Navy will be nothing but hard-bodies.
 

zab1001

Well-Known Member
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Just a few observations:

A year ago I left a Fleet squadron that had mandated all-hands PT every Monday at 1630. Usually an hour of the typical push-ups, sit-ups, circuit course, and a run. Did it accomplish anything?

Bottom line, no. I'll elaborate. You had your fitness buffs who were pissed that the PT was (a) cutting into their workouts and (b) screwing up whatever routine they had set up. Then there were the fatbodies, absolutely dying and barely keeping up, risking serious injury or possibly a heart attack (yes, we had 2 equipped corpsmen, water, and a vehicle). Finally, the Joe Average guys, who were in shape, passed their PRTs regularly, and were only pissed about the extension of the normal working day for a PT session that really didn't do much.

The Wardroom was expected to attend, and I'll sincerely guesstimate about 75% were there for every session. It WAS a good opportunity to interact with the troops and see them outside the shop.

After about 4 months,the program died. Operational commitments and pre-deployment training required us to throw out our Monday Training Day "no flights" policy. Full flight schedule equals cull the crap. Mando PT was the first to go.

Maintaining a Mando PT for people unable to pass the PRT or stay in weight standards is the most a command can reasonably do. No CO, XO, or OPSO is going to kill an afternoon of flights and sims for the sake of PT. It just doesn't make sense.

What else can be done? Decent food in the gee-dunk. Less Snickers and Cokes, more fruit and bottled water. Safety Stand-around nutrion and exercise brief. If you're an O, and you're fat, eat less, work out more, and set an example.

As Brett would say, "Keep it Real".
 
Top