Old School PFT order{0}

This was received in an e-mail, and we’ll assume it’s true. It sure was a different world in 1908.



21 DECEMBER 1908

The following Executive Order is hereby promulgated for the information of  officers of the U. S. Marine Corps.

1. Officers of the United States Marine Corps, of whatever rank will be  examined physically, and undergo the test herein prescribed at least once in  every two years; the time of such examination to be designated by the  Commandant of the Corps so as to interfere as little as possible with their regular  duties, and the tests to be carried out in the United States between May first and July first, as the commandant of the Corps may direct, and on foreign  stations between December first and February first.

2. All field officers will be required to take a riding test of ninety  miles, this distance to be covered in three days. Physical examinations  before  and after riding, and the riding tests, to be the same as those prescribed  for the United States Army by General Orders, No. 79 (paragraph 3). War  Department May 14, 1908. Note:  Officers who are from Montana are exempt from this test.  The Corps knows you can ride!

3. Line officers of the Marine Corps in the grade of captain or lieutenant  will be required to walk fifty miles, this distance to be divided into three  days, actual marching time, including rests, twenty hours. In battle time is  essential and ground may have to be covered on the run, if these officers  are not equal to the average physical strength of their companies the men will  be held back, resulting in unnecessary loss of life and probably defeat.

Company officers will, therefore, be required during one of the marching periods, to  double time two hundred yards, with a half minutes rest, then three hundred  yards with one minutes rest; and then complete the test in a two hundred  yard dash, making in all seven hundred yards at the double time, with one and  one-half minutes rest. The physical examinations before and after the test are  to be the same as provided for in paragraph 2 of this order.

4. The Commandant of the Marine Corps will be required to make such of the  above test as the Secretary of the Navy shall direct.

5. Field officers of the permanent staff of the Marine Corps who have  arrived at an age and rank which renders it highly improbable that they will  ever be assigned to any duty requiring participation in active military operations in the field, may, upon their own application, be excused from the  physical test, but not from the prescribed above. Such a request, however, if granted, will be regarded by the executive authority as conclusive reason for not selecting the applicant for any future promotion in volunteer rank, or for assignment, selection or promotion to a position involving participation in operation of the line of the Marine Corps, or in competition with officers of the line of the Marine Corps for any position.



“December 9,1908” (989)


Major General, Commandant