Photo Information

Capt. Matthew Bartels, the Marine Barracks Washington training officer, dashes to the finish line while carrying two 30-pound ammo cans during the Ammo Can Decathlon here Nov. 16. The course was identical to the combat fitness test, where Marines run 880 yards, perform ammo can lifts and maneuver through cones for time and score. The competition was the last scheduled event of the Barracks’ 2011 Commander’s Cup series.

Photo by Cpl. Dengrier M. Baez

8th and I finishes 2011 Commander’s Cup with Ammo-can Decathlon

16 Nov 2011 | Cpl. Austin Hazard

Marine Barracks Washington finished its 2011 Commander’s Cup series with the Ammo-can Decathlon Nov. 16, bringing a close to a year of competition and challenges.

To claim victory in the final event, contenders completed a modified version of the combat fitness test, with each of the three stages being scored without a threshold.

"In the (physical fitness test) and CFT, we max our scores at 300 points," explained Capt. Matt Bartels, Barracks training officer. "Any time a Marine can push beyond the Corps’ max standard of 300, it helps him find out his true limits."

The event started with an 880-yard run in boots and the camouflage uniform, followed by a 2-minute ammo-can lift. Depending on a Marine’s age, the most repetitions required to receive full marks for this portion is around 91. Several participants blasted past that standard to push the 30-pound can above their heads more than 130 times.

"The Commander’s Cup is great for the Barracks," said Bartels, who competed in the decathlon. "Whenever you have competition, it helps camaraderie. Competition is healthy."

The event concluded with the "maneuver under fire," which involves navigating a linear course by sprinting, crawling, carrying a simulated casualty and running with two ammo-cans.

The CFT was created to modify the Marine Corps’ annual fitness assessment, augmenting the more broad PFT with a combat-oriented test.

"I think it was a challenging event," said Maj. Brent Hampton, Guard Company commanding officer. "The CFT more closely relates to a combat environment, to what Marines are doing in Afghanistan, than a PFT. It was a good idea to integrate it into the Commander’s Cup."

The intent of the Commander’s Cup was to build camaraderie, encourage a high level of physical fitness and show Marines the various opportunities and activities available to them around the Capitol.

Overall, the nearly-yearlong tournament covered 15 events, starting in March and ending in November. Each event was given a different point value, in which the winner receives the full value for the event and subsequent finishers sequentially receive fewer and fewer points.

Though scores are still being compiled, Capt. Nicholas Schroback is currently the overall points leader. The top male and female scorers from the tournament will each be awarded an iPad.