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U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. James Waddington, a Toledo, Ohio native and company first sergeant with Air Control Training Squadron, conducts a pull-up while competing in the Double-up competition during the 2024 Fittest Instructor Competition on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, April 24, 2024. The Fittest Instructor competition brings Marines from different units together to compete in a variety of events to include, a blind ruck march, a swimming competition, strength and endurance exercises, a Royal Marine physical fitness test, a modified biathlon, and Kim’s double obstacle course. (U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ethan Miller)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ethan Miller

The Marine Corps determines the 2024 fittest instructor

6 May 2024 | Lance CPL. Ethan Miller Marine Corps Base Quantico

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, VA – Approximately 20 U.S. Marines from across the Corps competed for the title of the “fittest instructor” during the 2024 Fittest Instructor Competition on MCB Quantico, Virginia, April 21-26.

The competition determines the most fit instructor from across the Marine Corps and military occupational specialties, but it also further educated competitors on proper form during exercises, so they can return to their units with more knowledge of how to support their units and Marines.

“The goal is to teach the instructors how to take not only their fitness, but their Marines fitness to the next level,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Gregson, the operations branch head with Training and Education Command.

The six-day-long competition consisted of 11events, to include a “blind” ruck march where competitors have limited vision while rucking with 45 lbs., a swimming competition, a modified biathlon, an obstacle course followed by an object memorization test, and various strength and endurance exercises.

“The competition was centered around movement patterns and fitness attributes that are simple to train and have direct crossover to improved performance in a tactical setting,” said Capt. Raymundo Hernandez, an assistant operations officer with OCS.

While competing, the competitors participated in more than two-dozen hours of classes to increase aerobic capacity, coaching, and how to properly perform various exercises.

“We believe at Training Command that if we can learn to compete on the P.T. field of today, we can dominate the battlefield of tomorrow,” said Gregson.

The first and second place competitors are instructors at OCS where their motto is “Ductus Exemplo” which means lead by example.

“For me, this competition was a chance to live out that motto and set a high standard to emulate for the hundreds of candidates who come through OCS each year,” said Hernandez, the first-place winner.

Sgt. Hunter Morgan, a Flint, Michigan native and machine gun section leader also with OCS, took second place, and 1st Sgt. James Waddington, a Toledo, Ohio native and company first sergeant with Air Control Training Squadron on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twenty-Nine Palms, took third place.

“If every one of these Instructors go back and teach their Marines how to be better and to make their workouts have a purpose and intent, imagine what the Marine Corps could be,” said Gregson.

Marine Corps Base Quantico