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Sgt. Justin Shears participates in a performance analysis during the High Intensity Tactical Training instructor course aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Dec. 6. The four day introductory course teaches Marines the basic exercises to put together a training plan. Shears is a supply administrative and operations specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.

Marines complete the High Intensity Tactical Training level one instructor course at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Dec. 9. The four-day class introduces the potential instructors to more than 500 physical exercises they can use to create an efficient and effective workout plan.

The program is designed to train Marines for combat in a tactical environment and prevent injury. The curriculum emphasizes speed, power, strength, flexibility, endurance, injury recovery and prevention and overall combat readiness.

"The Marine Corps is raising its physical standards, pushing to the edge of human performance," said Jonathan Hutchison, the acting HITT program coordinator for MCAS Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

"In the years to come, the HITT program is going to create that ultimate tactical athlete, setting the Marine Corps far above the other services in respect to the physical fitness of active duty service members."

The HITT instructor course is split into two levels, each level is four days long. The classes alternate between the gyms at MCAS Beaufort and MCRD Parris Island for each level to accommodate students from both bases. The class is taught with the help of staff and trainers from both gyms.

"Level one begins with lectures on functional movement screening," said Hutchison. "A very important part of the HITT program is the emphasis on injury prevention. The FMS allows the Marines to be able to analyze who they are working with and strengthen any deficiencies to prevent injury. During level one they also learn all of the exercises that make up the Olympic lifting, tabata, and TRX programs within HITT."

Level two builds upon the foundations laid in level one. The Marines learn how to implement the exercises and concepts they previously learned, factoring in what muscle groups should be trained together and when to have active rest days. The active rest days are alternative exercises like swimming or biking, allowing muscles to recover and grow.

"There are different workout series that the Marines will draw from to create their workout programs," said Hutchison. "In level two they will have to actually teach and implement their program to the instructors. At the end of both courses they will be the subject matter experts on unit physical training. The command will look to them to train their Marines."

The HITT instructor course equips the Marines with the knowledge to be able to train and developed the other Marines in their unit to be a tactical athlete who is combat ready. Not only will know how to create and implement a workout regimen, but they will know how to keep Marines injury free.

"Leading PT in my unit is something I already do," said Sgt. Daniel Mastre, a tactical data assistant with Marine Air Control Squadron 2. "But with this course gave me more knowledge and confidence to be able to lead Marines and increase quality of PT we do at work.This program will better prepare my Marines for what they are going to be seeing overseas."

Marines now have the knowledge to put an exercise program together and effectively train their Marines to be tactical athletes. For Marines at both installations who are interested in becoming a combat instructor the fitness centers post class dates at the gym entrances with sign ups and contact information. Marines can also find class dates online at mccs-sc.com. There are no rank requirements, only that individual commands are willing to allow the Marine to away from work during class.