Rowing is now opened to all Marines who are not capable of running during the Physical Fitness Test, or PFT.

Last year, the Corps made wide-ranging changes to the PFT, to include pullups in lieu of the flexed arm hang for women, an opt in for pushups instead of pullups and a rowing test for Marines older than 46.

Now, a year after those changes took effect, the Marine Corps is making more changes. Marines of any age can do the row portion of the PFT instead of running, but Marines will need to provide a medical chit to show they can’t run, Marine spokesman Capt. Josh Pena told Marine Corps Times.

The new changes are effective immediately, and will allow Marines with a medical chit to complete a full PFT. The rowing test is scored out of a possible 100 points. Marines opting for the test are timed while they row a distance of 5,000 meters. An 18-year-old Marine taking the test would need to complete the row in 18 mins flat to receive the maximum points.

The rowing test will be administered on an indoor machine as the last portion of the PFT after crunches and pullups or pushups.

The changes come on the heels of reports that the Defense Department is considering sweeping changes to separate non-deployable service members.

Now, Marines not physically capable of completing the run portion of the PFT no longer have to settle for a partial test and can complete a full fitness test by rowing.

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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