The Marine Corps Body Bearer

Marine Body Bearers
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The Marine Corps Body Bearers

There is a small group of Marines, who are part of the Marine Corps Body Bearer unit. They are part of Company B Marine Barracks Washington. These motivated devil dogs will be “The Last To Let You Down”. The unit is comprised of hand-selected candidates, who through the crucible of Body Bearer Ceremonial Drill School, honed their minds and bodies to perform flawless funerals for Marines and Marine family members at Arlington National Cemetery and abroad.

If you desire to become a Marine Body Bearer, you must first be a Marine of unquestionable character, maturity, self-discipline, and resolve, 70 to 76 inches tall, within Marine Corps Height/Weight standards, possess both a 1st Class PFT and CFT, pass the Body Bearer’s Initial Strength Test, and be the rank of Sergeant (TIG less than 1 year) or below.

The Body Bearers are considered the strongest Marines in the Marine Corps. Below is a list of minimum requirements potential candidates must meet before being considered for this somber and sacred duty:

  • Be a Marine of unquestionable character, maturity, self-discipline, and resolve.
  • Active Duty 70 to 76 inches tall (72-76 preferable).
  • Must be within Marine Corps Height/Weight standards, possess both a 1st Class PFT and CFT, and possess outstanding physical characteristics to include, but not limited to: strength, cardiovascular and muscular endurance, and flexibility.
  • Must be pending no legal action. (Prior negative actions will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Meets minimum obligated service of 30 months upon check-in to CDS.
  • Must be able to pass the Initial Strength Test by performing a minimum of 10 repetitions for the following exercises (although it is recommended that one is well beyond this minimum threshold before attending CDS):
    • 225lbs Bench Press (must touch your chest)
    • 135lbs Behind-the-Neck Military Press (barbell must be even with the ears at the bottom position of the rep)
    • 115lbs Strict Straight Barbell Curl (barbell must come above the nipple line at the top of the rep)
    • 315lbs Barbell Squat (hips must be parallel (or below parallel) with the deck at the bottom of the rep)

For additional guidance on the proper execution of these lifts, please refer to their Initial Strength Test video located on our YouTube page here.

If a Body Bearer cannot witness an Initial Strength Test in person, these lifts should be filmed and sent to the Body Bearer Recruiting Coordinator for assessment.

Once Marines graduate CDS, they continue to improve their physical fitness by working out multiple times a day, and practicing flawless funerals with weighted caskets.

Besides the above funeral services, the Body Bearer section is responsible for flawlessly executing a myriad of other ceremonial commitments that include: participating in Presidential, state and joint service funerals, manning the saluting battery of Marine Barracks Washington to render honors to dignitaries, and performing wreath laying ceremonies across the National Capital Region.

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