In LEO/Mil

July 01, 2008

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Providing CrossFit training to those that do not otherwise have the means to do CrossFit is something I wanted to do. My target audience was the active-duty Marines and civilian Marines aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina. For others, a nonprofit CrossFit affiliate might serve an individual military unit, or underprivileged youth, or perhaps senior citizens; it may be for a group within a corporation or other organization or, as in my case, a chance to incorporate CrossFit into a military unit's physical training program. Regardless of the participants, setting up and operating a nonprofit CrossFit facility can be a realistic proposition. This article walks through the steps I took to incorporate CrossFit training methodologies and to establish a nonprofit affiliate aboard MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. MCAS Cherry Point is home to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Unlike military units that conduct mandatory scheduled "unit PT" (physical training), in the "wing" training and fitness are largely left to the individual due to the operational tempo of the majority of units. A squadron schedule often will begin at 0800 and may not end until well after midnight. To support this schedule the Marines are working separate shifts, and CrossFit is a perfect prescription: it is quick, effective, hard hitting, and easily implemented.

Christian "Mac" Ward is a Major in the Marine Corps with 18 years of service, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a CH-53E helicopter pilot currently stationed aboard MCAS Cherry Point and is the founder of CrossFit Cherry Point, a nonprofit military affiliate. He has completed his Level 1 CrossFit trainer certification and is scheduled to take CrossFit's Olympic Lifting Certification in August and Basic Barbell Certification in October.

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3 Comments on “A Nonprofit Affiliate in a Military Context: The Case of CrossFit Cherry Point”


wrote …

Great article, I completely missed it in last month's journal. Just another bonus of this new format :)

This sounds like something I'm going to be looking at moving towards in the near future at my station, I didn't even realize it was possible to have a 'non profit affiliate'.


wrote …

The article came out just as I was setting up CrossFit Fort Meade, and was very informative. Now we've got a non-profit here at Fort Meade, very bare bones, but joint service & very cool.

The HQ staff was very welcoming and the approved status really helped push us along with base MWR and the installation commands. Feeling like a part of the growth of the community in the military is a reward itself. But it is really the fellow CrossFitters I've met across base that make it happen and make it worth the time and effort--all of us learning together and motivating one another.

If you're training a group on base, think about it. To me it was a logical progression of giving back to both the services and to the CrossFit community.

Best of luck to those who go for it!

Semper Fi,
Capt John Hoffner, USMC


Russell Benedetto wrote …

I am glad to see a non-profit facility (especially for our fighting men and women) for something as worth while as Cross-Fit, and only hope that more facilities such as these will open all over the country.....Good job Mac and thanks for your service

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