July 01, 2008
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.