GENERAL ORDER NO. 5, HEADQUARTERS U.S. MARINE CORPS, WASHINGTON, D.C., 21 December 1908
The following Executive Order is hereby promulgated for the information of officers of the U.S. Marine Corps.
1. Officers of the United States Marine Corps of whatever rank will be examined physically, and undergo the test herein prescribed at least once every two years; the time of such examination to be designated by the Commandant of the Corps so as to interfere as
little as possible with their regular duties, and the tests to be carried out in the United States between May first and July first, as the Commandant of the Corps may direct, and on foreign stations between December first and February first.
2. All field officers will be required to take a riding test of ninety miles, this distance to be covered in three days. Physical examinations before and after riding, and the riding tests to be the same as those prescribed for the United States Army by General Orders No 79 (para 3) WarDepartment, May 14 1908.
3. Line officers of the Marine Corps in the grade of captain or lieutenant, will be required to walk fifty
miles, this distance to be divided into three days, actual marching time, including rests, twenty hours. In battle, time is essential and ground may have to be covered on the run, if these officers are not equal to the average physical strength of their companies the men will be held back, resulting in unnecessary loss of
life and probably defeat.
Company officers will, therefore be required during one of the marching periods, to double-time two hundred yards, with
a half minute rest, then three hundred yards with one
minutes rest, then complete the test in a two hundred yard dash, making in all seven hundred yards at the double time with one and one-half minutes rest. The physical examinations before and after the test to be the same as provided for in paragraph 2, this order.
4.The Commandant of the Marine Corps will be required to make such of the above tests as the Secretary of the Navy shall direct.
5. Field officers of the permanent staff of the Marine Corps who have arrived at an age and rank which renders it highly improbable that they will ever be assigned to any duty requiring participation in active military
operations in the field, may upon their own
application, be excused from the above prescribed. Such a request, however if granted, will be regarded by
the executive authority as conclusive reason for
not selecting the applicant for any future promotion, or for assignment, selection or promotion to a position involving participation in operation of the line of the Marine Corps, or in competition with officers of the
line of the U.S. Marine Corps for any position.
"The White House"
G.F.Elliott, Major General