The newest development in a months-long review of the Marine Corps’ fitness standards could challenge the integrity of Marine fitness requirements for the sake of politically correct “equality”. A new proposal would allow women to be completely exempt from the pull-up requirements of Personal Fitness Tests (PFT).
The new plan would reverse a 2012 ruling that requires women to complete at least three pull-ups in order to pass a PFT. The 2012 ruling required women to complete at least eight pull-ups for a maximum score while their male counterparts were required to complete at least 20. If the 2012 ruling is overturned it will allow female cadets to perform “flexed arm hangs” in lieu of pull-ups.
Watch the video below for an example of the difference between flexed arm hangs and pull-ups. Keep in mind that the requirements cited in the video have been subject to change:
A female Marine is challenging the idea that women are incapable of being held to the same standard the only way a Maine knows how, by leading through example. Col. Robin Gallant, a 55-year-old Col. has gone from being able to do zero pullups to 17 consecutive pullups in under one year. She attributes her success to a “zero to 20-plus,” workout regimen developed by Maj. Misty Posey.
It is very doable for women to do pullups. Most women can get their first pullup after about two weeks of being on the program. I worked on them for about half an hour in the morning and about 10 to 15 minutes in the evening. Once I got my first one, they came pretty quick after that. Once they get up to 10, it’s a piece of cake to maintain it.
Despite the obvious double standard that this change presents and pushback from within the military community lawmakers seem determined to forge ahead with the changes.
Proponents of the proposed changes are that physical fitness requirements are archaic and don’t accurately reflect the skills and physical capabilities needed to succeed in the modern military roles. Commandant Gen. Robert Neller issued the following statement when asked about altering requirements for the PFT:
some current [fitness] standards are either not relevant, not challenging or not attainable
Despite this argument data shows that female Marines are underperforming their male counterparts as a whole in physical fitness. Data collected in 2013 shows that 55% of female recruits couldn’t meet the minimum requirement of chin-ups. Another study reveals that 318 randomly selected female Marines could only complete 1.63 pull-ups on average.
The new proposal would allow women to forgo pullups completely. Women that choose to attempt pullups will be able to attain a maximum score by completing half the number of pullups required for male Marines to reach a maximum score. Under the new rules women would need to complete the following number of chinups to achieve a maximum score.
Ages 17 to 20: 7 pullups
Ages 21 to 25: 8 pullups
Ages 26 to 30: 10 pullups
Ages 31 to 35: 10 pullups
Ages 36 to 40: 8 pullups
Ages 41 to 45: 7 pullups
Ages 46 to 50: 6 pullups
Ages 51+: 4 pullups
Many are questioning whether these lax-requirements will lead the U.S. Marines down a slippery slope of ever-decreasing requirements across all aspects of military life. The inclusion of women in combat roles also raises questions about whether decreasing the requirements for physical fitness could endanger soldiers while on high-stress deployments.
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