Marines Postpone Pull-Up Requirement for Female Recruits

After more than half fail test, the Marine Corps struggles to find fair fitness test for women pursuing combat jobs

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Scott Olson / Getty Images

Marine Recruit Haley Evans from St Louis, Missouri stands in formation during boot camp February 27, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina.

More than half of the women in the Marines’ boot camp cannot complete three pull-ups, the minimum requirement for the New Year. The issue has forced the Marine Corps to delay the prerequisite as it tries to integrate thousands of women into combat roles by 2016, the Associated Press reports.

The delay has prompted some to question whether women have the physical strength to take on military jobs traditionally reserved for men. The Marines argue that pull-ups require the same muscular strength necessary to carry munitions, climb walls and perform other common military tasks.

But Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wants training officials to “continue to gather data and ensure that female Marines are provided with the best opportunity to succeed,” Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine spokeswoman, told the Associated Press on Thursday.

For now, women will be able to choose whether their upper-body strength is graded on the pull-ups or a 15-second-minimum flexed-arm hang.

[Fox News]

26 comments
annerjb
annerjb

this makes sense they are all out of shape in that area because it never was a requirement in the pass while men had it as a requirement since the beginning probably in 5 years they will do pull ups the same as they get in shape to be able to do pull ups.

Bullsgt
Bullsgt

All marines fight, but if we are to include WM's in front line combat units then a progressive system of strength training is necessary. This should start in basic and continue throughout their tour.  


Having said that I seriously doubt the corps is going to lower the bar/endanger lives for entry into the elite Marine units (front line grunts, Anglico, Recon and force Recon) just for the sake of equality.



richard.draucker
richard.draucker

Since this article was first published, I've seen at least 2 women's publications with stories explaining why pull-ups are more difficult for women and, consequently, aren't a fair test and should be abandoned.   To that I say, ladies, they're asking for a mere 3 pull-ups, not 10, not 20.  Three.  That standard is already so low, the only explanation for not being able to do it is a general lack of physical fitness.  If you can't do the job, you can't have the job. 

LogicGurl
LogicGurl

I don't think it's fair. I'm a woman and I think that if these women want to be in the marine corp and they want to hold the same position that these men hold, with the same level of respect then they need to get their a** in gear and do these damn pull ups. Can I do a pull up? Hell no... Am I in the military looking to defend an entire nation? No. I respect each and every last one of these men and women that wear these uniforms, no matter the corp; Army, National Guard, Marine, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard. Their courage and strength, I don't know how they do it. I think it is insulting for anyone to be given a pass to hold a position or title because they can't do a damn pull up. I'm sorry. I'm all for girl power and women rule and but ladies come on this is about national security and our safety. I can't be in support of someone holding a position in infantry and they can't do a damn pull up. I wouldn't feel comfortable with someone giving me that position and I can't do a damn pull up and I go to the gym every single day. And that's no lie. 

Waffle
Waffle

A) I'd like to know how long each poolee was in the delayed entry program?


B) I'd like to know if the Commandant sent out a directive to recruiters to put emphasis on physically preparing female poolees for the new standard.


C) I'd like to know why recruiters are sending physically unprepared poolees to bootcamp?  Because I guarantee you I could pull 20 women off the street and have them doing atleast 3 pull-ups by the end of the month.  

jerry48
jerry48

macho city here today ! lol

les
les

woman are not men we do not have the physical strength of men , we are made for different things in life, men and woman are two halves, of the whole ! we can not always do the things men do ! So why do people insist that woman are physically capable to doing things the same as men ?  WE can play our part in all things, but do not put political clap trap on the front line and lets be realistic ? both men and woman are equal but each have there own skills foolish to think otherwise !!!! 

gallenlnt
gallenlnt

I don't want to be the wounded soldier left in the line of fire because my female comrade doesn't have the upper body strength to fireman carry me out of there.  It's not anti-woman to accept that there are fundamental physical differences between men and woman and that (in general) a woman will not be able to meet the same physical strength demands of a man.  In the end, you want someone who is physically capable of looking out for themselves and their fellow soldiers.  I don't care if that is a man or a woman, but simply lowering the standard puts everyone at risk.

BobDillan
BobDillan

Oh Boy - Taliban if  LOLing now,  lets get this straight - we take an elite fighting force and water it down (that means weaken) for the sake of bogus science and political correctness. Now I can see how powerful countries fail, they adopt idiotic policies that were invented by idiots. 


Did it even come to anyones mind that females are generally smaller then males, even if they do pull up three times they are only pulling up 120 - 150 lbs, average burly male between 180 - 220 lbs. Those are just the hard facts - myself  at 220lbs and doing easily 10 pull-ups that means 110 lbs per arm, benching 300 lbs and most females can not bench even 80 lbs.  Do we even discuss the hand to hand combat while looking at those facts?


To even try to compete with males those recruits need to do a pull up with 50 lbs weight attached to them. 


And here is the kicker we accept females in marines for the sake of equality, but in reality they have the same pay while not performing as males. That means they are getting  paid more for doing less - does not seem like equality to me. 


Now those "marines" that got into the force by hanging on the bar for 15 seconds are expected to fight lets say Russian special forces with average weight of 200 lbs, who bench at least 350 lbs and pull up 20 times ? They will not be fighting - they will be dying. 


I'll make it easier, females did serve in combat in WW2, but their death rate was far higher then males, that somehow seems to be left out. For every enemy soldier killed we will need to sacrifice at least 10 females if not more, or simply put by doing so we are undoing the centuries of civilization that placed higher value on females vs males, by throwing females in combat liberals in reality dropped the value of female by 1/10 of a male - simple math. 


Now lets say you were given a chance to have a bodyguard,  who will you hire a 250 lbs 6.4 male or 150 lbs female that can not even pull up?


Lets see the liberal politicians lead by example and fire their massive bodyguards and replace them with females ? Anyone lead by example ? Dianne? Nancy ?  Hillary ? Beoynce - may be she will protect her family with bunch of females who can not do a pull up? 

richard.draucker
richard.draucker

Lower the physical standards for women.   Lower the educational standards for blacks.  Lower the moral standards for homosexuals.  Oh heck, just get rid of all the white men so nobody looks bad.  After all, it's not what you can accomplish that matters, it's that you went out there and gave it your best try.  The new American way.  

Leah.Faith
Leah.Faith

I think maybe the way the navy does it is much better. If you want to be in a combat position, men and women have the same exact, and much more strenuous physical standards (EOD, Rescue Swimmer, etc). If the average female marine will not be in the position to need to lift her body weight 3x because she is going to be an electronics tech or a cook or what have you, than perhaps the standards do not need to be in place during bootcamp and maybe should be a requirement only when and if the female chooses a line of work that will put her in direct line of combat. 

ThomMcCann
ThomMcCann

Women's arms flair out at The elbow so their arms don't hit into their wider-than-men hips.


Men's arms hang straight down.


Also a man has more upper body strength. A man and a woman equally trained in hand to hand combat means the women is going to wind up dead.


Sorry, but anatomy is destiny.

GreenFields
GreenFields

If you can not lift and carry an injured, fellow soldier out of battle, you have no business being in a combat role. It's the same reason those without a steady hand, don't become brain surgeons; you have no right, endangering other people's lives, for the sake of your own vanity. Either you can physically and mentally perform a job where people's lives are in your hands or you don't do it. It's nothing personal.

zeustiak
zeustiak

The women will have to pass the same standards as the men, they said.  


Well they were idiots.  

BCK51
BCK51

I guess it's acceptable for women to be given a pass by only doing a 15 second arm-hang.  That's to simulate them hanging on a wall to wait 15 seconds for a man to come and lift them up and over.

rcampbell
rcampbell

So I'm guessing the PC police will be protesting the fact that the females, since they are unable to perform equally to the men, need to have their pay adjusted accordingly. All I can say is thank God I'm not in a fox hole with one of the affirmative action wannabes.

lily.garmendia92
lily.garmendia92

I disagree, woman and men are equal! We can do all the things that men can. If you look at the muscular system of both men and woman we share the same structure. It's all on how the body is trained. All women can do pull ups if they train their muscles correctly.

katansi
katansi

@gallenlnt  Pull ups do not train you for fireman carries.  That would be deadlifts and squats. As a woman, I can absolutely guarantee you that if you are in the USMC acceptable weight range for an average man, ie  250 pounds or less without a waiver, I can not only pull you out of a burning whatever but I can carry you a long ways off. If you're less than 200 it could be a couple miles to safety and I don't even have marine training. I know plenty of women who could carry a 200+ pound man with very little training. And to think that a man who is 5'6 and a woman who is 5'6 would not both have the same problems carrying a colleague who is 6'3 and has 100 pounds on them is absurd. It's a fundamental misunderstanding of how human legs work and how proper training is more important than sex.

KMOLINE1
KMOLINE1

@Leah.Faith Marine Corps motto is every marine is a rifleman.  That means even if your a cook or a tech you must be able to do the things that any infantryman would be required to do.  I was an air traffic controller and I could still do 10+ pull ups and run 3 miles in 20 minutes.  Did I ever need that ability while doing my job? No.  But if I had been called up to do it, I would of been ready.

GreenFields
GreenFields

@rcampbell I understand what you mean but don't confuse the very, real problem we have in our society, with women not being properly compensated for their equal work, with the wrongness of someone -- anyone -- in a combat role they can't properly perform to standard. Either you can lift your body weight over a bar -- simulating the lifting an injured soldier -- or you can't. It's as simple as that.

PrenticeReid
PrenticeReid

@rcampbell 

The PC police need to suit up and put themselves in a foxhole with these women who can't pass the physical fitness tests in a war zone for a year and a guarantee you they won't be PC anymore after that. 

georgesill07
georgesill07

@lily.garmendia92 

Feminist lie.  Women and men are not equal - but different.   If women were equal to men then women would represent a great percentage in the manual labor jobs.  When was the last time you seen a women working on a construction site, fixing an automobile, doing plumbing work, hauling trash, moving furniture, working in manholes, operating sewage plants, etc...

Even women who train their muscles correctly,  will not equal the strength of a man who does the same. I have been weightlifting most of my life and have never seen a woman bench as much as a man.  Look at the big dumbbells and tell me what woman could lift one of these. 

The problem with feminist these days is they believe their on lie until the rubber meets the road, then they call for a man to bail them out.  


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