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January 3rd, 2014
09:57 PM ET

Women, Marines and fitness

The Marine Corps is delaying a new physical fitness mandate after 55% of female recruits failed to do the minimum of three pull-ups in boot camp last year. Some are questioning what this says about women's role in combat. Others are questioning why the Marines even have a pull-up requirement. Chris Lawrence has the details.

Ashleigh Banfield discussed all of this with former Marine Corps Captains Vernice Armour and Greg Jacob.

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Filed under: Chris Lawrence
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Mike

    I'm all for equality and womens lib but this is where I take issue with the entire "movement." Being retired military I can tell you there are some jobs that most women are simply not cut out for. I said MOST... not All. Some men arent cut out for those same jobs. If you cant pull your body and gear over a wall with just your upperbody strength then you don't belong in what is most likely going to be the first combat forces on site; your just slowing them down and causing casualties. If you can't lift a 155mm HE round into the breach of a cannon repeatedly then you have zero business on a gun. The theory that we should just losen the physical requirements to obtain the positions within the military are ludicris. Those physical requirements wont evaporate on the battlefield it will only get tougher.

    On the other hand, I would love to be a brain surgeon but really don't feel like putting in the time and effort to do medical school. Can't we just change the minimum educational requirements to fit me... it's only fair right... since we are demanding that jobs be given to us regardless of our skills or ability to actually perform them.

    January 8, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
  2. Enéas Mike Senna

    They´re all capable... It takes practice to do pull ups... It´s a matter of time!

    January 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
  3. Stan

    Test is too hard? Make it easier!

    Good lord. There are a whole Navy and Air Force out there where you can be physically weak and still do your job. It's the Marine Corps. It's hard. If 55% of women can't cut the *bare minimum*, then maybe the Marine Corps just needs less women in it. Why are we pretending that everyone is the same? Stan can't have babies. That doesn't mean Reg was oppressing him. Stan is a dude, and doesn't have a womb. Maybe being a Marine is just something most women can't do.

    Mind you that only doing the minimum 3 pullups as a male would cripple your career and being able to get promoted. If you're not doing at *least* ten, you're way behind the curve.

    If not pull-ups, what do you use for baseline upper body strength testing? You could set a push-up requirement, but are women going to be able to match that? The Army does pushups, and the standard for males is still more than 40% higher at the max.

    January 5, 2014 at 12:57 am |

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