In the New York Times story, ‘First Pull-Ups, Then Combat, Marines Say‘ outlined that Female Marines recruits had to perform 3 pull-ups beginning Jan. 1, 2014 to make it into combat.
Today, NPR relates that the marines say the three pull-up standard is just too high.
Starting Jan. 1, every woman in the Marines Corps was supposed to meet a new physical standard by performing three pullups. But that has been put off.
Lance Cpl. Ally Beiswanger explained that the pullup test had been put off until sometime next year, to gather more data and “ensure all female Marines are given the best opportunity to succeed.”
So far, female Marines are not succeeding. Fifty-five percent of female recruits tested at the end of boot camp were doing fewer than three pullups; only 1 percent of male recruits failed the test.
The three pullups is already the minimum required for all male Marines. Now the Marine Corps has postponed the plan, and that’s raising questions about whether women have the physical strength to handle ground combat, which they’ll be allowed to do beginning in 2016.
Marine officers would not talk to NPR on tape. They said they delayed the pullup requirement to avoid losing not only recruits but also current female Marines who can’t pass the test.
The Marine Corps has been using it to test upper body strength for men for more than 40 years. And that upper body strength, they say, is necessary to serve in ground combat: to pull yourself out of a canal in Afghanistan, to climb over a mud wall, to carry an ammunition box.
Read the rest at NPR – Female Marines BOLO the Standard