50% of female Marines fail 3 pull-up requirement - FOX 35 News Orlando

50% of female Marines fail 3 pull-up requirement

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Changes are not on the way after some surprising statistics are revealed about women in the Marines.

Officials report more than half of all female Marines can't complete the minimum 3 pull-up requirement standard which was supposed to be enforced January 1St.

Leaders say the updated standard was a way to begin equalizing physical standards for all servicemen and women and to integrate women into combat jobs. Now it's back to the drawing board.  

In recent years heated debate sparked on whether women physically have the strength for some military jobs.

However, many service branches are moving toward opening thousands of combat roles to women by 2016.

No timetable is set yet on the new physical requirement.

Starting with the New Year, all female Marines were supposed to be able to complete at least 3 pull-ups on their annual physical fitness test and eight for a perfect score.

Pull-ups are believed to test the muscular strength necessary to perform common military tasks including scaling walls, climbing ropes and carrying heavy munitions.

But now officials say the risk of losing and hurting retention of female Marines is unacceptably high to keep the requirement.

For now women will continue to choose which test of upper-body strength they want to be graded on for their annual physical fitness test. Their choices are:

-3 Pull-ups (3 is also the minimum for male Marines, but they need 20 for a perfect rating.)

or

-A 15 second minimum flexed-arm hang (Women get a perfect score if they last for 70 seconds. Men don't do the hang in their test.)

The decision to suspend the scheduled pull-up requirement "is a clear indication" that plans to move women into direct ground combat fighting teams will not work, said Elaine Donnelly, president of the conservative Center for Military Readiness.

In fall 2012, only two female Marines volunteered for the 13-week infantry officers training course at Quantico, Va., and both failed to complete it.

Officials had added specific training for female recruits when the pull-up requirement was announced in December 2012, and they came up with a workout program for women already serving.

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