Skip to comments.Semper Fail: The sad reality is the majority of female Marine recruits fail fitness test
Posted on 01/10/2014 8:35:24 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Reality and social engineering recently collided, and reality lost. Beginning in 2014, female U.S. Marines were supposed to meet a minimum standard of three pull-ups for their annual physical fitness test. Unfortunately, when that standard was tested at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in South Carolina last year, only 45 percent of the women could meet it. As a result, that part of their fitness requirement has been delayed until 2015. The change, quietly announced during a November report on its TV show, The Corps Report, raises serious questions about the push to put women soldiers in front-line combat roles beginning in 2016.
The need for upper body strength in military situations is non-negotiable. Scaling walls, climbing ropes, carrying heavy weapons, as well as being able to rescue one’s fellow soldiers, are all realistic scenarios with regard to combat operations. But apparently such realities were not the the primary consideration for delaying the requirement. Marine spokeswoman Capt. Maureen Krebs noted that while officials felt there was no medical risk involved with making the new standard a requirement, the risk of losing recruits, and hurting efforts to retain women already serving the Marines was “unacceptably high.” Thus it would appear that quotas are more important than competence.
Postponing the standard also appears to contradict a 1993 federal law by which the Secretary of Defense “shall ensure that qualification of members of the Armed Forces for, and continuance of members of the Armed Forces in, that occupational career field is evaluated on the basis of common, relevant performance standards, without differential standards of evaluation on the basis of gender; may not use any gender quota, goal, or ceiling except as specifically authorized by law; and may not change an occupational performance standard for the purpose of increasing or decreasing the number of women in that occupational career field.”
In the world where words matter, the law seems clear. Yet, using breathtakingly strained reasoning, a May 2013 report from the Congressional Research Service titled “Women in Combat: Issues for Congress” apparently provides wiggle room for the diversity-mongers:
“A plain reading of the term suggests that men and women would be required to meet the same physical standards in order to be similarly assigned. However, in the past, the Services have used this and similar terms to suggest that men and women must exert the same amount of energy in a particular task, regardless of the work that is actually accomplished by either.”
Thus the report notes, Air Force Fitness Test scoring currently awards a higher score to a females under 30 years of age running 1.5 miles in a maximum time of 16:22 (minutes:seconds), than it does to male under 30 years of age running the same distance in a maximum time of 13:36. The same two individuals would also receive an identical test score for doing 18 and 33 push-ups, respectively.
The report further notes that lifting the ban on women serving in combat has engendered an argument. Women’s rights groups contend that uniform standards are exclusionary, in that they prevent women from reaching positions of leadership, and that expanding women’s role in the military is a civil rights issue. Critics see it as damaging to military preparedness.
One suspects the civil rights argument wouldn’t hold up particularly well among the members of a unit coming under heavy fire in a combat zone, where each solder expects a certain level of preparedness from their fellow soldiers in order to survive. One further suspects those soldiers would draw little comfort from the knowledge that the “same amount of energy” is being exerted in a particular, possibly life saving task, if that exertion failed to accomplish it.
Unfortunately for our men and women in harm’s way, leftist ideology demonstrates a pernicious lack of concern for the preservation of a soldier’s well-being. Thus, the reality that women have 40 percent less upper body mass than men, and an upper body only 50-60 percent as strong as a man’s–which translated into 55 percent failure rate for women, versus a one percent failure rate for men during pull-ups tests at the Marines boot camp–is no great cause for concern.
Nor is the concept of ”gender norming,” which embraces the aforementioned different standards for different sexes. This Orwellian construct is employed to achieve a predetermined outcome, as in a requisite number of “combat ready” women, completely irrespective of their combat readiness, physically speaking. As in so many other facets of life where diversity trumps standards, equality of opportunity must give way to equality of results–even if it endangers lives.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) and a former member of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces cuts, through the progressive fog regarding these issues. First the pull-ups. A program with a failure rate that high, compared to a 99 percent success rate for men, clearly indicates that incremental plans to order women into the combat arms are not viable, she said in an email to the Washington Free Beacon. Next, the so-designated civil rights issue. There is no reason to force women into the combat arms, she explains, noting that for decades, female personnel have been promoted at rates equal to or faster than men.
And finally, gender norming. The presidential commission on which I served in 1992 thought about this long and hard, she revealed. We approved of gender-normed scores in basic, pre-commissioning, and entry-level training, but the recommendation was contingent on womens exemption from direct ground combat .There is no gender-norming on the infantry battlefield.
It’s not as if women are completely incapable of meeting the same standards as men. Though the only two women who volunteered for the 13-week infantry officers training course at Quantico, VA in 2012 washed out, three female Marines graduated from the enlisted infantry training school in North Carolina the following year, while enduring the same standards as their male counterparts. Those standards included marching 19 kilometers while carrying a 36 kilogram pack. Moreover, an additional 13 women have passed advanced combat training, meeting the three pull-up requirement in the process.
Pull-ups have been used to test the upper body strength of Marines for more than four decades. That’s because in addition to what a Marine may be called on to do, combat Marines carry a 90 pound pack, with gunners carrying an additional 50 to 60 pounds. One is left to wonder what “accommodation” should be made for women to lighten the load. Carrying less ammo? Less food? Less medical supplies? Perhaps the gender-norming specialists and/or the diversity engineers could enlighten us.
For now female Marines will only be required to perform the “flexed arm hang,” as in holding one’s chin above a bar for 15 seconds, in accordance with a November 2013 Facebook announcement by the Corps. It explained that they are extending the transition to pull-ups “to allow for the further gathering of data to ensure all female Marines are provided with the best opportunity to succeed. All Marines are strongly encouraged to continue training under the assumption that pull-ups will remain a standard of measure for physical fitness.
They were already under that assumption heading into this year. They might be better served assuming that when reality doesn’t align itself with leftist social engineering schemes, reality gets postponed. Or perhaps even eliminated, if the engineers can muster the political firepower to do so in the interim.
Retired Army officer and military historian Ralph Peters isn’t buying it. If you cant pull yourself up, have the decency to pull yourself out, he declared. “The military, despite all the post-modern technology, is still essentially physical.
And dangerous. It is that danger that should be mitigated as much as possible for those willing to serve their nation. Anything less is political chicanery–and despicable.
SOP frag the females at the begin of a firefight.
Women can out kung-fu, outfight, and outshoot men ALL THE TIME. I see it in the movies constantly.
That’s exactly what our shemale POTUS wants . . . feminine-like military . . . especially those macho homo-hating marines . . . those ill equipped women are not going anywhere.
Has the Marine Corps ever had a more inept commandant than General James F. Amos?
The whole point of standards are to exclude people that can not meet them.
Standards are the basis of civilization. Without standards then there can be no civilization.
The goal of these so-called "Women's Rights Groups" (really, the men that finance them) is nothing less than the overthrow of our civilization.
15 minutes break time between each take and action?
That's really going to speed up action on the front lines.
This was discussed fairly well in another thread re this pcing of our Marines
(Notification) “Mrs. XXX, We regret to inform you that your son, John, was killed in action on XX-XX-XXXX.”
(Letter) “Mrs. XXX, I’m (Bob) the guy next to John in that photo. I was with him when we were wounded. My wound was very minor, and I picked up (Ralph) and carried him back to the aid station. By the time I got back, Johnny had died from loss of blood because Sally (other side of John) couldn’t lift him to carry him.”
Think like the left...
Standards, by definition, discriminate .....and per our modern world, discrimination is wrong ....particularly when it is against people that were previously discriminated against...
.ergo anybody that previously did not meet the standard now meets the standard because the standard was wrong because it discriminate against them
To my daughter’s dismay, I keep reminding my grandson and grandaughter that boys and girls really ARE different!
Oh, come on...
We ALL know that women would have taken Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Saipan, and Okinawa in MUCH less time than icky Men.... especially against those misogynist women-hating Japs... err... Japanese... who were, after all, actually just victims who were ONLY responding to aggression introduced by evil corporatist imperialist war-mongering American White Christian Heterosexual Slave-Owning Gun-Owning Males...
Yeah, yeah... that’s right.
(Do I REALLY need the /sarc tag?)
All military commanders are under the authority of the President. If given an order to “give women equal (combat) rights” he has two choices: “Yes, sir.” or “Here’s my resignation.”
I probably would have resigned, but not being in that position and not knowing the full story, I cannot say for sure.
It appears that all US military commanders have been handed a 5 lb bag of excrement from the POTUS and commanded to make a sandwich. In their efforts to make said sandwich palatable, some have asked,
“Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?”
Grey Poupon “The Lost Footage”
You realize those women are actresses, and the photos are staged and do not represent actual physical prowess or capabilities.
Also, an ability to do gymnastic moves in a lightweight exercise outfit, does not represent a combat survival skill.
But they do look nice.
BTW, women have NO place in combat, even if they all can do 20 pullups and fight like Ziva David.
Think of “Blackhawk Down”, with an entirely female crew, being broadcast on the Evening News.
Discrimination? Why yes it is but it has no bearing on gender. In 1970, about half of the recruits who started in my platoon actually graduated with us and at least half of those who were recycled eventually were let go. Most had problems with the physical requirements that even a stint in the Physical Conditioning Platoon (like P90 training on steroids) didn’t help with.
These were all guys who were disqualified and the requirements back then were certainly not wimpy by any stretch.
My Commandant was Al Gray. Don’t know what’s happened since then.
I love women fighters in the movies. The combat is agile, even cat like, and is fun to watch. My wife thinks women fighters in the movies are stupid and constantly reminds me that the ability to fight is likely no match for being 50lbs lighter than your opponent.
Amos has made poor command decisions, including influencing legal proceedings. In addition, the details, such as physical requirements of the women in combat MOSs directive was left to the individual services.
My first was Gen. Chapman.
If I recall correctly this is when we had to start submitting weekly reports on our exercise schedule. For submariners that meant spending an extra five minutes every Friday lying on another useless form on top of the 80 plus hours a week we already worked while in port.
The entire JCS should have resigned years ago. Too late now. FUBARaq has managed to coup-proof the Pentagon.
The General/Flag Officer Corps has been reduced to a bunch of Courtney Massengales.
Action movies provide a nice break from reality, don’t they.
Just a side note:
The ability to do multiple pull-ups sometimes has little to do with carrying heavy loads. I have seen big strong guys who could barely do one pull-up...or climb a rope on the obstacle course, but you know they could easily carry someone.
And then there are the light skinny people who can do lots of pull-ups, but cannot carry much.
That being said, everybody in the military should be able to do at least 3 pull-ups.
“Weak Link” by Brian Michel is an excellent read regarding women in combat roles.
Documents the slipping of standards all in the name of being PC.
Book was published in the 80’s.
Excellent reference. . .
Exactly. Obama had destroying the military high on his list.
Oprah and Obama both agreed that the “only way to change America was to DESTROY IT.”
We need to be done with ZERO and the crowds he flies in for his planned TV speeches. He makes Hitler look like a good guy.
“Semper Fail: The sad reality is the majority of female Marine recruits fail fitness test”
What’s so sad about it? God created man and woman.
Since time and memorial men have been the warriors, and in recent years our ultra libs have sought to change that perception which will ultimately fail.
Once an Eagle, I presume. Massengale had faults but PC wasn’t one of them. What we’ve got now is far worse.
Leftists have hated the military since 1968. Now that they are running the Pentagon, it shows. They dont give a hoot about performance standards or achieving results, all they want is their doctrine in place, regardless of who it kills.
You are correct. The era covered by the novel was prior to the advent of political correctness, but I can only surmise that Court would have excelled.
On 20 November 1943, during the horrific fighting on Betio atoll during the battle of Tarawa, two Japanese tanks mounted a counterattack against the fragile Marine toehold on Red Beach 3. The Marines were huddled there at the base of a seawall in the face of withering fire from Admiral Keiji Shibasakis fanatical Japanese Naval Landing Force defenders who were slaughtering hundreds of their 2nd Marine Divion comrades in Betio Lagoon during 76 hours of some of the most savage fighting in the history not only of the Marines, but the US armed forces.
Marine anti-tank gun crews were trying to figure out how to get their 912 lb 37MM M3 antitank guns over the 7 foot plus seawall. The battery commander ordered his 5 man crews to LIFT them over. Being Marines who always obeyed even seemingly impossible orders, they did EXACTLY that and promptly knocked out the tanks. They then engaged several enemy bunkers whose dual purpose guns were repeatedly knocking out the approaching landing craft and put them out of action. Finally they routed a local counter attack of 200 or so Japanese against the south shore of Red Beach 3 with canister shot, all of this at a critical and precarious point in the landing.
Whats that about upper body strength being not as important in modern warfare anymore and that women are just as likely to be able to do the job of combat infantry?
I mean no disrespect to the female perssonnel of the US Armed Forces who have served and ARE serving their nation honorably and well. I respect them as fellow vets and comrades in arms. Policy decisions are above their level for the most part.
But as a matter of POLICY, I think that women should be excluded from the armed forces for the most part, with a few exceptions and COMPLETELY from combat and most combat support roles, particularly when the armed forces are a small percentage of the total population, as is the case now. The use of significant numbers of women should be reserved for large scale mobilization as was the case in WWII. The population base is more than twice as large now as then and there would be no problem securing a sufficient number of qualified men with appropriate incentives for such a relatively small armed forces.
The advantages for the armed forces, particularly the Army would be greater flexibility as to how personnel can be deployed in combat emergencies and other contingincies and a lesser logistical strain as involves clothing, barracks and housing, and innumerable other considerations that are exclusive to the maintenence of large numbers of women. I think morale and discipline would also be improved as well.
The courts have repeatedly ruled that the armed forces are exempted from many of the equal opportunity requirements of the civillian world, and for the very good and sufficient requirements that are unique to the armed forces. This contretemps is being propelled largely by the cultural marxist wing of gender equity feminism who wish for the placement of a leftist Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The resultant detriment of the ability of the armed forces to fight plays no consideration in their calculus, other than as an peripheral side benefit.
No kidding, I am 52 and have not worked out in 10 years and I could do 3 pull ups. Heck I could do 25 when I was in 7th grade. What is wrong with these people?
The thing about pull ups is you need to train to do them. Any man or woman that can't do 3 after some training is either physically impaired or hopelessly lazy.
That fact is far beyond the grasp of many.
Al Gray was the best thing that ever happened to the post Vietnam era Marine Corps.
The useful idiot liberals may buy into that BS, they are mentally ill, but the men at the top giving the orders know exactly what they are doing, and it isn’t helping so-called minorities or women.
I was very strongly tempted to write that, but figured if the Moderator didn’t ban me, everyone else would flame me for the stinkin’ pun!
Remember the Romans & the Rubicon!
Last time I rode by, there were no tanks or artillery in the Pentagon parking lot, even though it is on the other side of the Rubicon....er...Potomac.
Agreed. Though I believe he’d have succumbed to the more powerful culture—whichever it turned out to be.
Melville Goowin, USA (J. P. Marquand), I think, influenced OAE. Not the ridiculous movie that borrowed the title, with Kirk Douglas & Susan Hayward, but the book which was entirely different. That culture, however, is dead, cremated, ashes in the stratosphere—along with American greatness.