Posted by: caitlinmcclay | January 16, 2014

Women in the Military

There has been a lot of talk recently about the role of women in the military.  This has come as women will soon be allowed in combat.  In preparation for this, the Marine Corps changed their physical fitness standard for women requiring them to to three pull-ups.  This has been delayed because many women have failed to meet the mark.  The new standards require that everyone be able to do three pull-ups, male or female.  However, the maximum for males is 20 and the maximum for females is 8.  If the minimum is going to be the same, then the maximum should also be the same.  It isn’t going to hurt anyone if a woman does 20 pull-ups.  The point of changing these fitness standards is because men and women will now be doing the same combat work which is more physically demanding.  In combat there should be no division between male and female, you are soldiers with a clear mission.  The fitness standard should be set as what is required for combat preparedness.  Many people have used the failure of 55% of women to pass the pull-up test as proof that women should not be allowed in combat.  I think it shows that the military is behind in their training of women.  Female marines are more than capable of learning to do three pull-ups.  There have been cases cited where the female marines in a particular unit did pull-ups because that was the standard their unit set.  The Marine Corps is more than capable of implementing this new physical fitness test.  I think it is a matter of adapting the training of the marines before the change the test.


  1. This article was very eye-opening to me. If men and women are being sent to fight in wars, they should be trained the same way! However, men and womens’ bodies are different, and in general men have more body mass and muscle mass than women, allowing them to do more pull-ups. I do not think the marine corps, or any branch of military, should allow men or women to fight if they are unable to meet the physical fitness requirements, as those are implemented for a reason! Like the article said, men and women must be able to pull themselves out of mud pits and carry large amounts of equipment, so they both must be equally physically fit. I personally think the minimum requirements should be implemented and be the SAME for men and women. I also think it is ridiculous that the “maximum” number of pull-ups for women is so much lower than those for men – it’s almost like punishing the women in the military for being physically active and similar to that of the men.

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