Female Marines: They’ve got your back – As long as it doesn’t involve upper body strength. (NBC)
It’s an Obama world…
Female Marines can’t do pullups but will be allowed on the front lines anyway.
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.
The Marine Corps announced it quietly. There was no news conference — just a notice on its social media sites and an item on its own TV show, “The Corps Report.”
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. About 55 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.
For years, female Marines have had to meet a different standard — an exercise called the “flexed arm hang” (holding one’s chin above the pullup bar for at least 15 seconds).
But beginning in 2016, women in the Marine Corps and Army will be allowed to serve in infantry, armor and artillery units. And they’ll need to be strong enough to climb those mud walls and carry ammunition.
Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, says the delay shows that women just can’t meet the same standards.
“Young women, in spite of all the training and all the best intentions, are not going to be the equal of young men in terms of upper body strength,” Maginnis says. “You’ve got to have a lot of upper body strength to lift the stuff. Been there, done that.”
Maginnis just wrote a book called “Deadly Consequences: How Cowards are Pushing Women into Combat.” He says the issue has more to do with politics than protecting the nation.