New Physical Standards for Marine Recruits Overwhelmingly Weed Out Women


In the wake of December's federally-mandated directive that opened all combat jobs to women, the United States Marine Corps established a new set of physical standards designed to weed out anyone who isn't physically up to par for such a position.

The Marines, which voiced the loudest objections to Defense Secretary Ash Carter's decision, put into place a new plan designed to be more inclusive.

But instead of leveling the playing field, the new standards have generated some shockingly disparate results: Of the recruits who took the test, 86% of the women failed compared to 3% of men.

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To pass the basic training tests, recruits must complete six pull-ups, run three miles in under 24:51 minutes and perform 60 lifts of a 30-pound ammunition can.

Finally, recruits must also complete a series of activities that mimic those of combat, including belly crawls and grenade throws. 

When recruits fail the test, they're benched into Marine jobs that require less physical effort not on the front lines.

But Marine Commandant General Robert Neller told the Associated Press that the new standards are geared toward gender integration — not the other way around. 

"We're trying to raise everybody's bar a little bit and we're trying to figure out how to get closer together, because at the end of the day we're all going to be on the battlefield and we all have to be able to do our job," Neller said.

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