More than half of the women in the Marines’ boot camp cannot complete three pull-ups, the minimum requirement for the New Year. The issue has forced the Marine Corps to delay the prerequisite as it tries to integrate thousands of women into combat roles by 2016.
The delay has prompted some to question whether women have the physical strength to take on military jobs traditionally reserved for men. The Marines argue that pull-ups require the same muscular strength necessary to carry munitions, climb walls and perform other common military tasks.
But Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wants training officials to “continue to gather data and ensure that female Marines are provided with the best opportunity to succeed,” Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine spokeswoman, told the Associated Press on Thursday.
For now, women will be able to choose whether their upper-body strength is graded on the pull-ups or a 15-second-minimum flexed-arm hang.