February 2, 2013

Now, both male and female Marines will need to do 3 "dead hang" pull-ups.

Until now — with the decision to include women in combat unites — women only needed to hold a "flexed arm hang" for 15 seconds.
But... [t]o get a perfect grade, women will have to do only 8, compared with the 20 required for men.

“I don’t think it’s a very high bar,” said Capt. Ann G. Fox, a Marine Reserve officer who during her first deployment in 2004 worked with the Iraqi Army and who thinks women could do better if it was required of them. “I think the test should be the same as the men 20 pull-ups. People train to what they’re tested on."

111 comments:

virgil xenophon said...

And so it begins..

Didn't take long, did it?

Tank said...

I'm 60, not in great shape, and I can do three dead hang pullups.

Jesus, that's pathetic.

How are you going to do anything that involves back/arm strength with a pack on your back and a weapon or two, if you can only do three pullups?

virgil xenophon said...

You'll have to excuse me for a while--I'm going away to be sick..

jacksonjay said...

Tank said:
I'm 60, not in great shape, and I can do three dead hang pullups.

Jesus, that's pathetic.


Those were my exact thoughts! I too am 60 and this is a very low bar (pun intended)!

chickelit said...

And so all that head nodding and blathering about not lowering the bar, not having a two-tiered system was just smoke and mirrors?

Enjoy the decline!

CEO-MMP said...

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins is 6'9" and 260ish...and he can do over 30 pull ups.

Then again, he did grow up near Chernobyl, so maybe he's a mutant, not like our good old American boys and girls joining the USMC.

Is there an iphone app that helps you do pull ups? An xbox game?

Shouting Thomas said...

Well, Althouse said at the beginning of this dust up that it was about giving the ladies a chance at career advancement... not about the competence of the military to perform its function.

Think of it as a virtual military.

edutcher said...

And this surprises us?

PS units, not unites.

Auto-correct, no doubt.

Levi Starks said...

Still waiting for the directive instructing all 18 yo girls to report to their local post office and register for the draft.
If women want equality then they should demand it.

Levi Starks said...

Still waiting for the directive instructing all 18 yo girls to report to their local post office and register for the draft.
If women want equality then they should demand it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Let me be the first to say:

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Bob Ellison said...

When I was in grade school, before we males developed adult muscles, we were judged inadequate if we couldn't do at least six pull-ups. The girls had to just hang from the bar for a while.

Then we had push-ups. I remember clocking 50 in a minute. The girls did it from their knees.

Then there were sit-ups.

Well, I'm getting old and cynical.

CEO-MMP said...

What is the "it" girls did on their knees?

Lem said...

If we are not going to be a "super power" anymore... why not experiment with the military?

We are repurposing the military... its not a total loss.

Hagar said...

The important part is still that they are women.

And the jabber about the Israeli army is apples and oranges. The whole of Israel is not larger than a decent size county. The IDF is never out of sight of civilization and showers.

edutcher said...

Levi Starks said...

Still waiting for the directive instructing all 18 yo girls to report to their local post office and register for the draft.
If women want equality then they should demand it.


Give her all the equality she demands

Until she screams for mercy.

(had to...)

Chip S. said...

The article reports on a change in policy that raises the minimum pull-up requirement for women, to the same minimum requirement imposed for men, and this is a sign of lowering standards?

Never mind your ability at pull-ups. Work on your reading skills.

Lincolntf said...

Only Liberals would willingly send the unprepared or physically unable into battle in order to make a point. I'm sure many of them are praying that some of these women will be killed or grievously wounded to give them more raw material for their propaganda war against the military. I was in the Army, and the best of the best female soldiers could not physically keep up with any but the most unfit males. Not because they belong in the kitchen, but because they're dealing with weapons, tactics and training that require more brute strength and stamina than a typical woman can generate. But hey, who cares about people getting killed when there's a fucktarded lib cause to advance.

bagoh20 said...

I could kick some female ass, but they would never take me. What's up with that? If we are going to lower the standards for women, then I should be able to serve if I can do what they can. You can never use different standards to prevent discrimination. You only change who the victims are. There are going to be a lot of victims.

bagoh20 said...

This does serve the cause of fairness. It helps to level the differences between our troops and our enemies' We'll play our second string to stop running up the score.

EDH said...

Also keep in mind the resistance in "dead hang" pull-ups is proportional to one's own weight, and does not indicate your ability to handle a absolute weight.

It's been standard practice for Marines recruiters to bring pull-up bars with them to set up at recruiting booths at events where they expect young audiences.

The idea was to attract attention and promote competition.

I wonder whether that practice will continue, and what the reaction will be to the unequal treatment of male and female recruits?

That can't be good PR.

Hari said...

These aren't "dead hang" pull-ups, but it should give you an idea what is possible:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6-YPGPiU-s

YoungHegelian said...

I wonder if making combat roles open to women is going to lead to female recruits abusing athletic-performance enhancing drugs (a la Lance Armstrong) in order to pass.

No doubt some additional testosterone & EPO would help a woman to ace those requirements.

I know the military does random drug tests for illegal drugs now. Maybe they should expand the palette of what drugs they search for.

chickelit said...

Chip S taunts: Never mind your ability at pull-ups. Work on your reading skills.

From the article: To get a perfect grade, women will have to do only 8, compared with the 20 required for men.

I take you point about women's bar being raised. However, there still seem to be two definitions of perfect score.

Writ Small said...

The minimum standard is now the same. That's what counts.

I'm with Chip S.

Chip S. said...

Yes, chickelit, and that might provide the basis for a rational discussion. Of course, that would require facts not in evidence, such as whether the Corps plans to raise the upper limits for women gradually, as well as how the men's and women's overall scoring differs.

But there is no evidence in this thread so far that anyone understands that 3 pull-ups is the current men's minimum.

YoungHegelian said...

The real historical exemplar of using female soldiers in combat positions wasn't the IDF, but was the Red Army in WWII.

I have never read a history of their experiences. I can imagine that the Red Army, which considered 1/3 losses to be acceptable, probably was as awful to its women as it was to its men, and thus is not a useful example for the army of a democratic people.

Okay, ye history buffs among us, has anyone read a history of the Red Army's experiences with female combat troops?

Writ Small said...

Although, personally, if I was a woman, I'd want the same "perfect" standard, too. Otherwise, there's an implicit insult.

bagoh20 said...

If you are a Lieutenant and you have to pick a small squad to go out on a very dangerous mission, how can you in good conscience include a woman in that group of men. I don't want to mean, but it would be like giving them a weapon that is known to jam even though you have good ones.

J Motes said...

Shouting Thomas said: "Well, Althouse said at the beginning of this dust up that it was about giving the ladies a chance at career advancement... not about the competence of the military to perform its function."

I've been waiting for someone to explain why they don't just design a different and better plan for women's career advancement while leaving the current standards for men unchanged. A schedule and standards for promoting women into higher ranks that is matched to their skills and abilities should be possible. That is, they should be able to advance their careers by a different path: same endpoint but different requirements to get there. It should not be necessary to downgrade the entire military by lowering physical and other requirements to accommodate women.

Hari said...

Chip S wrote:

"The article reports on a change in policy that raises the minimum pull-up requirement for women, to the same minimum requirement imposed for men, and this is a sign of lowering standards?"

It is lowering standards in the same way that declaring a 160 LSAT score to be perfect for women, while leaving a 180 perfect for men.

Some jobs in the military require more than a minimum score.

bagoh20 said...

Perfect and more perfect.

The reason for two different perfects is to protect self-esteem.

Chip S. said...

@Hari--You're confusing levels with changes.

The women's minimum standard has been raised. The women's top standard remains below men's.

lincolntf said...

It's pretty simple if you remove all the fake equality crap. If the ideal Marine can do 20 pull-ups, then that's true for ALL Marines. War doesn't change because the human resources guidelines get a facelift. Still need the fastest, strongest soldiers possible, not some 3/5ths Compromise bullshit.

Inga said...

Thank goodness Chip S. is good with numbers and percentages:)

bpm4532 said...

If you want equality, you must compete equally. This is just bullshit.

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse, this is an interesting paragraph in the article;

Last fall, two female officers went through the course as an experiment and failed, inviting questions — even though large numbers of men fail — of whether women were up to it.

They attempted the course. The headline in Stars and Stripes was:

First Women Fail Marine Infantry Officer Course

10 week course. a tought course. The male fail rate is 25%. First woman dropped out on day 1 of 70 days. The second dropped, "for medical reasons"

Hari said...

Chip S,

Defining an 8 as perfect for women means a woman with 8 pull-ups is rated higher than a man with 19. (If this were not the intention, then there would be no need for to different standards of "perfect."

Since pull-up score is one of the criteria by which marines are selected for certain combat assignments, the standard is clearly now lower for woman than men as it applies to those jobs.

Or, to put another way, if the Marines believe that a man with 12 pull-ups should be rated higher than a man with 10 pull-ups (and they do, otherwise 8 would be perfect for men) then why is it that a woman with 8 pull-ups now rates higher than both of these men?

Inga said...

Minimum standards for both men and women ARE same for pull ups. Not all jobs in the military need brute strength. The article was dealing with requirements for female Marines in all jobs, not just Combat roles.

chickelit said...

bagoh20 said...
Perfect and more perfect.

The double standard for perfect had not been treated in the past. Now it is pluperfect.

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

"per" is the prefix of the day. In a perverse way, it was yesterday's prefix too.

lincolntf said...

If the goal was to have the best military possible, this would never even be considered. But since weakening the military is a core cause of the Left, it's now the law of the land. There might be only one out of 100 female recruits that can pass the real standards, but that's life. Nobody is guaranteed a military career. Pretending that a woman's 8 pull-ups equal a man's 20 is to codify the inequality.

Howard said...

Are they not called WM's anymore? or BAM's. Showing age.

The Drill SGT said...

J Motes said...
Shouting Thomas said: "Well, Althouse said at the beginning of this dust up that it was about giving the ladies a chance at career advancement... not about the competence of the military to perform its function."

I've been waiting for someone to explain why they don't just design a different and better plan for women's career advancement while leaving the current standards for men unchanged.


They do. I'll explain from an Army perspective. Promotions are "by branch". Women can't be in "infnatry branch" so they don't compete against guys with that infantry experience. Female lawyers (my wife for example) compete against only lawyers. Lawyers don't earn CIB's or go to ranger school. also the boards have "goals (read quotas) for women and minorities)

The total army is 15% women, but the officer ranks are 17% women. can't see the anti-female bias in that...

The top Navy Admiral is always a ship driver, the top USAF guy is a fighter pilot. Women can rive ships and be fighter pilots...The top marine, either infantry or a pilot. woemn can be marine pilots. I guess the Army Chief would not likely be a woman, or at least a lower prob, but there have been female Army 4 star generals. Ann E. Dunwoody, got promoted to 4 stars faster than the guy after her on the list, Dempsey, the current CJCS. She didn't of course get selected for the CSA or CJCS jobs. The Military has a says, " sooner or later you get passed over..."

Chip S. said...

Hari, contemplate the differences among these statements:

1) X < Y

2) X + 1 > X

3) X + 1 < Y

In terms of PT requirements for men and women, statement 1 has always been true. So every one of the arguments about men vs. women in the military being made by you and others could have been made (and has been made) many times by many commenters. Many, many times.

The current post is about statement 2, which is new. It's barely being discussed at all, except insofar as it involves statement 3.

If I were the Marine Corps Commandant, forced to comply w/ an order to open combat service to women, I'd certainly raise their PT standards. That's obvious.

Even if I thought that women's standards should ultimately be the same as men's, I wouldn't necessarily raise them to that level immediately, since I don't know how many of them would be left in the Corps. I'd raise them gradually.

BTW, the 20 pull-ups standard doesn't define an "ideal" Marine, it simply sets an upper limit on how much PT credit is given for pull-ups relative to crunches or speed in a 3-mi. run.

bagoh20 said...

Imagine if the government was hiring jockeys, and they decided that a 200 pound man and an 80 pound woman were both "perfect" jockey weight.

chickelit said...

Even if I thought that women's standards should ultimately be the same as men's, I wouldn't necessarily raise them to that level immediately, since I don't know how many of them would be left in the Corps. I'd raise them gradually.

Mind-reading. Facts not in evidence.

lincolntf said...

Inga, "Every Marine is a rifleman" is one of the Corps favorite slogans. It speaks to the training that everyone from mechanics to machine gunners to cooks go through. There are desk jobs, but to be a Marine one should be able to do all the tasks required, including lugging ammo boxes,carrying and firing heavy weapons, etc. If they can't do that, then they're quasi-Marines at best.

Hari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SGT Ted said...

The Capt. is right. They need to make it equal.

Hari said...

Inga,

Could you imagine someone making a similar argument on behalf of a school system that set the minimum passing math grade for everyone at a D, but then defined an A as perfect for boys and a B perfect for girls, because not everyone needs to be good at math?

Inga said...

Oh no y'all are gonna make me talk about Corpsmen again arent'cha? :)

chickelit said...

Shorter Chip S: Look, we're making progress here. We go to war with the Army we have, not the one we could have. In an era of Sequestration, it's not like an 8x > 19y. It's not a zero-sum game.

Chip S. said...

Mind-reading. Facts not in evidence.

I'm quite capable of reading my own mind, so that part of my post was entirely factual.

Logic fail.

J Motes said...

To The Drill SGT:
Thank you for responding to my comment. If I understand you correctly, women already have paths to career advancement within the branches in which they serve. I knew women have been promoted into the highest ranks (e.g., the 4-star generals you mention).

So is the problem of women advancing up the chain of command something of a red herring? A stated objective to cover the real objective? If you ask me, the answer is yes -- but I am shocked that any activist would use such a shabby subversive strategy.

chickelit said...

@Chip S. I read it as if you were second-guessing the ultimate goal of equalizing. Call it read-fail.

SGT Ted said...

The physical double standard is the huge sore spot within ranks. It is not openly talked about in ranks because they aren't allowed to. Which is appropriate.

People really don't get what it is like in an Infantry squad. The weak ones are hounded to become stronger or to change MOS. Women will come in weaker if there's a lower standard and they will attract negative attention as a result.

Hari said...

Chip,

Given that we can now acknowledge that 3 > 2 > 1 > 0 for everyone, why define 8 = 20, since it obviously does not.

Chip S. said...

Actually, I think it would be cool if the Corps immediately raised women's PT standards to the men's level.

I'd really enjoy watching the Commandant's testimony before Congress when 99% of women Marines were discharged.

[Yes, that's a fact not in evidence.]

virgil xenophon said...

@Young Hegalian/

Don't know about the Red Army, but the Red Air Force kept men and women in segregated units--basically by demand of the women. Some bomber aircrews were mixed because the women weren't strong enough to physically charge the defensive machine guns, so enlisted men had to be used--but they were housed in separate camps. There is an excellent 2-vol set of interviews which exists done with every surviving female Russian WWII pilot/aircrew done in the 70s whose title I can't now recall--makes for fascinating reading..,one upshot was that most of the women themselves did not believe that the sexes should ever be integrated in the operational or command structure because of reasons of "biology."

So much for the Russian experience as a guide for modern "feministas."..

James Pawlak said...

"Unequal protection of the law" Or
"Political Correctness" as TREASON?

virgil xenophon said...

++"Hegelian"--must be thinking overly much of "Chuck H" lol.

Rich Rostrom said...

I'll add one more thing. Pull-ups are a function of strength-to-weight ratio. Gymnasts (male as well as female) are small-statured; it's much harder for a big person to do the moves.

A very small woman could be able to do lots of pull-ups (perhaps even 20), but lack the gross strength to handle heavy objects, such as full packs, machine guns, tools, vehicle parts, ammo crates, or other personnel.

This could be avoided to some extent by minimum height and weight requirements, which the services have.

But I'm pretty sure that the requirements are different for men and women.

bagoh20 said...

Yes, to be really fair the standard should be pull ups with the recruit loaded with gear. Maybe only 3 pull ups, or even one, but combat is never about you carrying just your own weight.

furious_a said...

I could kick some female ass, but they would never take me. What's up with that?

You're an older, more seasoned smart-*ss with a lifetime of accrued emotional and personality reflexes, upon whom a DI would have to focus inordinately to the detriment of the other, younger, more impressionable recruits in your training cohort.

Synova said...

I've said this before... it depends what you're testing.

If you're testing the physical requirements necessary for a specific job, for infantry or firefighting for example, the minimum time for a mile and a half run or upper body strength is what it is. More is always better, but some arbitrary minimum is reasonable.

If you're testing how physically fit a person is, that's a different test. The level of *fitness* of a woman who can do 3 straight arm pull ups is far and away higher than a man who can only do 3 straight arm pulls ups.

Consider some of the most freakishly "fit" people on earth... male and female gymnasts. The women are every bit as physically fit as the men but they're still smaller and not as strong. Male marathon runners still finish before women marathon runners at the same level of "fitness."

So what are you testing? Will there be lower standards for *older* men? Or will 40 year old Chiefs and Master Sergeants have the exact same physical standards to meet as 20 year olds? Because they *don't* you know.

They also get to be fatter.

So decide what is being tested. There's no possible reason to "lower standards" for a job that has specific physical requirements of the sort that are also not "lowered" for an old dude. And there is no possible reason not to require levels of *general* fitness that requires daily work-outs to meet strength and aerobic fitness levels. There is no real reason not to adjust those for sex, and no real reason not to adjust those for age.

ALP said...

I was a competitive weightlifter (powerlifter) for a time during my late-20's to mid 30's. I started in the 111 lb women's weight class (they go down to 97 lbs - I trained with the woman who held US records in that weigh class). At one time, our women's team had 40 members...pretty big as far as women's weightlifting. So I have seen a LOT of women train in the gym.

Thus - I have seen women who could do 20 pull ups without barely breaking a sweat, but here's the rub: even in an environment were women are training hard, only a small percentage are THAT strong. And you can pick them out very easily - they are above average for their sex: taller, heavier boned, broader shoulders, easily gained muscle mass...usually with an interest in some sort of risky hobby such as mountain climbing.

And that's the problem with women in professions requiring brute strength: sure, some women can do them but they are outliers and there are not that many. Because of this, feminists and social engineers will NEVER be happy - the numbers they want to see just can't be gained without dropping the standards.

Failing to conquer the limitations of human endurance and the 24 hour day - now feminists turn to gravity itself.

Bender said...

A Marine is a Marine, unless she is not.

But it is not good enough that we simply say that a combat Marine -- any and all combat Marines -- must comply with X standard. Instead, we need to have some regulation that says that inequality is equality, that Y standard Marines are the equal of X standard Marines.

And meanwhile, yes, where are all the new regulations requiring that women now register for Selective Service?

furious_a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smilin' Jack said...

...women will have to do only 8, compared with the 20 required for men.

The lower number for women has nothing to do with strength. It's because math is hard.

Lincolntf said...

Quick check of 2013 Army standards, non pull-up related.

Men must do 42 push-ups to meet minimum standards, women must do 19.
Men must do 53 situps to pass, women must do 36.

Men must run 2 miles in 15:54, women must run it in 18:54


Those are some pretty big gaps in physical ability.

furious_a said...

The real historical exemplar of using female soldiers in combat positions wasn't the IDF, but was the Red Army in WWII.

Red Army women did serve in combat units such as artillery and fighter/bomber squadrons (one woman qualified as a fighter ace; however distinct from the current US structure Red Army women served in all-female units.

The rationale was also different, replacing staggering casualty and available manpower (recruit cohorts in German-occupied areas) losses for the then-Soviets vs. equal-opportunity for the now-US.

Inga said...

Yes, women should be required to register for selective service, same as men. Absolutely.

G Joubert said...

Dead hang pullups? As a qualifing test? Really? Hrmmm... See Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971.

Shouting Thomas said...

Now that women and gays are both allowed in the military, I assume that the blow jobs requirements are equal and gender neutral.

Achilles said...

Here is some perspective for some of you people from a "combat arms" unit.

What will happen when the first women tries to get into Ranger Battalion? They have already started dumbing some things down but for a private maxing the PT test is the only way to get your team leader off your ass 24/7 until you deploy. The RAW(ranger athlete warrior) PT test we used also involved a 225 lb dead lift and a 185 lb bench press for max reps. We also had to run 1.5 miles, and climb a rope with kit/plates on for another test. This does not even get into carrying a 45lb ruck for 12 miles. There is a reason for these ridiculous standards and the pressure to accel physically. If my privates couldn't drag my ass out of a room after I got shot and carry me to a "safe" place it was time to get to the gym. We had to move fast over sh!t terrain with 60-100 pounds of crap for a few miles and then the fun began. If you didn't or couldn't do the job there was the potential someone died.

The hard part won't even be failing the PT standards or shooting people. The hard part will be when a woman screws up ang gets someone hurt or killed. Men screw up now. Shit happens. This kind of unit is a high pressure situation which is reflected in the huge quantities of alcohol consumed while at home. People yell at other people loudly and angrily a lot. We have to. Not very many men can handle it to be honest. My wife is in the army and could pass the men's PT test.(she maxes the women's) She would not make it there. They would have to make it easier for women to be there.

This will cost readiness. It will cost lives. If we let the units that do this work get weak enough we could start losing wars. Even you leftists do not want that, although you act like you do. I have met the people we are fighting. Inga does not want those people to beat us I promise.

I am not against women in almost every role. They come out sometimes and some of them can keep up. But when a private starts lagging he gets his ass chewed and he picks it up. When a women starts falling out it is different. No matter how hard we try we treat women differently. It may be our weakness. Whatever blame it on us since women can do no wrong in our country. It is womens inability to accept their own weaknesses that i fear will cost us the most. But there are some situations when you have to accept reality. This is one of them. If we lose over there you won't be able to play your "we are all equal" charade over here. You will find out how equal women are under Sharia.

ALP said...

Now that women and gays are both allowed in the military, I assume that the blow jobs requirements are equal and gender neutral.
******
Thread winner - nothing more needs to be said. Hilarious.

chickelit said...

Thanks for that post, Achilles and you are no heel.

It is womens inability to accept their own weaknesses that i fear will cost us the most.

It's the word "weakness" which they despise the most--it's not even the fact.

Inga said...

Just remember, Achilles HAD a heel.

Inga said...

Achilles, you're right, I don't want them to beat us and I don't think women are going to be beating down the doors of combat arms jobs.

Alex said...

Shouldn't the test be the ability to carry a 220lb Marine on your back for a mile?

Alex said...

Inga is very happy at the dumbing down of our military.

Inga said...

Alex, you wouldn't pass that test, you are smaller and lighter than many women in the military.

dbp said...

The standards are not equal, but this represents a much tougher standard for women than in the past.

I predict it won't last long. In the USMC your PFT score is part of how you are judged for promotion. A failing PFT, which is what will happen since hardly any woman can do even one chin-up, can not only prevent promotion but also get you drummed out of the Corps.

When 90% of the WM's fail their PFT, the standard will be lowered back to where it was.

ironrailsironweights said...

Pull-ups done using strict form are a tough exercise for anyone, male or female. Sure, go to any gym and you're bound to see guys knocking off multiple reps, but in most instances they're not starting from a dead hang and/or are swinging their legs to get a little extra momentum. One thing about pull-ups is that even a small bit of cheating like this makes a very big difference.

Another thing about pull-ups is that they reward low bodyweight almost as much as raw muscle power. I'd say that relatively few men weighing over 200 pounds are particularly good at them, if they can do any at all, while 150-pounders are much better even though they don't come close to the larger guys in strength. Of course the Marine Corps is not a place where you'll find a lot of guys lugging around extra bodyweight, so pull-ups are a fairly appropriate exercise.

Note: rumor has it that members of the Russian Spetsnats special forces are required to do 28 pull-ups from a dead hang while wearing 40-kg backpacks.

Peter

Oso Negro said...

Women can certainly train to a high level of athletic performance. My daughters competed in USA Swimming for years. The elder of the two, at her peak, could easily do 30 plus pullups at one go, and typically did about 150 per day. She also swam 10-15,000 meter workouts and I recall a Christmas Eve once that she swam 21,000 meters. Her younger sister swam a four mile I.M. at the age of seven. When any of you gassy geezers think you can even finish the first mile swimming butterfly, let me know. They are also good rifle shots, by the way.

Jason said...

If combat were a swimming match I might give a shit. :-)

Jason said...

It's not about how many times you can lift your own body weight. It's about whether you can charge the fucking 50 cal by yourself and throw your buddy over your shoulder and jog with him and all your gear and his and both flak vests back to the LZ. Fuck this noise.

Jason said...

I wonder how many of the REMF shitbirds who think this is a good idea don't think women will risk lyme disease rather than submit to a proper tick check.

Inga said...

"When any of you gassy geezers think you can even finish the first mile swimming butterfly, let me know. They are also good rifle shots, by the way."

2/2/13, 5:02 PM

I love this comment! OsoNegro, my daughter had to qualify with the Marines at the shooting range before deploying, she made sharp shooter. Synova said that was pretty good!

Synova said...

Yes, Jason. But how do you test that? Not with pull ups from a dead hang. So test what is being tested.

I'm not, and never have, argued that women should be in the infantry or tanks or loading guns.

(I understand that there's a "trick" to lifting another human in a "fireman's carry", you get the weight up there and lift with your legs and women tend to be far stronger in their legs than upper body with a lower center of balance so I don't *know* that they'd be less able to lift their own weight or better and "jog", but besides there being such an extreme average size difference between men and women and the extra gear, there is still the *gear* or the heavy lifting that can't be done with a "trick" to get the weight up over your legs.)

Anyway, my concern isn't about getting women into the infantry, but to get them into the mindspace of being a warrior and out of the ladies auxiliary. Now, that already may not be as much of a problem as it was when I was enlisted, but "I realize that the military is about how best to kill people and break things but... I'm a girl" is a sure way to get second rate performances from "girls."

Synova said...

See now... "a proper tick check" is a mindspace issue. It doesn't have to do with strength or physical ability but acculturation. I'm a farm girl, and believe me, there are no end to the number of guys that are more squeamish than I ever was, even at 18, about gross stuff or bugs. And body privacy goes out the window the first time you have a baby, even if you never grew up on a farm,... as does any concern about sticking your hands in sh*t.

I always felt sorry for the 18 year old male medtechs that got assigned to OB/gyn on base, but they adjust.

If 18 year old males can survive the de-sexualization of women's bottoms, 18 year old females can survive the normalization of a tick check.

edutcher said...

YoungHegelian said...

The real historical exemplar of using female soldiers in combat positions wasn't the IDF, but was the Red Army in WWII.

There were battalions of "Amazons" in the Boer army in 1900 and soldaderas in the Mexican Revolution, as well as many female partisans in WWII.

In Yugoslavia, however, non-fraternization was the rule. If a partisanka was found to be pregnant, she was executed immediately.

Combat effectiveness, you know.

Inga said...

Yes, women should be required to register for selective service, same as men. Absolutely.

Oldest first.

ironrailsironweights said...

I always felt sorry for the 18 year old male medtechs that got assigned to OB/gyn on base, but they adjust.

What about feeling sorry for the female soldiers who had to deal with them?

Peter

Synova said...

Maybe equality demands that young men don't register for selective service *either*? I'd go for that.

If we get invaded by aliens we can institute press-gangs since the computers with the selective service files on them will be kaput in any case.

Levi Starks said...

Clearly the problem is the whole idea of "excellence"
Can we possibly change it to "adequacy"?
Knowing that they are only meeting the bare minimum of 3 pull-ups is psychologically damaging to the low achievers. In fact a desire to achieve the 20 pull-up ultimate probably indicates a propensity for excessive dominance. It could lead to actions of bravery in the face of danger.
No, we need a kinder and gentler fighting force.

Synova said...

Peter, when my son was born (my first) there was an Airman working in the nursery... uber-buff, well over six feet, movie star good looks... showed me how to turn my day-old baby over without having to lift his head.

You know pregnancy hormones? OMG.

(While pregnant with my fourth I fell in love with Steve from Blue's Clues.)

Levi Starks said...

German soldiers probably thought dropping cyanide tablets in to the jewish showers was "gross" but after a while they got "normalized" to the idea.
It's amazing what impressionable young men and women in the military can be normalized to do.

Jenner said...

There's a good chance of unintended consequences actually now being even fewer women in the military if they keep messing around with standards, etc. What will they do when fewer women pass "male" oriented physical tests like pull ups? And having the max score be different is going to be bad for morale.

If they want everything equal, has anyone thought about body fat standards? And if not, why not? Because women and men have different proportions of body fat? So what? Other differences don't seem to matter.

There isn't a lot of choice in MOS, its not a free market -you succumb to the needs of the Corps. At least in the Marines they should not correlate physical standards to the job - every Marine is a rifleman = same standards for everyone.

Oso Negro said...

Jason - to be clear, I am not at all in favor of women in combat infantry roles - the relationships get too damned complicated. I am simply taking exception to the claim that they can't do pullups, run or lift weights. The USMC does have a swimming test, by the way.

Jason said...

So does the Army... the Combat Water Swim Test.

ed said...

"The minimum standard is now the same. That's what counts. "

If all you can do is the minimum then you will -never- be promoted. Ever. And your unfitness will be reflected on your commanding officer's fitness report so he will be absolutely pissed at you because you may be costing him a promotion.

ed said...

Frankly this emphasis on the minimum by Chip S. et al is just so much bullshit. The reality is that achieving the minimum in an infantry unit is just going to get you squad justice.

When I joined the USMC as an infantry grunt my MOS or job was anti-tank/assault (explosives). When I got assigned to my duty station I got my MOS changed to M-60 gunner.

An M-60 weighed 23lbs and each 100 rd belt weighed 7lbs. I was expected to carry the M-60 locked & loaded with a 100 rd ammo box clipped to the side in my hands. So 30lbs. And another 5x 100 rd belts on me for another 35lbs. And with that combat load I was expected to do everything and anything. And sometimes when it was really humid and the weather just totally sucked I'd have to do it while wearing some NBC gear.

Imagine wearing a mask that allowed you to sip air, not gulp it down. And running in it. Let's not get into the rest of the gear as it gets worse.

So Chip S. you are going to tell me that someone who can just do 3 dead hang pullups is going to be able to handle a light machinegun? And if she cannot then she is completely useless because what if she is the one next to me and I get shot? She has to take the gun and use it. She has to carry it, fire it, carry the ammo.

You keep harping on the 3 pullups like it is going to save your ass in this debate. It does not. Instead it makes you look utterly clueless about the issue at hand.

So do yourself a favor and STFU.

gutless said...

"Note: rumor has it that members of the Russian spetsnaz special forces are required to do 28 pull-ups from a dead hang while wearing 40-kg backpacks." I have personal reason to know that this an exaggeration. These guys are mostly good but they are not supermen.In fact spetsnaz is a generic term that encompasses many different military and paramilitary organizations. The special forces units in all first rank militaries are very similar in demands and capability. There are differences in training based largely upon logistical issues and geographic focus, although here are also expressions of national character and what is politically tolerable. An example is British SAS training that is brutal in ways unacceptable in many other services. The most capable units are found in Europe, North America, Australia and in Mexico although only in elements of its Navy. Women serve in none of these units.

Achilles said...

Everyone here is missing a key point. Every team, every squad, every platoon that does actual combat is lowest common denominator. They are only as strong as the weakest link. All combat at this level is team. Everyone has responsibilities. Excellence doesn't mean shit. If one person fucks up they are usually not the ones to pay for it. If you lower the minimum that is the baseline effectiveness of the unit. Are there women that can hack it physically? Sure. But very few. Lowering the standards means you are lowering the capability of that unit. This is not good.

The second thing is hard to articulate in terms people here will get but I will try. In most situations back home We are generally not considered "one of your good people." Most people are not able to hurt people without reticence. We see and do horrible things. If you hesitate when you need to do something that would be considered bad by a polite society people die. Most men are not natural killers. Women are even more naturally more gentle and empathetic. I would posit that if a women is able to kill people easily there is something wrong. And seeing things like splattered brains or arms lying around or hearing the squishy crunchy noises a body with multiple bullet wounds makes when you move it messes with women more than men. Additionally it is one thing when it is men that get destroyed, but sometimes it is a much smaller body and they are sometimes missing large parts. Shit happens no matter how hard we try. This is not a knock on women, and to be honest most men don't do well with this. I realize we are messed up people. But We are necessary in this world, and trying to pretend women are the same or need to be put in this position is stupid and will get people killed.

Synova said...

"Or, to put another way, if the Marines believe that a man with 12 pull-ups should be rated higher than a man with 10 pull-ups (and they do, otherwise 8 would be perfect for men) then why is it that a woman with 8 pull-ups now rates higher than both of these men?"

Because she might be more physically fit even if she's not as strong. If the score is for physical fitness, it's appropriate to scale... *just like* older people in the service get a break on run times, PT standards, and allowed weight instead of getting kicked out.

If it's for qualification for something *else* then it's a qualification for something else and not reasonably based on fitness related to your physical starting point. If I can't reach the controls in a cockpit because I'm too short, my shortness being related to my femaleness is irrelevant. I. Can't. Reach. The. Controls.

If a certain strength or endurance is necessary for some jobs, lifting and loading ordinance or infantry (because, dur!) then that's what's necessary for those jobs.

But if someone decides that, hey, it would really be *useful* to have a female along on our door-to-doors to search under the burkas (which is something the Marines did do in Iraq, at least before someone reported it) then at least Congress won't be getting their panties in a twist over it because the military won't be breaking the law by doing it.

Rusty said...

bagoh20 said...
I could kick some female ass, but they would never take me. What's up with that?

Dude you've never spent ant time in some local Wisconsin bars. They got some pretty hefty women there.

Douglas said...

I'm 61 and on a good day I can do 6-8 dead hang pull ups (only 4 wide arm). So requiring three doesn't seem like a serious requirement for a 20-something in excellent condition. Having different physical standards for soldiers in combat positions strikes me as insanity, but hell, I've never been in the army so what do I know?

Chip S. said...

I don't know how the USMC ever won a battle w/ this candy-ass 3-pullup minimum standard for men, which the women's minimum has been raised to.

Synova said...

I realize this thread is dead but wanted to say...

And if you want a female along to search under the burkas, it would be better to have one along who'd had more than the minimum "combat" type training so that if things went south she could be expected to jump in the direction she'd been trained to jump, because she'd been *trained*.