All female Marines will be required to perform pull-ups as part of their physical fitness tests by 2014, the Marine Corps announce Tuesday.
The new requirement replaces the current system of a flexed arm hang.
The changes in the Female Physical Fitness Test (PFT) will take place over two phases. A transition period will take begin on January 1, 2013 to allow female Marines and commanders to adjust to the new requirement.
By the beginning of 2014, the flexed arm hang will still be part of the initial testing for female Marine recruits and other candidates, but they will be required to perform pull-ups in order to graduate.
According to the new physical requirements, a perfect score will be eight pull-ups. Women will have to perform at least three.
The current PFT requires that all Marines do sit-ups and a timed 3-mile run. The men also perform pull-ups. The women perform the flexed arm hang, which involves gripping a bar with palms facing out or inward and starting with the chin at level with or above the bar. They can be helped to this position. Time stops when there is no longer any “flexion at the elbow.”
The Marine Corps has temporarily lifted restrictions on women training for combat positions. This includes two female officers who started, but did not pass, the Marines’ Infantry Officers course this fall.
Currently, women are not allowed to serve in ground combat roles in the military.
Marine reservist Danielle Jarousse said, “As a female, I feel that I have spent more time proving I was not a stereotype to my male counterparts as opposed to doing my job next to them.”
Jarousse, who served on active duty from 2006 to 2011 as a CH-53E helicopter technician, also said , “Men have commented over and over about females not doing pull-ups and here is our chance.”
Jarousse — who is now a government employee and CrossFit coach and competitor — said many of the Corps’ standards for women were not practical. She can perform 10 dead hang pull-ups, deadlift 300 pounds, and run a mile in 6:48.
But despite her 5-foot-9 frame and 30 inch waist, the Marine Corps weight restrictions deemed her not physically fit by the old standards.
The new ALMar (All Marine Corps Activities) should be amazing,” Jarousse said. “I am 100 percent in support of [it].”