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Female Marines Will Have To Perform Pull-Ups By 2014

Female Marines will be required to do pull-ups

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].”

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47 Responses to “Female Marines Will Have To Perform Pull-Ups By 2014”

  1. Trs Edwards

    are they kidding? I am forty+ years old, have not worked out since highschool, and can still do at least 10 pull ups with out breathing hard or sweating…………..

  2. Shar Johnson

    Women don't have the same upper body strength as men, that doesn't mean they are unfit to serve. This appears to be a ploy to exclude women.

  3. Trs Edwards

    by your own argument, not that I find it valid, would that not by itself serve as reason TO limit female roles in military duty? There are many reasons to despise the military bodies of the world, giving them a chance to be equal is not one of them. if women want to serve along side of men as equals in the military they should have to stand up to the same qualifications as the men do, make them do 8 pull ups (still a ridiculously unimpressive criteria in my opinion). Yes, for anybody who would wonder, I was in the military. No, I do Not think that women, gays, or even wheel chair riding MS patients, should be excluded…..unless they can honestly not stand up to the task.

  4. Jim Harvey

    If they want to be Marines, they should be able to meet the same minimum PFT standards as the males. Otherwise they can join the Air Force.

  5. Kathee Alexander McCarl

    By all means! If women want to venture into men's territory, then they better be able to do the very same things men have to do. It's ridiculous to give women special treatment if they want to be treated equally. To be given special treatment is hypocritical. Women must have to pass the same tests as men – that is true equality.

  6. Lee Conroy

    They may having smaller muscles but also smaller body weight. If they want to do the same job that requires a man to do it then the woman should have to as well. Join the military

  7. Jenn Shepard

    Why is military fitness determined by the standards of maleness? Why is it that women have to be AS GOOD AS a man in order to be a soldier? Why is it a standard that men are the standard? Silly, really. Both are fit for combat, and those ways might be slightly different, but they are both fit. Stop trying to put square pegs into a round hole and think outside the box. Just because you have a penis, doesn't mean you're MORE fit to lead, fight, or do anything else by virtue of that hanging bit between your legs. Just a thought.

  8. Mike Lillie

    Bullets don't give a shit about gender. You physically perform or you die. This is about physical abilities not turning wrenches or typing. Time to step up. Marines aren't looking for female OR male warriors – just warriors.

  9. Amy Miller

    Lee: yes we may have smaller muscles and smaller bodies, I see where you're coming from. BUT….they are different muscle types and the ratio of muscle to fat is different in men and women. If we were the same height and same weight you automatically have more muscle mass than I do. And therefore have more muscle to engage in order to do the pull-up. Women tend to have higher fat percentage and therefore less muscle.

  10. Sean Kitto

    I have seen some badass chickas killing it in CrossFit. It's one hundred possible to do 10 pull ups if you're a woman. It's all about the mind rather than the muscles. Our bodys have been crafted perfectly through thousands of years to be the strongest and fastest predators. Genetics is a silly arguement because belief and willpower is what defines your outcomes.

  11. Shar Johnson

    @Jasmine Angel Lim LMAO…what does that mean? That if I worked out my upper body strength would equal a man's? that is simply not true….LMAO

  12. Shar Johnson

    Trs Edwards -If you mean jobs that include doing pull ups then perhaps. However there have been and still are many women in the Marine Corps, and they have been serving our country bravely and honorably without passing the pull up test. As far as patients with MS in wheelchairs, that's down right silly. You know those people could not do pull ups. They could work in capacity that requires some intelligence rather than brute strength, but won't get that chance because of the new rules.

  13. Tasha Senn

    8 :-) yesterday i did my first crossfit class and i overhead one lady say "75 (pullups)? Hmmm… Ive done 50 but not 75."

  14. Louis McComack

    Whoop dee freaking doo… they get a perfect score for 8 pull ups? How is this some equalization of the sexes when the men still have to do 20 for a perfect score?

  15. Yi Rang

    I'm an Asian woman and I personally know more than 20 women/ girls who can easily do more than 10 pull ups from dead hang, some hitting as many as 29. Women are like men- humans.

  16. Pete Jensen

    Hey, just a thought here – when I am loading ordnance by myself, because you delicate flowers who get a pass on PT standards are useless when it comes to the task at hand, and I'm doing my job and yours, no, you're not equal, and you're not going to get the same respect.

  17. Katrina Wightman

    You were in the military, but haven't worked out since high school? Hmmm…

  18. Pieter Christiaens

    So you want unfit people to be able to join the marines. Marines carry heavy gear, they have to run and jump with it. You need physical strength and endurance for that.

    Oh wait… Women don’t go into combat. So a maintenance or administration job is equal to getting shot at and getting legs blown off. Equal pay yo!

    Tests should be equal for both genders, just to give some piece of mind to the guy that just got shot… He needs to know that someone will be able to drag him away from danger.

    Crossfit shows it is possible for women do become physically strong. Now comes the hard part: stop whining and just do it.

  19. Jeff Jennings

    Lmao….. Combat is not Crossfit… Three pullups is a joke as a threshold… a combat environment is not a bunch of yuppies in Nike apparel running around a gym… Please don't confuse the two… When our mothers, sisters and daughters start coming home in body bags we will see how we feel about it then.

  20. Jeff Jennings

    Ladies- We get it.. You think you can be combat Marines.. Ok-here's the gig.. Your typical marine Infantryman carries a basic load out of a 100lb pack, his weapon, and if you are part of the mortar crew, possibly a 75lb mortar butt plate. We are expected to be able to travel with this load just to get to the fight. Yes I was a Marine, yes I was an officer.. Your off the cuff comments about shape of women, body fat, crossfit girls that can do a ton of pullups are feel good rumblings from our internet society.. If you are a woman who wants to separate herself from her family, Facebook, her friends, basic feminine hygiene products, throw upwards of 150ibs of gear on your back, hump 10-15 miles with it and have only your fire team or platoon around you at months at a time-with bad guys looking to put a bullet in your skull. You'd better be able to do at a minimum what the men around you can do.. By the way there aren't any "time outs" for emotional break downs… I have personally been on 25 mile training humps with women officer platoon (very fit-smart women) in which out of 20 women 18 of them could not finish with the above mentioned load on their back. They quit on their own. Are there exceptional women who can handle this type of stress? Yes. But they are a very very small minority. Before you throw your daughters and sisters to the wolves because it makes you feel better, think twice and speak once. This isn't about pull ups…

  21. Mark Andrew-Ronald Kimitch

    You're right, combat is not Crossfit, but Crossfit focuses on a lot of the same natural movements that are important for our survival in the wild. In fact, many former military members turn to Crossfit after discharge because it resembles the physicality associated with being in the military. When our fathers, brothers, and sons come home in body bags, how are we supposed to feel then? It would seem silly to me that we would feel any differently about that than if it were women. Death is death, it doesn't discriminate based on gender.

    Also, I don't own any Nike apparel; it's all American made gear for this Crossfitter.

  22. Kim LaCapria

    Wait, there is no time for crying in the Marines? On behalf of all my fellow ladies, I thank you for this frank and informative bit of information and they time you have taken to mansplain it to us. I thought if I enlisted I'd at least be deployed to the mall. Do they even let us watch soaps in Afghanistan?

  23. Devorah Allen

    Uh that pic is a chin-up, not a pull-up, but yeah, they should be able to do either one,

  24. Jeff Jennings

    Kim LaCapria I think they key phrase you just spoke was: " If I enlisted".. Knock yourself out. Perhaps your country (Iraq) would allow you to enlist there…

  25. Kathleen J Hawker


    Well if you think everything sould be equal then men should have the same standards that women have. Face it men and women are made different

  26. Kayla Jean

    Don't know many Marines that would say they were a Marine… just sayin …

  27. Tayla Holman

    You know, I double-checked the Marine Corps Times website, and they have it captioned as a flexed arm hang. But it came up when I searched pull-up. Very odd, but thank you for pointing that out.

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