14 July 2014


By Andy Weddington
Monday, 14 July 2014

"...they changed the policy to fit the pressure..." 
General Robert H. Barrow, USMC (27th Commandant)

For weeks I've been mulling over today's topic, again.  And mentally crafting comment. 

Then last week came news the Marine Corps is pushing the requirement for female Marines to perform the pull-up (physical fitness testing) to the end of 2015.  That's a delay. And today a retired Marine sent me an article that implied the physical standards for the necessarily demanding 12-week Infantry Officer Course (which no female volunteer has conquered - only one making it through the first day combat endurance test) will be lowered (under a guise - changed policy to fit the pressure). 

Why? Because females, generally speaking (of course, there is always an exception or two), cannot do pull-ups. Nor can females perform to the physical standards of a male. Life is not fair. 

And no amount of physical fitness training is going to conquer the evolutionary design of females (they are not males and there is many a good reason - for instance, reproduction and perpetuation of the species). 

As timing would benefit (my) comment, late last week I received an email with an article link from Jude Eden, Jane of Trades (who wrote an article a few months back I posted). I do not know her but I do know her. She is a Marine. She served in Iraq. She is bright and articulate. She knows what she is talking about. And she's a breath of fresh air. 

Her excellent article covers all (and then some) of what I was shaping into comment. Thus, no need (for me) to write the commentary as it's better still coming from a young female who has walked the walk. 

There's nothing more to say, except to open the floor for Ms. Eden: 

Reality? The "war on women" is the women's war on men.  It's inane. The loser? America.

Post Script

To be continued...


Steve Morgan said...

My first command, first PFT. I did 13 pull-ups. Dead hang. "Not bad", says the young male Sergeant recording the event. Shortly after, my female Captain Training Officer finishes maxing her dead-hang portion of the PFT. We were standing around stretching for the run when the young Sergeant, apparently seeking to curry favor or something, comments that the women get off easy, or words to that effect.

I have a dozen or so women in the command, most heard the comment. Dead silence. I asked if the Sergeant had ever performed the dead-arm hang because I assured him that I had tried it and barely passed. The kid was a stud so he took the challenge and we all sort of gathered around as he struggled, but did indeed max the female dead-arm hang. Trust me, he struggled.

Next thing I knew the female Captain asked; "How many pull-ups did the Colonel do?" The Sergeant looked at me, and I nodded permission to the implied question. "Thirteen Ma'am!"

She then jumped to the bar, popped out 14 perfect, dead-hang pull ups, then dropped, having more than proved her point without embarrassing "the old man".

"Any more smart-ass comments Sergeant?" "No Ma'am."

This, AFTER she had already expended her energy and strength maxing the upper arm test for Women. I couldn't help but smile, as when the whistle blew to start the run, she took off so fast the last thing I saw was her pony tail whipping past me at the speed of light. And yes, she always did a double run to match the 3 mile requirement.

An exception? Maybe, but to say no women can do it just isn't true. I would put that retired Lt.Col up against half the Corps men today and I'd bet on her score to be higher. Just saying.

A Colonel of Truth said...

Good story. As noted, Steve, there is always an exception (or three). But it is the norm that is at issue. Most women can't meet the physical standards of a man. And, the physical (pull-up) variable is but a tiny aspect as to why women do not belong in ground combat units (especially the infantry).

Anonymous said...

Put 80 to 100 pounds of gear on that woman and have her hump 24 clicks through Elephant Valley and then into the mountains almost to Laos. We did that in May of 67 and had over 100 heat cases the first day we tried it. We barely made 3,000 meters that day. That night A 1/7 was sent back to guard some Amtracks with 105's mounted on them. The next morning the rest of the 1/7 took off from the point 3 clicks from us. We had to hump until noon to catch the rest of the Bn. They just finished eating noon chow. We had to eat while humping and walked into a river to cool off. All of us made the 24 clicks. The non-hackers had fallen out the day before. I am afraid that women will fall out to or hamper the men, because the men will be looking out for the woman. Women are not men and even some men cannot be physical studs. The infantry has to have physical studs. Those of us who did succumb to the heat the raining or the other perils of Vietnam became physical studs.

Omar M. Rashash said...

I went through TBS in 1978. I had been delayed until Hotel Company convened that August. Hotel was a mixed gender class and we were integrated down to the fireteam level. The women were required to do everything the men did and no exceptions were made for gender. Well, not quite- When I compared notes with my male peers in Fox and Golf Companies, who'd I'd gone through OCS with the previous summer, I discovered that they were training to a much higher physical standard than we were. Our PT wasn't as aggressive, our forced marches were slower, and I suspect we didn't move as rapidly in the field. Yes, there were a few women who could physically out perform some of the men, but the standard to which we trained was reduced to accomodate the women in the class. Political mandates can't trump biology. This experiment, which continued for about 3-4 mixed gender classes, was dropped when Congress found out about it. They took a dim view that the Corps was "training" women for combat roles. I always considered the intent to be that all Marine Officers should have an appreciation of the role of Infantry.