Marine Corps to Allow Women to Do Pushups Instead of Flexed-Arm Hang or Pullups

 Marine Corps to Allow Women to Do Pushups Instead of Flexed-Arm Hang or Pullups

Female Marine recruits stand in formation during pugil stick training in boot camp February 27, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Female enlisted Marines have gone through recruit training at the base since 1949. About 11 percent of female recruits who arrive at the boot camp fail to complete the training, which can be physically and mentally demanding. On January 24, 2013 Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta rescinded an order, which had been in place since 1994, that restricted women from being attached to ground combat units. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. Scott Olson/Getty Images.

The Marine Corps has released new fitness standards that will allow women to dodge the flexed-arm hang and pullups in favor of pushups.

The changes are intended to make the force more lethal and resilient, according to Brian McGuire, head of the Force Fitness Branch at Training and Education Command, the Marine Corps Times reports.

For starters, the Marine Corps is dropping the flexed-arm hang for females.

“We ran studies showing that, compared to other means to assess upper body strength, the flexed-arm hang doesn’t stand up very well,” McGuire told Marine Corps Times.

  Female Marine recruits stand in formation during pugil stick training in boot camp February 27, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Female enlisted Marines have gone through recruit training at the base since 1949. About 11 percent of female recruits who arrive at the boot camp fail to complete the training, which can be physically and mentally demanding. On January 24, 2013 Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta rescinded an order, which had been in place since 1994, that restricted women from being attached to ground combat units. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Female Marine recruits stand in formation during pugil stick training in boot camp February 27, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Regardless of gender, Marines, officer candidates and poolees will either have the option of doing full pullups or pushups instead, but whoever chooses the pushups option will have that choice reflect in their overall score. In other words, with pushups, they can only score a maximum of 70 out of 100, as opposed to a full 100 out of 100 with pullups.

Men between the ages of 21-35 will have to do 23 pullups for the full 100 points. Women of that same age group will have to knock out just nine or ten.

A Marine Corps study conducted in 2013 found that just 45 percent of women in bootcamp could complete three pullups.

Deciding not to earn the full score will affect future promotion opportunities.

As an extra interesting addition, Marines will now be able to take the physical fitness test multiple times, but the caveat is that if the Marine performs worse on the retaken test, he’ll have to keep that score instead of his higher score from the first test.

“If a Marine takes a test and [the score is] lower than what the Marine felt they could do, they can take the test over multiple times in accordance with the PFT schedules of the unit to which the Marine is assigned,” McGuire said.

The new standards come into play on Jan. 1, 2017.

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E. Goldstein

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